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Mets Start Season By Beating Rival Nats Twice

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The Mets opened up their season with a win down in Washington that they followed up on Saturday with another win.

By: Karen Bell

The Mets have their pitchers to thank in particular for the victory, especially Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. DeGrom put in an unbelievable but wasted performance as a starting pitcher last year, but Thursday’s win puts the team and its star pitcher on the right path to having a productive and meaningful season. Taking the mound for Washington was Max Scherzer, also one of the best pitchers in the league, setting up a great pitching match for the very first game.

The two pitchers didn’t disappoint as they racked up a combined 22 strikeouts during the afternoon. Scherzer got off to a quick start by striking out the first two batters of the game, but then Robinson Cano, a big star who the Mets acquired in the offseason, sent one over the fence to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

Cano is best known in New York for breaking out into the league as a New York Yankee. He signed a massive contract with the Seattle Mariners a few years ago when his contract expired. Cano’s homerun echoed what was happening at around the same time over in the Bronx as Yankees slugger Luke Voit took one yard in the first inning of his game.

Cano’s homerun was especially important at the time because in a pitcher’s duel, one mistake could be all it takes to lose. The Mets went on to win 2-0. The team will have to find a way to put more runs on the board though down the road, driven home by the point that deGrom only won five other times when his offense only scored one or two runs, even with his very low earned run average.

The Mets won 11-8 in an exciting and uneven Saturday matinee. Their opponent was once again the Nationals, and two ace pitchers were once again taking the mound. Noah Syndergaard for the Mets and Stephen Strasburg for the Nationals. Both pitchers gave up four runs over a full six innings, leaving both pitchers with no decision in their first outings. They would have to hand off their batons to their bullpens. Strasburg struck out eight and Syndergaard struck out seven.

The Mets trailed by a run coming into the eighth inning, and then they put four runs up on the board, with J.D. Davis’s sole hit on the day knocking in the winning runs. Three more insurance runs proved vital in the top of the ninth as the Mets gave up four runs to the Nationals in the bottom of the ninth from sloppy pitching and a deep shot to the outfield. The Mets hung on for the win after Edwin Diaz came in to relieve the struggling Seth Lugo for the final out, giving Diaz the close. Justin Wilson got the win.

Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil had big games, with Alonso going 3 for 4 and knocking in two runs. He got two doubles and crossed the plate twice himself. McNeil had a double and a triple as part of a 4 for 5 performance at the plate. He was also responsible for batting in two runs. Cano went 0-5 with two strikeouts.

The Mets and Nationals play their final game of the series tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. near Washington. The expected pitchers are Zack Wheeler for the Mets and Patrick Corbin for the Nationals. Over in the Bronx, the Yankees failed to come back in the ninth inning against the Orioles and lost 5-3. They wrap up their series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.

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