Schwei’s Mets Notes: Braves, Brandon Phillips Continue To Thrive At Citi Field

By John Schweibacher
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The New York Mets began the season the way they have on most of their Opening Days: with a win. But they could not follow it up as they fell to Atlanta in extra innings two nights later.

The Braves beat Mets 3-1 in 12 innings Wednesday night. The loss dropped the Mets’ record against the Braves at Citi Field to 3-10 dating back to September 2015.

Matt Kemp’s two-run double off Rafael Montero in the 12th gave the Braves the 3-1 lead. The Elias Sports Bureau noted that Kemp’s .575 slugging percentage in extra frames is the fourth-highest among active players (minimum 100 at-bats), behind Albert Pujols (.690), Hunter Pence (.627) and Victor Martinez (.600).

Brandon Phillips singled in the 11th inning for Atlanta, giving him a hit in all 35 road games he has played against the Mets at Shea Stadium and Citi Field, the longest road hitting string in the majors by anyone versus the same opponent since Cardinals outfielder Ducky Medwick’s 46-gamer at Brooklyn from 1933 to 1937.

Brandon Phillips

The Braves’ Brandon Phillips in action against the Mets during Opening Day at Citi Field on April 3, 2017. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Bartolo Colon made his Braves debut Wednesday, allowing two hits over six innings, striking out six and walking one against his former club. The previous time the Mets had faced Colon was on July 2, 2011, when he went six innings, allowing no runs on five hits with six strikeouts in a 5-2 win for the Yankees at Citi Field.

Before this week, the last time the Mets had opened the season with a win and then lost the second game of the year in extra innings was in 2010, when they defeated the Marlins 7-1 on Opening Day at Citi Field and lost two nights later, 7-6 in 10 innings.

The Mets also began the 2008, 2006 and 1975 seasons with Opening Day victories followed by extra-inning defeats.

On Monday afternoon, the Mets beat the Braves, 6-0. New York has now won 21 of its past 24 season openers at home.

It was the eighth time the Mets shut out their opponent on Opening Day:
• 4/3/17: Braves 0 at Mets 6
• 4/5/12: Braves 0 at Mets 1
• 3/31/98: Phillies 0 at Mets 1 (14)
• 4/5/93: Rockies 0 at Mets 3
• 4/5/83: Phillies 0 at Mets 2
• 4/9/81: Mets 2 at Cubs 0
• 4/6/73: Phillies 0 at Mets 3
• 4/15/72: Pirates 0 at Mets 4

Jose Reyes was the Mets’ Opening Day third baseman. It was the first time since Ty Wigginton in 2004 that someone other than David Wright started the season opener at third for the Mets.

Mets vs. Braves on Opening Day

Jose Reyes of the New York Mets celebrates after he scored on a sacrifice fly from teammate Curtis Granderson in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves during Opening Day on April 3, 2017. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Reyes’ previous Opening Day with the Mets was in 2011. The only two players in Mets history to go more seasons between Opening Day starts were Jeromy Burnitz, who went eight years from 1994 to 2002, and Rusty Staub, seven years from 1974 to 1981.

MORE: Kallet: It Was Just 1 Game, Sure, But Mets Do Look The Part

Noah Syndergaard threw six shutout innings in the season opener, but did not get a decision. The only other pitchers in Mets history to throw at least six innings without allowing a run in a no-decision in an Opening Day start were Bobby Jones, who threw six shutout innings against the Phillies in 1998, and Tom Seaver, who also went six scoreless versus Philadelphia in 1983.

Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-5 on Opening Day, becoming the fifth shortstop to have at least three hits for the Mets in a season-opening game.
• 4/4/17: Asdrubal Cabrera (3) vs. Atlanta
• 4/4/05: Jose Reyes (3) at Cincinnati
• 4/6/04: Kaz Matsui (3) at Atlanta
• 4/3/89: Kevin Elster (3) vs. St. Louis
• 4/6/74: Bud Harrelson (3) at Philadelphia

The Mets began the season without a single newcomer on the 25-man Opening Day roster, the last time that happened was in 1974.

PHOTOS: Mets Opening Day

As a result, the starting lineup Monday did not include any player making his club debut. The last time that happened was in 2009 at Cincinnati. No one made their debut with the club off the bench or out of the bullpen, either, something that had not occurred since 1988, when the Mets opened the season in Montreal.

Happy Recap: Jay Bruce. The Mets right fielder went 3-for-6 with a double, home run and two RBIs in the first two games. Bruce hit just three homers and drove in six runs in 23 games at Citi Field last season.

Nine Miles of Rough Road: Elbow Woes. Mets begin the season without Seth Lugo due to a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and Steven Matz because of a tender left elbow.

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