Michael Conforto heard a smattering of boos from the COVID-limited sellout crowd of 8,011 at Citi Field for Thursday’s home opener upon hitting into a double play to conclude the seventh inning. His next at-bat was more celebrated.
Batting with the bases loaded in a tie game in the ninth inning, Conforto leaned into the strike zone and took an Anthony Bass slider off his right elbow, sending the Mets to a 3-2 victory over the Marlins.
Plate umpire Ron Kulpa ruled that Bass’ pitch clipped Conforto’s elbow guard. Marlins manager Don Mattingly argued the call – on replay it appeared Conforto leaned into the pitch – but was told the play was not reviewable.
Jeff McNeil’s game-tying homer against Bass leading off the ninth helped rescue the Mets, who had only four hits to that point. McNeil had started the season 0-for-10.
The Mets were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. They will hobble into Friday’s day off 6-for-35 (.171) with runners in scoring position this season.
In his Mets debut, Taijuan Walker lasted six innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts….