NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thursday was the day New York Mets fans had been waiting for.
The Amazins were back in town for their home opener.
But the first game of 2019 at Citi Field turned out to be a bust. Noah Syndergaard pitched well, but the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg was better as Washington won 4-0.
The Mets entered the game with five wins in their first six, including a 6-4 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
They managed just four hits on Thursday.
“Their Kryptonite is Washington and Philadelphia. We were focused on a good home opener today, a good win, but, unfortunately, Syndergaard didn’t come through,” one fan told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“They ran into a good picture because it was a buzzsaw out there today, and that’s what happens,” another fan said.
Nevertheless, loyal Amazins fans said like the sun shining over Flushing on Thursday afternoon, the team’s future looks bright.
“I think they’re going to have a much better season than they did last year. They look a lot stronger as the offense is stronger and the pitching is going to come together,” a fan said.
“Now we got a bullpen, ya know?” added Al Cappello of White Plains. “Robinson Cano came over to the real New York team, the Mets.”
As expected, the place was packed. The fans’ elaborate tailgate setups were as extreme as their support for the team.
The grills were out and everything your stomach could desire was cooking, including traditional burgers, foot-long hot dogs, skirt steaks and Buffalo chicken.
“This is the day I look forward to more than Christmas. I told my boss I would lose my job today if I couldn’t come today,” Riverdale, New Jersey’s Norman Rockwell said.
“It’s the most important day of the year. It’s like a religious holiday of sorts,” added Dan Rutherford of Hoboken.
The Mets started last season 11-1 before things went off the rails on their way to a 77-85 record. But this time around, things feels a bit different. New general manager Brodie Van Wagenen added several veterans to the roster, including second baseman Cano, catcher Wilson Ramos and closer Edwin Diaz, and young outfielder Pete Alonso and utilityman Jeff McNeil are off to fast starts.
Though Thursday didn’t work out, the Mets are still 5-2 and appear to be trending upward. And when you’re as faithful as some of the fans, all you can do is pray that the season continues to get better.
“You can’t panic. They’ll be fine,” a fan said.