MMO Opening Day Recap: Nationals 9, Mets 7

juan lagares Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets fell to the Washington Nationals in extra-innings by the score of 9-7 this afternoon at Citi Field in their season opener.

The excitement of Opening Day makes me feel like a giddy little kid every single year. The beginning of nice weather, and most importantly, the beginning of the baseball season never ceases to make me extremely happy.

The Mets roster was announced in typical Opening Day fashion, followed by a heartfelt tribute to the life of Ralph Kiner and the unveiling of the Ralph Kiner sign in left field. Eric Young, Jr. started in place of Daniel Murphy today, as Daniel’s wife had gone into labor. Andrew Brown, who made the Opening Day roster due to Jonathon Niese starting the season on the disabled list, got the start in left field, as Chris Young stayed out of the lineup with a quadriceps strain.

What you should know:

The Mets got off to an early start in the bottom of the 1st inning, as Juan Lagares and David Wright both singled, and were promptly driven in by a three-run bomb off the bat of none other than Andrew Brown.

The Nationals answered back in the top of the 2nd inning, with a two-run home run off the bat of Adam LaRoche.

The Mets tacked on another run in the bottom of the 2nd, with a sacrifice fly delivered by Eric Young, Jr.

After LaRoche’s home run, Dillon Gee locked in and retired fifteen batters in a row and struck out four, however, he ultimately ended up with a no decision.

Gee went out for the 7th, but surrendered two runs to tie the game. Carlos Torres and Scott Rice each came in to face one batter, and walked both of them to allow the tying run to score.

Jose Valverde stopped the bleeding to end the 7th by striking out Ryan Zimmerman. Valverde would pitch 1 and 1/3 innings, striking out three.

Stephen Strasburg got off to a shaky start for Washington, but buckled down, pitching six innings and striking out 10 Mets batters.

Juan Lagares hit a go-ahead solo home run off of Tyler Clippard in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Bobby Parnell came in to shut the door in the top of the 9th, but surrendered an RBI double to Denard Span with two outs to tie the game.

The Nationals proceeded to break the game open in the top of the 10th with a passed ball, that led to a sacrifice fly by Ian Desmond off of Jeurys Familia and a three-run home run off the bat of Anthony Rendon, surrendered by John Lannan.

The first challenge in Mets history was used in the top of the 10th inning with two outs. After a close call at first, Nationals manager Matt Williams challenged that Lucas Duda did not tag baserunner Danny Espinosa, however the play was not reversed.

Jerry Blevins came on for Washington in the bottom of the 10th, and surrendered a two-run home run to David Wright, but then struck out Curtis Granderson to end the game.

Additional Notes:

Curtis Granderson went 0-5 in his Mets debut, striking out three times.

David Wright went 3-5 with a two-run home run.

Jose Valverde was impressive in his Mets debut, however, the rest of the bullpen was atrocious.

Juan Lagares was also impressive, not just defensively, but offensively as well.

The Mets have now gone to extra innings seven times in Opening Day history.

The Mets struck out 18 times including four whiffs by Eric Young.

Their record on Opening Day now stands at 32-21.

Player of the Game:

Opening Day’s player of the game goes to Mets center fielder Juan Lagares, who went 2-4 with a walk, three runs scored and a home run.

Final score:

Nationals 9, Mets 7

Wining pitcher: Aaron Barrett (1-0)

Losing pitcher: Jeurys Familia (0-1)

On Deck:

The Mets look to even the series against Washington on Wednesday night, with Bartolo Colon making his Mets debut squaring off against Gio Gonzalez.

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About Rob Piersall 868 Articles
Rob Piersall is a fourth-year student at SUNY New Paltz, studying journalism with a minor in communications. He is also the managing editor for his school's newspaper, The Oracle. A Mets fan since the age of six in 2001, Rob is senior editor here at MMO. His favorite thing is reporting breaking Mets news and transactions as well as writing columns. He is also ready to see what Mickey Callaway brings to the table in 2018. LGM! Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobPiersall.