A solid outing by Jacob deGrom and two RBIs by newly acquired veteran Robinson Canó propelled the Mets to a 2-0 Opening Day win over the Washington Nationals.
The Mets, surprisingly, have the best record on Opening Day out of any major sport over the last 50 seasons with 38 wins and 12 losses.
Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer looked hot early, after quickly striking out Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso. But in Canó’s first at-bat as a New York Met, Scherzer threw the ball right over the plate and Canó went yard to give the Mets, and more importantly, deGrom, a 1-0 nothing lead
With the home run, Canó became just the 10th Met to accomplish such a feat, and the first since Mike Jacobs did it in 2005.
Coming off his Cy Young year and after signing a fresh five-year, $137.5 million contract, deGrom admittedly looked a bit shaky. He missed some spots and was hoping to get guys to chase the ball. deGrom did, however, strike out the side in the second inning.
deGrom still had last year’s form, able to get out of jams.
In the third inning, deGrom gave up a double to Victor Robles, who landed on third after a single by Adam Eaton. After Trea Turner struck out swinging, Anthony Rendon grounded into a double play to Jeff McNeil. McNeil held Robles, threw to Cano to tag Eaton, then caught Robles in a rundown.
Turner, as always, was a monster on the bases, stealing three.
deGrom was done after six innings. He threw 93 pitches, 59 strikes, 10 strikeouts, one walk and five hits. deGrom has now had 30 consecutive games allowing three runs or less, an MLB record. He also had his 25th consecutive quality start, the third-longest multi-season streak in history.
Seth Lugo came on in relief and struck out the side in the seventh, giving way to Jeurys Familia who pitched the eighth.
In the top of that inning, Canó gave the Mets some insurance after singling of Justin Miller to bring in Dominic Smith, who pinch-hit for Lugo.
Alonso also recorded his first major league hit in the eighth, a bloop single to center.
Newly acquired closer Edwin Diaz recorded his 57th consecutive save after getting the Nationals in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Both teams finished with five hits, while Scherzer went on to throw 109 pitches in 7.2 innings with 76 strikes, 12 strikeouts, three walks and two hits.
An elite pitching battle between the winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards, both deGrom and Scherzer recorded more than 10 strikeouts, marking just the second time in MLB history that both starters in an Opening Day game reached double digits since Dave McNally of the Orioles and Sam McDowell of the Indians did it in 1970.
Noah Syndergaard will take the mound against Stephen Strasburg in Saturday afternoon battle.
Photo via @Mets Twitter