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Mets Morning News: deGrom loses pitchers' duel

Your Thursday morning dose of Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Despite solid pitching performances from Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero, the Mets lost their second game of the season to the Nationals by a score of 2-1. Read a recap of the game here.

Matt Harvey makes his first regular season start since undergoing Tommy John Surgery today. He will be opposed by Stephen Strasburg.

Amid reports that the lineup was dictated by Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins insisted that it was his doing. Collins referred to filling out the lineup as a manager's "hammer."

Ben Reiter looked at Sandy Alderson's strategy over the years of stockpiling pitching for Specifically, he discusses whether this is a good strategy when pitchers are succumbing to Tommy John Surgery so frequently.

Read a primer on Mets prospects for the upcoming season. Among others, 2014 draft pick Michael Conforto is highlighted.

Around the NL East

The Braves completed a season opening sweep of the Marlins on the strength of a homerun from A.J. Pierzynski. Read a recap from the Braves perspective here, and from a Marlins perspective here.

The Phillies beat the Red Sox 4-2. They were led by strong pitching from Aaron Harang and a Jeff Franceour homerun.

Around MLB

At Over the Monster, Matt Collins made the case against the Rick Porcello extension. Chief among his reasons are the inherent risk involved in large pitcher contracts, and the fact that Porcello has only had one really good season to date.

Albert Pujols hit the 521st homerun of his career. That puts him in a tie with all-time greats Ted Williams, Willie McCovey, and Frank Thomas.

Justin Verlander was placed on the disabled list with a triceps strain. The injury was backdated to March 29th.

The Hardball Times began a series attempting to identify cities that would be fit for an expansion team. In part one, Chris Mitchell examined what contributes to good attendance.

Yesterday at AA

Steve Sypa put together previews of all the full season minor league affiliates. Read about players to watch for the Savannah Sand GnatsPort St. Lucie MetsBinghamton Mets, and Las Vegas 51s.

This Date in Mets History

On this day in 2001 the Mets raised their National League championship banner at the home opener. They followed up on the ceremony with a 9-4 win over the Braves.