WASHINGTON (AP) — Mark Canha and Starling Marte — two products of the Mets’ quarter-billion dollar off-season spending spree — scored for five shutout innings from Tyler Magill, as the opening day starter for Jacob deGrom, and the new York won manager Buck Showalter’s debut 5-1 against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
The Mets became the first team in four consecutive seasons to be dismissed without a score on their opening day. Magill (1-0), a 6-foot-7 right-hander who reached the Majors last June, allowed three hits and no walks while hitting six.
He entered the day with the least amount of time in any Mets Opening Day majors starting pitcher, but drew the assignment because two-time Cy Young Award winner DeGrom is injured.
National starter Patrick Corbin (0-1), on the mound for Game 1 as 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasberg returns from surgery, conceded two runs in four-plus innings.
The game was originally scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m., but rain in the forecast prompted the teams to agree on Wednesday that they would extend it until 7:05 p.m. in the hope that the wet weather would clear up. It took longer than that on a 50-degree day: the first pitch was thrown at 8:21 pm
The Mets made it 2–0 in the fifth, then 4–0 in the sixth with successive RBI singles by Cainha and Jeff McNeil from reliever Austin Voth. This led to some “Let’s go mates!” Chanting from the announced crowd at 35,052.
Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz each played a hitless innings in relief.
Juan Soto produced Washington’s run with his 99th career homer, a second deck shot from Trevor May in the sixth.
Soto is one of the lone survivors of Washington’s title team three years ago. General Manager Mike Rizzo tore the roster last July at the trade deadline in the middle of a second straight final of an NL East finish.
Division rival New York is going in the opposite direction, aggressively adding talent. Free agents included Cainha ($26.5 million, two years), Marte ($78 million, four years) and Max Scherzer ($130 million, three years).
Showalter is with his fifth major league team as a captain, which includes the Yankees from 1992–95 and, most recently, the Orioles from 2010–18.
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Mets 1b Pete Alonso collided with reliever Mason Thompson’s pitch in the ninth and left the game. Prior to this, catcher James McCann had been struck twice – once by Corbin with loaded bases and once by Andres Machado. … Alonso was out at home trying to score from first base on Eduardo Escobar’s double in the fourth. Alonso immediately put his hands to his ears to indicate that he wanted an answer challenge. Showalter requested one but lost, a decision announced to the crowd by an umpire as part of a new policy this season. … DH Nelson Cruz scored 0 for 4 in his national debut.
The Mets picked up RHP Adonis Medina from the Pirates for cash and substituted him for Triple-A Syracuse. RHP Yenisei Diaz was named to the task.
Mets: DeGrom went on a 10-day IL with a stress reaction on his right shoulder blade. He is likely to be out until at least June. … OFF Brandon Nimmo (necklace) sat out.
Nationals: Strasbourg was placed on a 10-day IL as he continues his return from thoracic outlet surgery. … RHP Will Harris, who had surgery to clear scar tissue in his right pectoral muscle last week, went on a 60-day IL. … INF Ehire Adrienza (left calf tense) moved on to 10-day IL.
Scherzer, a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, will make his first Mets appearance on Friday — and it will be his return to National Park after pitching for Washington for a 6 1/2 season. He’s dealing with a right hamstring problem, but he declared himself “good to go.” Washington started Josiah Gray, who acquired Scherzer last July in a trade sent to the Dodgers.
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