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Nationals @ Mets: 04/04 1:10 PM ET; SNY, MASN2, MLBN; WCBS, ESPN, WJFK

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  • Nationals @ Mets: 04/04 1:10 PM ET; SNY, MASN2, MLBN; WCBS, ESPN, WJFK


    Thursday, 4th April,
    1:10 PM ET
    Citi Field









    Drew's Sig

  • #2

    Mets Riding High into Home Opener Against Nationals

    -- The final 151 games of last season proved to the New York Mets they can not jump to conclusions over a small sample size in March and April. The first five games of this season were enough to convince the Washington Nationals it is not too early to begin expressing concern over their early level of play.

    A pair of teams expected to battle for the National League East championship this season will square off Thursday afternoon, when the Mets host the Nationals in New York's home opener.

    Both teams traveled to New York off victories Wednesday. The Nationals earned a split of a two-game series by overcoming a two-run eighth-inning deficit to edge the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 9-8 on a walk-off bases loaded walk to rookie Jake Noll.

    The Mets completed a sweep of the host Miami Marlins thanks to reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who earned the win by striking out a career-high 14 over seven scoreless innings and added a homer for good measure in New York's 6-4 victory.

    The Mets' Noah Syndergaard (0-0, 6.00 ERA) is scheduled to oppose the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 6.00 ERA) in a rematch of right-handers who faced each other last Saturday in Washington, D.C. Both pitchers allowed four runs over six innings in their season debuts, with neither involved in the decision during the Mets' 11-8 victory.

    The Nationals will hope to support Strasburg with better fundamentals and better relief pitching than has been displayed in the first week of the season.

    On Wednesday, Washington relievers Tony Sipp, Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough combined to blow a 6-4 advantage in the seventh, when the Phillies scored four runs. The trio has combined for a 24.75 ERA in five innings this season - a stretch in which Rosenthal has allowed seven runs without recording an out.

    In addition, Victor Robles ran into an out in the fourth and failed to put down a bunt in the sixth, the same inning in which Wilmer Difo was picked off second base. Robles has made three outs on the basepaths this season.

    "We'll take the win, but we have a lot to improve on," Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton said following the win. "And I think it shows."

    The urgency to shore up the fundamentals and patch the holes in the bullpen grew earlier Wednesday, when general manager Mike Rizzo announced star shortstop Trea Turner would be sidelined an indefinite period of time with a broken right index finger suffered when he was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt in the first inning of Tuesday's game against the Phillies.

    The Nationals are expected to receive at least one reinforcement Thursday, when utilityman Howie Kendrick is scheduled to be activated from the injured list. Washington made room for Kendrick by optioning Noll to Triple-A Fresno following his walk-off RBI.

    There are also areas of concern within the bullpen for the Mets, who are 5-1 for the second straight season but had to sweat out the late innings of each win over the Marlins. Closer Edwin Diaz loaded the bases in a non-save situation in Monday's 7-3 victory and New York nearly frittered away a five-run lead in Tuesday's 6-5 win and a six-run lead on Wednesday night, when the Marlins scored four runs in the ninth before Diaz earned the save by recording the final out.

    The Mets didn't need some late-inning issues to be reminded what can go wrong during and following a solid start. New York won 11 of its first 12 games last season but ended up finishing fourth in the NL East with a 77-85 record.

    Even with the near-misses against the Marlins, though, the Mets will carry plenty of momentum into the home opener. While deGrom - who has struck out 24 over 13 scoreless innings in two starts - is the main attraction, New York heads north with the type of youthful spark rarely seen at Citi Field.

    Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso is hitting .409 with seven RBIs in his first six big league games. Third-year shortstop Amed Rosario has five RBIs and a stolen base while second-year utilityman Jeff McNeil is hitting .400 in 15 at-bats and already has a four-hit game.

    "It's going to be my first game at Citi Field," Alonso said Wednesday. "It's going to be an awesome atmosphere. It's an exciting time for us and I can't wait."

    Syndergaard is 3-5 with a 3.65 ERA in 13 career starts against the Nationals. Strasburg is 8-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 18 starts against the Mets.

    Drew's Sig


    • #3
      • The Nationals lost two of three to the Mets to open the 2019 season, and the Nats' 2-4-1 series record against the Mets since 2018 is their worst versus any NL East opponent. The Nationals scored 15 runs in their last game at Citi Field (August 26, 2018), the most runs any team scored at Citi Field last season.
      • The Mets are off to their second consecutive 5-1 start -- they are the only team in MLB to start 5-1 or better in each of the last two seasons. The Mets have won their home opener every season since 2015.
      • The Nationals' bullpen has accumulated an 11.02 ERA and .377 BAA thus far in 2019 -- both marks are the worst in MLB. The team's 4.05 bullpen ERA last season ranked 15th in MLB.
      • Pete Alonso is the first Met with nine hits through six career games since Daniel Murphy in 2008. He has nine hits, four doubles and a home run in six career games. The last players to meet each of these marks through six career games were Ronald Acuna Jr. (2018) and Jorge Soler (2014).
      • Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Strasburg will match up for the second time this season. They each allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 6.0 innings in that first game, an 11-8 Mets win.
      • Anthony Rendon has homered in each of his last two games, and also had a double yesterday. He, Francisco Lindor and Mookie Betts are the only players with 40+ doubles in each of the last two seasons.

      Drew's Sig


      • #4


        HOME OPENERS: The Mets are 37-20 (.643) in Home Openers, including 7-3 at Citi Field.

        HOME, SWEET HOME: The Mets kick of their 2019 home schedule today...New York owns a 446-445 record at Citi Field...All-time, the Mets are 2,313-2,231 in New York...The Mets went 37-44 at home last season.

        START TO THE SEASON: The Mets have started 5-1 or better five times in team history including this year (2019, 2018, 2006, 1985 and 1984)...The previous four teams also started 6-1.

        SEVENTH HEAVEN: New York has scored 20 runs in the seventh inning or later this season, the most in the majors.

        METSCELLANEOUS: The Mets are coming off a six-game, seven day road trip against the Washington Nationals (3-1) and the Miami Marlins (3-0)...Today, the Mets kick off a five-game, seven-day homestand against the Nationals and the Minnesota Twins.

        deGROMINATE: Jacob deGrom extended his career-best scoreless streak to 26.0 innings...The streak dates back to September 21, 2018...His old mark was 24.1 innings from April 21-May 18, 2018...deGrom had a career-high 14 strikeouts last, surpassing his previous high of 13 (done four times, last time, June 2, 2018 vs. the Cubs)...The last Mets pitcher with 14 or more strikeouts was John Maine on September 29, 2007 vs. the Marlins, who also had 14...deGrom tied Bob Gibson with his 26th consecutive quality start (1967-1968)...deGrom’s streak began on May 18, 2018...deGrom is the first pitcher in team history to start the season with consecutive double-digit strikeout games...He now has 34 career double-digit strikeout games...He also extended his major league record with his 31st straight start allowing three runs or less.

        DOING IT ALL: In the Divisional Era (since 1969), only five pitchers have struck out at least 14 batters and hit a home run in the same game...Courtesy of Elias.
        Jacob deGrom 4/03/19 NYM at MI 14 K, 1 HR
        Madison Bumgarner 8/16/15 SF vs. WAS 14 K, 1 HR
        Steve Carlton 8/21/77 PHI vs. HOU 14 K, 1 HR
        Tom Seaver 5/29/73 NYM at SF 16 K, 1 HR
        Bob Gibson 8/30/72 STL vs. SF 14 K, 1 HR

        DOWN ON THE FARM: It's Opening Day for the Mets minor league affiliates...Below are today's starters.
        Syracuse vs. Pawtucket LHP Héctor Santiago
        Binghamton at New Hampshire LHP Anthony Kay
        St. Lucie vs. Bradenton LHP Kevin Smith
        Columbia vs. Charleston RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson
        TOP FOUR: The Mets are hitting .275 as a team over the first six games of the year, ranking fourth in the majors.

        WELCOME BACK: On Saturday, the Mets will welcome pitchers Rick Reed and Turk Wendell to Citi Field...Both Reed and Wendell spent five years with the club from 1997-2001...Reed went 59-36 with a 3.66 ERA, while Wendell compiled a 22-14 record with 10 saves and a 3.34 ERA...Both players will be available to the media at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

        DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Mets recorded 10 hits yesterday...The team has recorded four double-digit hit games this season, which is tied with Arizona and Seattle for the most in the majors this season.

        LET'S GO STREAKING: The Mets have won three straight games...It's their longest streak since they won four straight from September 12-14, 2018.

        FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Mets lead the majors with nine first inning runs this year...The Mets are 4-1 when scoring first this year.

        LET'S GET IT STARTED: Combined, Mets starters are 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA (11 earned runs/34.1 innings) with four walks and 43 strikeouts...The 2.88 ERA ranks third in the National League.

        NO FREE PASSES: Mets pitchers have allowed only 11 walks this season, which is tied with the Houston Astros with for the fewest in the majors...Mets starters have allowed only four walks, also the fewest in the major leagues.

        BUFFALO SOLDIER: Wilson Ramos is 21-for-his-last-39 (.538) with runners in scoring position dating to June 30 of last season, the highest average in those situations in the majors in that span (min. 30 PA with RISP)...His .583 OBP with RISP in that span ranks second in that time behind only Mike Trout (.603), who benefits from 15 intentional walks in those scenarios.

        50TH ANNIVERSARY OF 1969 METS: This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Miracle Mets...The 1969 Mets captured the hearts of baseball fans across the world when they beat the Braves in the NLCS and then topped the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles in five games in the World Series...The Mets will celebrate their historic achievement all season long...The highlight of the year will be a weekend celebration, June 28-30 vs. Atlanta when members of the team will return to Queens.

        HOME OPENER:
        Thursday, April 4 vs. Washington - 1:10 PM.
        First Pitch – Gil Hodges, Jr. to Mets Hall of Famer Ed Kranepool
        Anthem – Micaela Diamond (From The Cher Show on Broadway)
        Color Guard – Presented by the FDNY Ceremonial Unit
        God Bless America – NYPD Police Officer Makiah Brown
        Veteran of the Game – WWII Veteran Walter Rybarczik
        In honor of 1969 World Series manager Gil Hodges, who would have turned 95 today, members of the Hodges family including his wife Joan and their children, Cyndi and Gil Jr. will participate in the ceremonial first pitch...'69 Met Ed Kranepool will catch the first pitch...Gil Hodges Jr. will be available to media in the press conference room following the first pitch.

        MASS TRANSIT: Fans are encouraged to take mass transit to Citi Field for the Mets Home Opener...Mass Transit is the fastest and greenest way to Citi Field...The Mets Home Opener is sold out...Taking mass transit is the easiest way to the game.
        Drew's Sig


        • #5

          Top of 1:
          Nationals first. Eaton struck out. Dozier grounded out, shortstop Rosario to first baseman Alonso. Rendon struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Bottom of 1:
          Mets first. Nimmo struck out. Alonso safe at first on fielding error by pitcher Strasburg. Canó grounded into a double play, second baseman Dozier to shortstop Difo to first baseman Zimmerman, Alonso out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Top of 2:
          Nationals second. Soto walked. Zimmerman walked on four pitches, Soto to second. On Syndergaard's wild pitch, Soto to third, Zimmerman to second. Gomes struck out. Difo sacrificed, pitcher Syndergaard to first baseman Alonso, Soto scored, Zimmerman to third. Strasburg struck out.
          Runs: 1, Hits: 0

          Bottom of 2:
          Mets second. Conforto struck out. Ramos grounded out, first baseman Zimmerman to pitcher Strasburg. McNeil struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Top of 3:
          Nationals third. Robles fouled out to first baseman Alonso. Eaton struck out. Dozier grounded out, first baseman Alonso unassisted.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Bottom of 3:
          Mets third. Rosario struck out. Lagares grounded out, first baseman Zimmerman unassisted. Syndergaard flied out to center fielder Robles.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Top of 4:
          Nationals fourth. Rendon popped out to second baseman Canó. Soto flied out to left fielder Nimmo. Zimmerman lined out to left fielder Nimmo.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Bottom of 4:
          Mets fourth. Nimmo flied out to center fielder Robles. Alonso grounded out, pitcher Strasburg to first baseman Zimmerman. Canó walked on a full count. Conforto struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Top of 5:
          Nationals fifth. Gomes struck out. Difo grounded out, pitcher Syndergaard to first baseman Alonso. Strasburg grounded out, shortstop Rosario to first baseman Alonso.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Bottom of 5:
          Mets fifth. Ramos singled to left. McNeil grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop Difo to second baseman Dozier, Ramos out. Rosario safe at first on fielder's choice plus fielding error by third baseman Rendon, McNeil to second. Lagares struck out. Syndergaard struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 1

          Top of 6:
          Nationals sixth. Robles homered to left on the first pitch. Eaton popped out to center fielder Lagares. Dozier grounded out, shortstop Rosario to first baseman Alonso. Rendon popped out to second baseman Canó.
          Runs: 1, Hits: 1

          Bottom of 6:
          Mets sixth. Nimmo flied out to left fielder Soto. Alonso struck out. Canó popped out to left fielder Soto.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Top of 7:
          Nationals seventh. Wilson pitching. Soto was out bunting, pitcher Wilson to first baseman Alonso. Zimmerman struck out. Gomes was hit by a pitch. Difo struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Bottom of 7:
          Mets seventh. Conforto grounded out, first baseman Zimmerman unassisted. Ramos struck out. McNeil singled to right. Rosario singled to center, McNeil to second. Smith pinch-hitting for Lagares. Grace pitching. Davis pinch-hitting for Smith. Davis struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 2

          Top of 8:
          Nationals eighth. Nimmo in as center fielder. McNeil in as left fielder. Davis in as third baseman. Familia pitching. Stevenson pinch-hitting for Grace. Stevenson struck out. Robles struck out. Eaton walked. Eaton stole second. Dozier struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Bottom of 8:
          Mets eighth. Miller pitching. Guillorme pinch-hitting for Familia. Guillorme struck out. Nimmo walked on a full count. Alonso struck out. Sipp pitching. Canó struck out.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 0

          Top of 9:
          Nationals ninth. Lugo pitching. Rendon doubled to right. Soto singled to right, Rendon to third. Zimmerman hit a sacrifice fly to left fielder McNeil, Rendon scored. Peterson pitching. On Peterson's wild pitch, Soto to second. Gomes singled to center, Soto to third. Difo singled to left, Soto scored, Gomes to second. Adams pinch-hitting for Sipp. Adams grounded into fielder's choice, first baseman Alonso to shortstop Rosario, Gomes to third, Difo out. Robles walked on a full count, Adams to second. Eaton popped out to catcher Ramos.
          Runs: 2, Hits: 4

          Bottom of 9:
          Mets ninth. Doolittle pitching. Conforto struck out. Ramos singled to right. McNeil flied out to left fielder Soto. Rosario flied out to right fielder Eaton.
          Runs: 0, Hits: 1

          Drew's Sig


          • #6

            Strasburg, Nats Win 4-0 to Ruin Home Opener for Weary Mets

            by MIKE FITZPATRICK

            -- Without much time to rest up for their home opener, the New York Mets were no match for Stephen Strasburg.

            A pinpoint Strasburg outpitched Noah Syndergaard, rookie Victor Robles homered for Washington's only hit until the ninth inning and the Nationals beat the drowsy Mets 4-0 on Thursday.

            "Just executing the game plan. I think the biggest thing is never taking a pitch off," Strasburg said.

            Following a 5-1 trip to start the season, the Mets got back to New York after 2 a.m. in the wake of a 6-4 victory at Miami. They were even held up about 30-45 minutes postgame Wednesday night while Dominic Smith chugged enough water to be able to complete a drug test.

            But about 11 hours after arriving in Queens in the middle of the night, they were back on the field again - and their lineup looked sleepy while striking out 14 times.

            "I don't think we were in the proper situation to win a ballgame based on the rest of the guys' sleep and travel," said Syndergaard, who traveled to New York ahead of his teammates.

            He would have preferred a day game Wednesday in Miami or a night game Thursday at home.

            "That would have been nice," Syndergaard said.

            Wilmer Difo drove in two runs, and Washington's struggling bullpen shined after Strasburg (1-0) struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. Working with a 91-94 mph fastball rather than the 98-99 mph heat he used to bring, the 30-year-old righty kept the ball off the barrel and walked just one.

            "Pitching isn't just about throwing as hard as you can. I never felt like I was a guy who tried to just do that and light up the radar gun and be happy regardless of outcome," Strasburg said. "So, it's just execution. I knew eventually getting older, it's not going to maintain it. It's just a part of life, but I still want to go out there and compete and give everything I have."

            Up against Syndergaard for the second time in six days, Strasburg took a one-hitter into the seventh before giving up consecutive singles with two outs.

            Matt Grace threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter J.D. Davis, then Justin Miller and Tony Sipp combined to whiff three in a hitless eighth. Sean Doolittle completed the four-hitter, making Strasburg 8-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 11 starts at Citi Field.

            "He's pitching. He's using all his pitches," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "He looks really good."

            Coming in, Washington relievers ranked last in the majors with an 11.02 ERA, and opponents were batting .377 against them. But a week after getting shut out in their home opener by Jacob deGrom and the Mets, the Nationals turned the tables.

            "If we're going to do this, I've got to trust the bullpen to get the job done. And they got it done," Martinez said.

            The only hit Syndergaard (0-1) allowed in six innings was Robles' leadoff homer in the sixth. He struck out six, walked two and lost for the first time in his last eight decisions at home.

            The sellout crowd of 44,424 was the second-largest for a regular-season game at Citi Field.

            "I thought it was good energy. I think you've got to give credit to their pitcher. Great pitcher," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "He was executing pitches at the bottom of the zone, keeping us off kilter, and they just beat us."

            Anthony Rendon doubled against Seth Lugo to start the ninth and scored on Ryan Zimmerman's sacrifice fly. Difo, who delivered a safety squeeze in the second, added an RBI single off Tim Peterson.

            Wilson Ramos' leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth was the first hit of the game, although Washington had already been handed a run. Syndergaard walked the first two batters in the second, and both moved up on a wild pitch. Juan Soto scored without a play when Syndergaard wisely went to first with Difo's sacrifice bunt.

            The 21-year-old Robles, batting ninth behind Strasburg, drove the first pitch of the sixth over the left-field fence for his second homer this season - both off Syndergaard.

            TRAINER'S ROOM

            Nationals: INF-OF Howie Kendrick was reinstated from the injured list after recovering from a strained left hamstring. He didn't get in the game. The 35-year-old Kendrick had been sidelined since rupturing his right Achilles tendon on May 19 last year. "I'd like to get him a start here pretty soon," Martinez said. ... 1B Matt Adams (back spasms) pinch-hit in the ninth and grounded into a fielder's choice. Adams left Tuesday's game after taking a nasty fall over a railing while trying to catch a foul popup. ... RHP Anibal Sanchez plans to make his next scheduled start despite a sizable bruise on his right hip. Sanchez was hit by a line drive Wednesday and left his Nationals debut early. ... OF Michael A. Taylor (right knee/hip sprain) was set to begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Harrisburg.

            Mets: Jeff McNeil was back in the lineup at third base after sitting out Wednesday with a sore left knee.

            UP NEXT

            Nationals: After an off day, $140 million lefty Patrick Corbin makes his second start for Washington - both against the Mets. Corbin, from the Syracuse area in Central New York, allowed two runs over six innings in a no-decision Sunday.

            Mets: LHP Steven Matz (0-0, 1.69 ERA) was moved up a day to pitch Saturday because the team wanted to split up Matz and fellow left-hander Jason Vargas in the rotation, Callaway said. RHP Zack Wheeler will now start Sunday in between them. Matz is 1-5 with a 3.93 ERA in 10 starts against Washington, including 0-4 at home.

            Drew's Sig


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