NEW YORK — After months of anticipation, baseball picked up at Citi Field exactly the way it left off: Yoenis Cespedes, in his first game since 2018, launched a mammoth, go-ahead home run and Jacob deGrom, who pitched flawlessly, didn’t get the win or any run support.
Cespedes knew the moment he heard the crack of the bat that his solo, seventh-inning home run to left field was leaving the park. On the second pitch from Chris Martin, a fastball around his waistline, Cespedes swung quick and hard to break the tie and eventually give the Mets a thrilling 1-0 opening-day win over the Braves.
If this was opening day in March, Cespedes would not have been ready to start the season. The slugger was still rehabbing his ankle after an accident involving a wild boar on his ranch in 2019. But Cespedes was never worried. He said facing live pitching again — in his first big league game since July 20, 2018 — would be just like riding a bike. He showed everyone how easy it was. The only thing that made his home-run trot less powerful was the roaring crowd noise that usually accompanies it.
Some storylines don’t die, and that was true for at least one theme: the Mets lineup, however strong, did not provide deGrom any run support and still, the Mets ace carried over his record from last season for a career-best 28 consecutive scoreless innings.
Then again, the Mets are glad one narrative has already changed for the better this year: Edwin Diaz earned the save Friday while working with a tight, one-run lead. He got Matt Adams, who was a Met last week, to swing and miss on a nasty slider that just crossed over the plate for the final out of the game.
©2020 New York Daily News
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.