In his first game in his second season, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had set his team on autopilot through the first six innings. From this point, however, Callaway had three important decisions to make, all of which worked out, though one could have come back to bite him …
Lugo for deGrom
In relief of  Jacob deGrom who threw six gorgeous innings, brought Callaway to Seth Lugo who threw a perfect seventh inning by shouting the side out. Despite only 15 positions, Lugo was pulled in favor Jeurys Familia which allowed the binding run to the plate in the usual Familia fashion.
At this rate deGrom certainly could have thrown another inning ̵
Remember, this is the opening day, and hopefully, deGrom will make another 30 launches. There is no point in risking fatigue and a possible arm injury as he knows he will need another 200 innings between November and November. Not to mention that Lugo said he had been warming up in the hall since the fifth inning time. And unlike what we've seen in the Terry Collins era, if a pitcher gets up so early and prepares to be in the game, Callaway puts him in the game, which is right for the player …  "It's a good feeling out there, there's a lot of chemistry," Lugo said, noting that he just did what he and deGrom had discussed the day before as he prepared for the Nationals.
It can not be said enough how valuable Lugo will be for the success of this team. I said years ago that he would be most successful in his career if he was used in much the same way as the Indians Andrew Miller in 2016. It seems Callaway eventually put Lugo in that role, at least based on his way of doing it on Thursday.
For this reason, Callaway Lugo may have wanted to use an additional inning instead of going to Familia. I'm glad Callaway did what he did, because Lugo and Familia both set a high mark, and both feel like an important gear in this year's Bullpen.
It's easy for us to deal with this See each game as a must-have win after the season. However, the reality of the manager is to maintain the mental and physical strength of his players throughout the season. One way to accomplish this is to limit the workload at the beginning of the year while having a sense of achievement. Callaway wisely did both with his pitching staff.
Smith for Alonso
Similarly, Callaway pulled Pete Alonso in the eighth inning after the rookie's first base man had taken the first goal of his major league career. In its place, a 1-0 with a second runner, two outs and Robinson Cano who stepped on the plate, Callaway ran the fast Keon Broxton Broxton stood on the second base Dominic Smith who came into play a few minutes earlier, when Callaway used him for Lugo.
Cano arranged the left field with a line drive, which allowed Smith (runs on contact with two outs) to score from second base and give the Mets a two-part lead.
At the end of this innings, Smith replaced Alonso at the first base, which makes perfect sense. If you remove Alonso on a high note, just like DeGrom, Lugo and Familia, Alonso will feel good if he leaves the day. It also brought Smith into play on opening day, which probably made him feel important to the team, rather than being just an idle banker. Smith also got his first hit of the season, which should help keep his timing on the plate. After all, he is a superior defensive first baseman compared to Alonso. This is even more important as he plays late in a 2-0 game.
The point is, I like this swap …
Broxton for Conforto
On the other hand, Callaway, as he forced Broxton to Conforto, switched to Conforto, which is not a risk game that much could easily have gone into extra innings.
Luckily, it worked. On the bases before in the inning, Broxton's speed was minimized with the slow-moving Smith in front of him, all at the expense of Conforto's power in a possible tie game later in the day.
Matthew Cerrone ( Facebook Twitter | Instagram | Contact Us) is the lead author of MetsBlog.com, which he founded in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His New Book, The Bucket List of New York Mets fans describes 44 things that every Mets fan should experience during his lifetime. Click here