When Noah Syndergaard had to leave his Opening Day start because he got a blister on his middle finger, I couldn’t help but think of Dire Straits. (Yes, I know that the line in “Money for Nothing” is “maybe get a blister on your little finger,” but I’m still looking for Creedence’s “bathroom on the right.”) Fortunately, Thor still pitched six scoreless innings, the Mets had a great Opening Day, beating the Braves, 6-0, and he will only have his next start pushed back a day. And then the rest of the injury news hit.
You know it’s not a good sign when I have to double check to see if it’s Seth Lugo with the slight UCL tear and Steven Matz with a strained flexor tendon, or the other way around. Perhaps it doesn’t really matter, because the Mets’ medical reports on both are some variation of “everything’s going to be fine.” At least the Mets have stopped pretending that David Wright will be back in the starting lineup soon.
The great thing about having seven starters is that you can afford to lose a couple. But not after one game! And not when the remaining five include Zack Wheeler, who, even if truly healthy, will be on a pitch limit, and perhaps the biggest question mark of all, Matt Harvey.
It was great to see new Brave Bartolo Colon get a big hand during yesterday’s introductions, and also to see R.A. Dickey greeted warmly. But it was also a reminder that Colon led the Mets in both innings pitched and wins last year. Now the pitchers in their 20s are ailing, and Colon, who turns 44 in May, marches on.
At least the Mets’ bullpen is healthy and looks to be well-stocked even during Jeurys Familia’s suspension. The Braves’ bullpen, on the other hand wasted six shutout innings by Julio Teheran by immediately giving up six runs in the seventh. It wasn’t too long ago, that the Mets were picking up guys like Eric O’Flaherty, one of yesterday’s chief Braves bullpen arsonists. Too bad Syndergaard did not get a win, but at least he can rely on his bullpen.
On the hitting side, Lucas Duda returned with a three-run double, and Jay Bruce showed an improved eye with three walks. With Bruce hitting sixth and Duda seventh, the Mets had a deep lineup, even with Michael Conforto on the bench. As with the pitching, the Mets have real hitting depth (even if too much of it is lefthanded corner outfielders).
Overall, Opening Day was a great start to the Mets’ season. But let’s try to go at least a few days without more bad injury news.