Conforto With Another RBI in Mets Loss to Nats

By TimothyShannon
Feb. 26, 2017

The New York Mets dropped their spring home opener to their NL East rivals the Washington Nationals 8-6. For the first four innings, both teams showed why they are the favorites to win the division. After that, things got sloppy for both teams when the backups came in.

Lefty Sean Gilmartin started for the Mets and had two strong innings. His only blemish came in the 2nd when Nats All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper crushed a home run. Gilmartin did strike out a batter.

After Logan Taylor pitched two solid shut out innings, Jerry Blevins came on in the 5th. Blevins gave up a 2-run home run to Neftali Soto. Things really got ugly in the next inning when Kevin McGowan gave up four runs in the 6th. The Mets trailed at this point 7-0.

Then, the MVP of spring so far for the Mets came up. With Gavin Cecchini on second, Michael Conforto lined a single to right that got the Mets on the board. With the news that Lucas Duda having back and hip issues which will be discussed later, Conforto now has a shot to make the team if the Mets decide to put Jay Bruce at first and put Conforto in the outfield. 

The Mets would then draw closer in the 8th with three runs. Despite giving up a run in the top of the 9th, the Mets battled back to cut the lead to 8-6 in 9th. At one point, the Mets had the tying runners on base and the winning run at the plate. However, the Mets failed to get those runs home and just came up short of a great come back. 

As for Lucas Duda, he was given a cortisone shot for his hip. It appears that Duda is still dealing with the same back and hip issues that plagued him for all of last season. Throughout his career, Duda has been very inconsistent and has dealt with his fair share of injuries. He was lost for most of 2016 with the same back issue he is currently experiencing. As said above, this could open a big opportunity for Conforto or get more playing time for Wilmer Flores. The extent of the injury is not known, but it's good to see Conforto hit now if the Mets do not have Duda to start the season.

The Mets will also get an X-ray done for catcher Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki left the game Saturday after a home plate collision with a left knee contusion. On the bright side, David Wright said he felt great swinging the bat yesterday. Although Wright has not taken the field, he didn't experience any set backs which is always a step in the right direction.

Tomorrow, the Mets will host the Detroit Tigers at First Data Field (formerly Tradition Field). Righty Chris Flexen is expected to start for the Mets against lefty Matt Boyd. Fernando Salas is also expected to pitch in this one for the Mets. The game time start is at 1:10pm on WPIX channel 11.