On a somber Opening Day at Citi Field, the New York Mets win one for their beloved former star, Rusty Staub, who passed away hours before the team took the field.
Despite allowing four earned runs in six innings, the right-handers’ longest outing since returning from last season’s torn lat muscle was an encouraging performance filled with 10 strikeouts and zero free passes.
Syndergaard’s supporting bullpen cast was nearly pitch perfect compliments of Robert Gsellman, new kid on the block, Anthony Swarzak and Jeurys Familia, with a combined three innings of four strikeouts and a lone walk.
Center fielder Brandon Nimmo, filling in for the injured Michael Conforto, brought his torrid spring training numbers to the leadoff spot going 2 for 3, scoring a pair of runs. Yoenis Cespedes led the RBI brigade with three, while catcher Kevin Plawecki reached base four times on a double, a late run-scoring single and a couple of walks.
Todd Frazier, also making his Mets debut, got the go-ahead party started in the fifth with a one out walk, scoring on Gonzalez’ double to deep right. Young shortstop Amed Rosario gave his new skipper something to smile about with a two-run single up the middle, and Jay Bruce, back from a short stint in Cleveland, capped the five-run rally with a single to right.
With one down and 161 to go, Thursday was a promising start and splendid way to honor the 23-year MLB career of the prolific and philanthropic player fondly known as, Le Grand Orange.