Sandy Alderson, who waited until after the trade deadline to call up Amed Rosario, said he understood that the 21-year-old shortstop brought a little “celebrity” with him to Citi Field on Friday night for his first home game.
Rosario had a few red-carpet moments in the Mets’ 6-0 loss to the Dodgers. When he was trailed by cameras during batting practice. When he was introduced before the game. Before his first at-bat, a strikeout against Yu Darvish.
And in the fifth inning, when Rosario grounded a single inside the third-base bag for his first Citi Field hit. He stole second for his first big-league theft.
The big crowd of 41,187 enjoyed Rosario’s presence and exploits and let him know it. Unfortunately for the Mets, there wasn’t much else to cheer about. The MLB-best Dodgers hit three home runs, including two off Jacob deGrom and a two-run shot by Citi Field nemesis Chase Utley off Josh Smoker.
Rosario went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts in his fourth big-league game. The Mets chose the thin-aired confines of Coors Field for Rosario’s first three games, and he went 3-for-12.
“We thought Colorado would be a good place to start,” Alderson said. “Two or three days to get his feet wet before coming back to New York. In some sense, it’s a ramp-up to coming back to all of the scrutiny and the tension and celebrity that comes with playing for the first time in New York.”
Rosario, through a translator, said before the game: “I waited for my time and that time is finally here. I feel really good and I want to say just because I think I had the patience to wait for that time to come. I don’t feel any sort of pressure. I’m just excited to go out there.”
Rosario, batting seventh, struck out on a 3-and-2 fastball from Darvish in his first at-bat in the second inning. Darvish, the Dodgers’ prized trade-deadline acquisition, threw all fastballs to the rookie. Rosario also struck out on a checked swing in the seventh.
Darvish gave up three hits, walked one and struck out 10 in seven innings in his Dodgers debut.
The game was well-attended because the Dodgers are a draw and the Mets were giving out deGrom jerseys. It’s unknown how many walk-ups there were just to see Rosario, but chances are at least a few people signed on to see the much-anticipated prospect.
“For me, it’s a pleasure,” Rosario said. “I am very thankful for the reaction I got for the fans and I thank God for the opportunity.”
Rosario said he had about 15 relatives at the game. They got to see Chris Taylor lead off the game with a home run off deGrom (12-5) and Yasiel Puig go deep an inning later to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
DeGrom needed 99 pitches to get through five innings. The Dodgers, who swept the Mets in a four-game series in Los Angeles in June, made it 3-0 in the fifth when Justin Turner grounded into a run-scoring double play.
DeGrom allowed five hits, walked three and struck out eight. He also singled in the third inning and easily collected his first career stolen base, much to the Dodgers’ surprise.
DeGrom was not pleased when he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth. He smashed his bat in the dugout. “I wanted to go back out there,” he said.
Utley, still public enemy No. 1 in Flushing for breaking Ruben Tejada’s leg with a hard slide in the 2015 NLDS, made it 5-0 with a two-run homer to right in the sixth. Turner added a sacrifice fly in the seventh off Chasen Bradford.