Flushing, NY: This was not the plan for the Mets on their Opening Day of the National League season at Citi Field Thursday afternoon. Noah Syndergaard was respectable on the mound for the Mets before 44,244 fans the second largest regular season home crowd in the 10-year history at Citi Field.
But the Mets, like last year, are a better team away from their home surroundings. After a 5-1 start on the road, their bats went silent as the Washington Nationals ruined their home opener with a 4–0 win.
And it was Victor Robles again that got to Syndergaard. The Nationals 21-year old outfielder from Santo Domingo led off the sixth inning with a home run. That gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead. More so, it was the second home run for Robles and both have been hit off Syndergaard.
“We played as clean as a game as you can,” said Nationals manager Dave Martinez. He had no explanation about Robles and his early season domination against one of the big two in the Mets’ pitching rotation. However, on this Opening Day for the Mets, it was Robles who got to Syndergaard again.
The Nationals are depending on Robles to be a major part of their lineup. Last year, as a limited rookie, Robles at the plate hit .282, with 5 home runs and drove in 17 runs in 103 at bats.
And when it comes to facing Syndergaard, can you can say he owns the right-thander? The home run to deep left was the lone run that Syndergaard (0-1) allowed in 6.0 innings in his second outing of the young season.
“I just get a good pitch to hit,” said Robles through a team interpreter. “We have a good team here. I want to do what I can to help this team win. He’s a good pitcher and I like hitting here at Citi Field.”
Robles added, “This team has all the tools to put together some good wins and today was showing exactly how that can be. It definitely felt good to get this one under our belt.”
A struggling Nationals bullpen, with an early season ERA over 11.00, would do the rest and shut the Mets out for the first time this season and preserved a win for Stephen Strasburg who earned his first win in two starts.
But it’s Robles and the home run ball. Except, the youngster won’t face Syndergaard again, that is until the Mets and Nationals meet for a third time next month.
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