The weirdest, most unpredictable MLB season to date got underway in what has become a traditional way, with the Mets starting the year with a win, as they shut out the Braves, 1-0, Friday afternoon in Citi Field. The Mets are now 39-12 in their last 51 Opening Day games.
It was a day game and Jacob deGrom was just as masterful as ever in the sunshine. He threw five shutout innings and allowed just one scratch hit, on what could easily have been a comebacker. But he was pulled after just 72 pitches, with the Mets wanting to keep him to 80 pitches in his first start.
The Mets’ only run came courtesy of a Yoenis Cespedes homer in the seventh inning. Cespedes has now homered in the last three games he’s played.
Brandon Nimmo had two hits and Jeff McNeil crushed the ball three times but had just one hit to show for it. But he wasn’t robbed like J.D. Davis was, as Ender Inciarte took away a homer from Davis with a leaping grab over the wall.
Robinson Cano hit sixth in the game and was removed after seven innings for defensive reasons. Andres Gimenez came on in his place and made a nice change-of-direction play that perhaps Cano would not have been able to make. Gimenez went to cover second on a steal attempt but had to go back towards first base to field the batted ball. It wasn’t particularly hard hit, so maybe Cano could have gotten it. But Gimenez made it an easy play.
Dellin Betances was warming in the bullpen to pitch the eighth inning but after the Cespedes homer, Wilson came on to pitch instead. Everyone held their breath when Diaz came on in the ninth. But outside of a 3-0 pitch that Freddie Freeman crushed foul, he got the job done without too much stress.
deGrom has now made 22 starts against the Braves in his career and has allowed just 30 ER in 142.1 IP for a 1.90 ERA. But he didn’t factor into the decision and has just a lifetime 7-7 mark despite his fantastic pitching against the division rival.