For all their ups, downs and visits to rock bottom over the last 50 years, the New York Mets have managed to do one thing better than every other team in the four major sports.
On opening day, they just win, baby.
With Thursday’s 2-0 season-opening victory against the Washington Nationals, the Mets have now started with a 1-0 record 38 times in the last 50 seasons.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, that’s not just the best opening day record in Major League Baseball during that time frame, it’s the best record across the NFL, NBA and NHL as well.
The Mets have clearly found their niche.
Unfortunately, there can only be one true opening day every season. After the thrill of that initial victory wears off, the Mets have tended to falter. They’ve only turned 17 of those previous 1-0 starts into a winning record. And that doesn’t even include their World Series championship season in 1986.
Perhaps Mets fans have reason to hope this season will go better. After all, the team has already done one thing it couldn’t do to save its life last season. That’s support Jacob deGrom.
After a historic Cy Young season filled with disappointing no-decisions thanks to non-existent run support and multiple bullpen meltdowns, New York’s ace is also 1-0 after out-dueling Max Scherzer with six scoreless innings. The Mets only scored twice, including a Robinson Cano home run, but their rebuilt bullpen finished the job with three drama-free innings.
That finally allowed deGrom to soak in some of his brilliance.
It also put a spotlight on new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
At a time when many believed the Mets should rebuild, Van Wagenen went the complete opposite direction, aggressively adding players he believed could help them win in 2019. Players like Cano and closer Edwin Diaz, who were big contributors in this victory.
Obviously, the Mets know better than anyone how little one win means in the big picture, but when the one win follows the blueprint that was laid out over the previous five months, it has to feel awfully good.
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