PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Two veteran Mets relievers endured rocky first spring training outings Thursday.
Dellin Betances wasn’t helped by an inning that got extended on a misplay in left field, but he still was far from spectacular in allowing four earned runs on two hits and two walks in the Mets’ 8-4 victory over the Nationals.
Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless third inning but allowed two walks. The right-hander’s troubles finding the strike zone have defined his recent seasons.
Betances topped out at 94 mph on the radar gun, according to manager Luis Rojas, who said he liked what he saw.
“I was more focused on arm angle, and everything was where we want it as far as release point and arm angle,” Rojas said.
After Betances reached 23 pitches, the inning was called.
“Too bad we had to roll it before getting the third out, but I thought it was a good outing,” Rojas said.
Familia, entering the final year of his contract, was asked if he’s under pressure this spring to show something. After a dismal 2019 season, he was better last year, but still far from trustworthy with a 3.71 ERA and 1.463 WHIP in 25 appearances.
“I wouldn’t say there is pressure, but I do want to prove to [fans] that I am still the Familia from back then and I feel healthy right now, so I feel very good going into the season,” he said.
Pete Alonso blasted a fifth-inning grand slam, dubbing it a “birthday bomb” for his mother, who attended the game. Last season, Alonso did not homer in the Grapefruit League.
“After the ball went over the fence, I went, ‘Yeah, it’s my mom’s birthday today,’ ” Alonso said. “It was fun. I am really happy I got to hit a home run on her birthday when she got to see me play.”
Team president Sandy Alderson, appearing on ESPN’s broadcast, was asked for his impressions of new owner Steve Cohen.
“How about affable? Does that describe a master of the universe?” Alderson said. “My experience with him has been great. He’s really smart and has been really successful. He’s curious about the game. He wants to learn more. He doesn’t pretend to know a great deal about it at this point, but he’s a knowledgeable fan.”