Nationals-Mets Opening Day game postponed due to COVID cases

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Matt Weyrich
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Nats-Mets Opening Day game postponed due to COVID originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Nationals’ Opening Day game against the New York Mets has been postponed one day after the club revealed that a player tested positive for the coronavirus, the team announced Thursday.

“Tonight’s game between the host Washington Nationals and the New York Mets at Nationals Park has been postponed because of ongoing contact tracing involving members of the Nationals organization,” the team said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, the game will not be made up on Friday. We will continue to provide updates as available.”

President of Baseball Operations and GM Mike Rizzo hosted a Zoom call Wednesday, during which he revealed that one player had tested positive and another five individuals (four players and a staff member) were quarantining as a result of contact tracing. Rizzo expressed confidence that the Opening Day game would go on as scheduled, but subsequent developments have evidently changed things.

“We’re gonna handle it and take it in stride and this the reason that you have 60 good players in your organization is to kind of prepare for these type of fail-safe scenarios,” Rizzo said. “So no matter how many people that we have to protect and put into COVID protocol, we’re gonna reach down and grab some really good players that help us beat a really good New York Mets team tomorrow.”

Washington didn’t have a single positive test all throughout spring training. A majority of the team departed for D.C. on a team charter flight Monday, the same day the final round of testing was conducted. Those results came back early Thursday morning, which revealed the single positive test.

However, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that there are “concerns” at least one other player has also tested positive. Starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who didn’t travel with the team on the charter fight, said Thursday that the team was concerned the original player who tested positive may have transmitted the virus to other individuals while on the plane.

The Nationals are scheduled to play the Mets again Saturday and Sunday before kicking off a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves on Monday.