By Joe Rini
NEW YORK, Aug 27 — With a very good effort by David Peterson on the mound, the New York Mets topped the Colorado Rockies 3–0 on Saturday at Citi Field. Before a sellout crowd of 42,617, the fans celebrated Old Timers’ Day and the 2022 team. For instance, the Old Timers’ Game festivities included more than 60 former Mets representing teams from the 1962 team through the 2015 NL champions.
Nimmo Knocks in Two
Centerfielder Brandon Nimmo supplied the early offense for the Mets. Batting leadoff, Nimmo homered to right field on starter Kyle Freeland’s second pitch, and the Mets led 1–0 after one inning. They subsequently added to their lead in the second inning after Mark Canha and Jeff McNeil reached base on a hit batsman, and a base on balls leading off the inning. However, after Freeland retired the next two batters, Nimmo doubled into the right field corner scoring Canha, and the Mets led 2–0. With two RBI in two innings, Nimmo would eventually figure in all three Mets’ runs.
After a shaky first inning, Peterson allowed only two base runners over the next five innings. Peterson labored through a 25-pitch first inning, but stranded two runners on the corners to keep the Rockies scoreless. After retiring Elias Diaz in an epic 12-pitch at-bat to escape the first-inning threat, Peterson proceeded to retire the next nine batters. Overall, Peterson pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four singles, striking out seven, and walking no one. The victory raised his record to 7–3.
After the seventh inning stretch, the Mets stretched their lead to 3–0. With one out, Nimmo reached base on a walk. The next batter Starling Marte lined a double into the right-centerfield gap off Justin Lawrence, scoring Nimmo from first base.
Ottavino for the Save
After Peterson pitched the first six innings, Buck Showalter reached into the Mets’ bullpen for the final three frames. Relievers Seth Lugo and Trevor May pitched scoreless innings with two strikeouts each. With Edwin Diaz having pitched two days in a row, Showalter instead tabbed Adam Ottavino to close the game. Ottavino delivered a scoreless ninth inning for his second save in three nights for the 3–0 Mets win.
Showalter Praises David Peterson
After the game, Showalter said Peterson was “solid” for the Mets. For example, once Peterson established his change-up, “He stayed in attack mode. He was key to the game.” Crediting Peterson and the people who help him between starts, he said, “We’re proud of Pete and the people that helped.”
Speaking about Old Timers’ Day, Showalter said, “It was a great day for the Mets and the Mets family.” He added about the Mets alumni, “It was a chance to let them know how much they meant to the organization and the fans.” He called it an “uplifting” event for the current team of Mets and thanked ownership for making it happen.
Mets Retire Willie Mays’ Number
The announcement of the retirement of Willie Mays’ #24 was an unexpected highlight of the day. Mays returned to New York in May of 1972, and played his final two seasons with the Mets. Former Mets owner Joan Payson had promised Mays his number would be retired by the Mets, but after Payson passed away in 1975, the number retirement was never formalized. Team President Sandy Alderson noted that today’s ceremony with 60 years of Mets luminaries in attendance provided an appropriate setting for the announcement. Alderson called the retirement of Mays’ number a “Testament to the game of baseball in New York.” He called his time with the Mets “a meaningful last chapter” of his career.
The 91-year-old Mays couldn’t attend the event in person, but his son Michael accepted it on his behalf. Former Mets’ teammate Cleon Jones said of Mays, “No one could do the things Willie could do to win a game.” Alderson also said retiring Mays’ number was a “Great way to reintroduce him” to a new generation of fans.