Mets' Christian Scott pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during...

Mets' Christian Scott pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 4, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Credit: Chris O'Meara

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Christian Scott threw his first big-league pitch at 7:25 p.m. on Saturday.

He didn’t record his first out until his fourth batter — eight minutes later.

And then he turned into Great Scott.

Scott worked out of a first-inning jam with minimal damage and then dominated the Rays in a dazzling debut at Tropicana Field.

Scott, a 24-year-old righthander who the Mets hope is just the first of their prized young arms to join the rotation, allowed one run and five hits in 6  2⁄3 innings. He walked one, struck out six and walked off in a tie game after throwing his 94th and final pitch to a standing ovation from the very pro-Mets crowd of 18,968.

Scott got a no-decision as the Rays beat the Mets, 3-1.

With the score tied at 1 in the eighth, Adam Ottavino and Sean Reid-Foley walked consecutive batters with two outs and the bases loaded to force in a pair of runs.


The Mets were held to six hits by four Tampa Bay pitchers and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Even though the Mets fell to 16-17, it was hard to overlook Scott’s performance. It was impressive. Most impressive.

“Really good,” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “Pretty impressive outing by him, especially after the first three hitters.”

Scott allowed hits to the first three batters he faced. Yandy Diaz singled. Richie Palacios doubled. Isaac Paredes flared an RBI single to right.

Then Scott buckled down. He blew a 96-mph, 3-and-2 fastball past Randy Arozarena for the first out. On the next pitch, Harold Ramirez banged into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

Scott pumped his fist as he came off the mound. A roar went up from the orange-clad 7 Line Army Mets fans who took over an entire section down the leftfield line.

Asked what he was thinking after the first three hitters reached, Scott said: “Get a ground-ball double play. So I was able to do that and that was huge for the first inning. Get an inning-ending double play right there, kept us tied after one. I was able to really cruise after that, for sure.”

Is Scott really that unflappable? Apparently so. Asked if he had any pregame jitters, he said: “Honestly, no. A lot of people told me I’d have trouble sleeping. I slept like a baby. I know my stuff’s going to play at this level.”

Scott, who is from Coconut Creek, Florida, and attended the University of Florida, got to share the experience with about 50 friends and family in the stands. Scott said he shared a glance with his father in the second or third inning. He gave his first strikeout ball to his parents and, in full uniform, took pictures with his family on the field after the game.

Scott was a fifth-round pick of the Mets in 2021. He was 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in five outings and 36 strikeouts in 25  1⁄3 innings for Triple-A Syracuse this season.

The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first on Brandon Nimmo’s leadoff double (which was lost by sliding centerfielder Jose Siri in the roof or the lights) and Starling Marte’s single to right. The throw home beat Nimmo, but he scored by eluding the tag with a headfirst slide.

Scott, who wore No. 45, opened the second by striking out Jose Caballero on three pitches, the last two sweepers that Caballero waved through. After Ben Rortvedt hit a drive to left that was caught by Nimmo on the warning track, Scott completed his first 1-2-3 inning by getting Jonny DeLuca on a pop fly to short.

Third inning? Two fly balls to center and a grounder to first.

Fourth? Pop-up, strikeout, strikeout, the sweeper now unhittable by righthanded batters.

Through four, Scott threw 43 pitches, 19 of them in the first.

Scott retired 12 in a row before Rortvedt lined a one-out single to right in the fifth. After a forceout exchanged runners, DeLuca stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Tomas Nido.

Scott struck out Siri to leave the potential go-ahead run at third. He worked around a two-out walk in the sixth and departed after a two-out single by Rortvedt in the seventh.

“He was great,” a downcast Ottavino said. “Wish we could have won it for him.”

Scott’s next outing will come at Citi Field against Atlanta, probably on Friday.

“He was a pro,” Nido said. “He belongs.”


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