Mets vs. Nationals Opening Day game postponed due to COVID-19 issues

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Thursday night’s Opening Day matchup between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals has been postponed, MLB announced. The Nationals were set to begin the season without multiple players because of a positive COVID-19 test and contact tracing, and MLB says there is “ongoing contact tracing involving members of the Nationals organization.”

MLB has not announced a makeup date other than to say the game will not be made up on Friday’s off-day. Last season MLB postponed multiple games while sorting through COVID-19 issues and it’s possible the Mets and Nationals will not play their season-opening series this weekend. Thursday’s game was to feature Opening Day’s top pitching matchup: Jacob deGrom vs. Max Scherzer.

Because it is so early in the season, and because the Mets and Nationals are division rivals with five head-to-head series remaining after this weekend, it will be fairly easy to schedule any makeup games. MLB will once again play seven-inning games during doubleheaders this year.

Per league protocols, the identity of the Nationals player who tested positive and those quarantined have not been announced, though the club did recall catcher Tres Barrera on Wednesday. That suggests either starting catcher Yan Gomes or backup Alex Avila are among those in the COVID-19 protocols.

Last year the Cardinals and Marlins were involved in MLB’s two most significant COVID-19 outbreaks. Both teams were shut down approximately two weeks with double-digit players and staff members testing positive in the early weeks of the abbreviated 2020 season. The final few weeks of the regular season and postseason went smoothly, then Justin Turner tested positive during World Series Game 6.

The Red Sox and Orioles were postponed due to inclement weather Thursday. The remaining 13 Opening Day games are currently scheduled to be played with no issues.

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