Nationals v Mets postponed due to COVID-19 contact tracing

By Sports Desk April 01, 2021

The Washington Nationals and New York Mets will not be facing each other on the opening day of the new MLB season after Thursday's game was called off due to COVID-19 issues.

Washington were set to host the Mets at Nationals Park, but members of the home team's organisation are currently involved in contact tracing.

On Wednesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo revealed they would be without five players and a staff member following a positive coronavirus test result.

In announcing the postponement, Major League Baseball said the decision had been taken "out of an abundance of caution" but ruled out the fixture taking place on Friday instead.

Earlier on Thursday, the Boston Red Sox announced their opener against the Baltimore Orioles needed to be pushed back for a different reason.

With rain set to fall throughout the day, Boston made the pre-emptive decision to switch the game to Friday.

The Red Sox have been granted permission to have up to 4,500 fans in attendance too, the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that spectators will be allowed at Fenway Park.

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    Scherzer, who had given up just one earned run while striking out four during the game, told the media in the aftermath he hoped to have avoided a "serious injury", saying he did not believe he had suffered a major strain.

    However, the two-time world series champions have now confirmed his injury could keep him out for several weeks. 

    An update provided by the team's official Twitter account on Thursday read: "Max's images showed a moderate to high grade internal oblique strain. A general timeline for an injury of this nature is six to eight weeks."

    Scherzer has performed well as the Mets' interim ace in the absence of Jacob deGrom, who is expected to be out until late-June with a stress reaction.

    With fellow pitcher Tylor Megill also placed on the 15-day injured list on Sunday after suffering from bicep inflammation, the injury to Scherzer is a significant blow to the Mets, who sit atop the National League East with a 25-14 record this season.

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    Speaking to post-game media, the three-time Cy Young winner said he is hopeful he avoided anything that will sideline him for an extended period of time.

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    "Just felt a zing on my left side and just knew I was done. When I felt it, I just knew there's no way you can throw another pitch, so just get out of there.

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