MLB Opening Day 2019: Mets win opener as key offseason decisions pay off immediately

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The New York Mets were one of the winter's most active teams, overhauling their organization from the front office on down. Newly installed general manager Brodie Van Wagenen added sufficient star power to his roster, including netting the likes of Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners. Van Wagenen then capped the offseason by signing Jacob deGrom to a long-term extension -- thereby ending any and all talk about a potential trade involving the ace. The result was a new franchise-high payroll and renewed playoff hopes.

Whether or not Van Wagenen's frenzy results in a postseason appearance is anyone's guess. For at least one game, Thursday's Opening Day tilt against the Washington Nationals, a 2-0 win (box score), the decision to add Cano and Diaz and hold onto deGrom paid off.

Cano was afforded the chance to impact the season before the others. He made the most of the opportunity by launching a home run in his first at-bat off of Max Scherzer. Just like that, New York had an early 1-0 lead. Cano would pitch in another hit later on, notching a single in the eighth inning to plate his and the Mets' second run of the day.

Cano's two runs batted in proved to be all the Mets' pitchers needed on this particular afternoon.

deGrom set a new record by tossing his 30th consecutive start in which he permitted three runs or fewer. Although he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh after 93 pitches, he struck out 12 and walked one. deGrom allowed five hits, but only one (a Victor Robles double) went for extra bases. He was able to escape a potentially tricky situation by striking out Juan Soto late:

A pair of scoreless innings by Seth Lugo and Jeurys Familia (himself a Van Wagenen signing) later, the Mets were able to insert Diaz, their shiny new closer who last season led the majors in saves. Naturally, Diaz notched his first in 2019 with a clean inning that involved two lineouts and a game-ending strikeout of Matt Adams.

It's pretty when it works out like that, huh? The Mets probably think so, too -- they just hope they'll get to experience these kinds of feelings far more often this year than they have in the seasons since winning the pennant in 2015.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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