Instead the Mets traveled to Philadelphia, starting their season against the rival Phillies, who opened the year with a sweep of the Braves.
The Mets ace blew through the Phillies lineup, with his average fastball speed at nearly 100 mph.
At the plate, the Mets struggled early against Matt Moore, who retired the first seven he faced in his MLB return before walking Brandon Nimmo. It was deGrom who picked up the first Mets hit, the first time in franchise history a pitcher has recorded the first hit of the year.
He would help his cause again in the fourth, this time with the bases loaded, blooping the ball into shallow left field for his second hit and a RBI, the second run of the inning.
The two-time Cy Young finished his night after six innings with seven Ks and and just three hits.
In relief, the bullpen again coughed up deGrom’s lead, the 31st time it’s happened. New additions to the bullpen did not fare well in the eighth, as Trevor May retired the first of four batters, exiting with the bases loaded.
Up to the plate stepped Bryce Harper, and Aaron Loup promptly drilled the Phillies star in the ribs to drive in a run.
JT Realmuto singled in the tying run, ending deGrom’s bid for an Opening Day win. An error by defensive substitution Luis Guillorme allowed two more runs to cross, and a Jean Segura sacrifice fly capped a five-run frame.
Down to their last strike, singles by Pillar, Lindor, and Conforto set the stage for Pete Alonso, who sent the first pitch deep into left field.
The wind killed fly balls all night, and it made no exception for Alonso. The ball stopped just short of the wall, with Bryce Harper ending the game on the warning track.
After a disappointing first game of the year, there is plenty to prove for the Mets as they look to start on the right foot in 2021.