The Mets home opener didn’t quite go as planned, as the offense never got untracked and the Nationals added some runs late to break open a close game and earn a 4-0 win Thursday afternoon.
Much was made about the Mets having to play their home opener as a day game following a road night game. That made for less than ideal travel conditions but the real problem was having to face Stephen Strasburg, who had his good stuff and who continued his mastery at Citi Field. After hurling 6.2 innings of shutout ball, Strasburg now has a 2.14 lifetime ERA in 11 games in the Mets’ home park.
Noah Syndergaard nearly matched Strasburg, but he allowed a run in the second inning without surrendering a hit, thanks to two walks, a wild pitch and a sac bunt. Then in his last frame in the sixth inning, he allowed his first hit of the game, a solo homer to Victor Robles, who also homered against him in D.C.
While the Mets’ offense didn’t show up, their questionable bullpen, along with curious bullpen deployment, did. After Justin Wilson and Jeurys Familia combined for five strikeouts in two innings of work, Seth Lugo was brought on to pitch the ninth. His velocity was down and his three batters faced resulted in a double, a single and a sac fly. Tim Peterson came on in relief and allowed back to back hits for the fourth and final run.
Tomorrow is an off day and when the Mets return to action, they’ll shake up their rotation, with Steven Matz leapfrogging Zack Wheeler to get the start. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so the schedule works out well for once.