Also many of the jobs of the management folks were in jeopardy. The Mets had to prove themselves, it was now or never & if it wasn't now who knows what would come of the near future.
Manager Terry Collins chose to give Bartolo Colon the ball for Opening Day in Washington D.C. against the NL Eastern Division favorites, the Washington Nationals.
The criticisms started as soon as Collins named his starter, but he felt Colon deserved the ball after being one of just 11 N.L. pitchers to win 15 games or more. It was agreed Matt Harvey coming off Tommy John surgery was to be handled with kit gloves as to limit his pitch count. Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom would start the second game & get the ball for the home Opener the following week.
A sellout crowd of excited Nats fans all dressed in red came out to Nationals Park to see Bartolo Colon take on the Nats new star pitcher; Maz Scherzer, fresh off two straight seasons of leading the A.L. in wins & with a new big contract. The Mets gave everyone a peek of what was to come in the 2015 season.
|New York Mets||Washington Nationals|
|1||Curtis Granderson||RF||1||Michael Taylor||CF|
|2||David Wright||3B||2||Yunel Escobar||3B|
|3||Lucas Duda||1B||3||Bryce Harper||RF|
|4||Michael Cuddyer||LF||4||Ryan Zimmerman||1B|
|5||Daniel Murphy||2B||5||Wilson Ramos||C|
|6||Juan Lagares||CF||6||Ian Desmond||SS|
|7||Travis d'Arnaud||C||7||Dan Uggla||2B|
|8||Wilmer Flores||SS||8||Tyler Moore||LF|
|9||Bartolo Colon||P||9||Max Scherzer|
Both pitchers started out fine, holding the other team down scoreless for the first three innings. In the home 4th, the Nats slugger Bryce Harper hit the first of what was to be a 42 HR season for him, giving the Nats the 1-0 lead.
It was they were to get on the day, as Colon would pitch six innings allowing just the run on three hits, while striking out eight.
Carlos Torres & Jeurys Familia (not yet the teams dominant closer) both put in scoreless innings. In the 9th it was Jerry Blevins coming in to retire Harper & then Buddy Carlyle got the final two outs to earn the save.
As for the Mets scoring, in the 6th with two outs Curtis Granderson drew a walk & David Wright reached on an infield error by Ian Desmond ,of a botched pop fly beyond second base. Lucas Duda responded with a single to right field bringing in both runners. It was now 2-1 Mets.
In the 7th Juan Lagares reached on another Desmond error, this one on a throw to first trying to hurry to catch the quick Lagares. Travis d'Arnaud then tripled to straight away center making it 3-1 Mets, which was to be the final score.
It was just a taste of how the Mets would torture the Nationals during the year, winning the NL Eastern Division. The Mets responded to the pressure put on them as they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS & The Chicago Cubs in the NLCS getting to the World Series to earn the title, National League Champions.