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Mets Morning News: The Mets won, but the baseball season is already crumbling

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Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

New York Mets v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

Hard to believe that a baseball game was played last night given the crumbling state of the baseball season in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak, but there was a game in Boston. The Mets teed off on the Red Sox in a 7-4 victory that brought their record back to .500. New York got a pair of two-run home runs from Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso and a three-run bomb from Dominic Smith. The bullpen made it dicey late, but they were able to hold on for the win.

Choose Your Recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, Daily News, ESPN, MLB.com, Newsday, NY Post

Alonso punished a baseball in last night’s game that left the bat at 116.3 mph.

Following the news that several Marlins players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19, Luis Rojas remains optimistic that they can continue to play.

Overall, the Mets aren’t too concerned.

Brandon Nimmo believes it will take all 30 teams doing this the right way to make it work.

Given the circumstances, New York’s bad weekend looks even worse in Joel Sherman’s opinion.

Prior to last night’s game, the team called up Tyler Bashlor to take Corey Oswalt’s place in their bullpen.

Eduardo Nunez suffered a hyperextended left knee on Sunday night and remains day-to-day. The team has not placed him on the injured list.

The Mets are still weighing their options for Tuesday night’s starter. The team could go with David Peterson, who is on the taxi squad, or with either Erasmo Ramirez or a bullpen game. One thing remains clear: Seth Lugo will remain a reliever for the foreseeable future.

Around the National League East

The Marlins were scheduled to play their home opener in Miami against the Orioles on Monday, but the game was cancelled after a coronavirus outbreak resulted in at least 11 positive cases over the past few days. The team remained in Philadelphia.

Their game with the Orioles on Tuesday has also been cancelled.

The healthy Marlins are expected to travel to Baltimore to play on Wednesday and Thursday.

The developing situation included seven more Marlins players and two coaches testing positive, in addition to the four players who originally tested positive a couple days ago.

Derek Jeter released a statement following news of the outbreak and the cancellation of Miami’s home opener.

It’s curious that MLB let the Marlins play at all on Sunday, given the positive tests. So why did they play? (Paywall Alert)

In retrospect, the Marlins probably shouldn’t have played yesterday. (Paywall Alert)

It appears a group text among Marlins players was the deciding factor in playing the game on Sunday.

It appears Marlins players were most likely infected in Atlanta last week.

Miami claimed RHP Justin Shafer from the Reds. The Marlins are currently looking for extra MLB-quality players to fill out their roster.

The Phillies were supposed to host the Yankees on Monday night, but the game was postponed. The Marlins played in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The Phillies are quarantining their entire visiting clubhouse staff after exposure to the Marlins this weekend.

Matt Gelb looked at Philadelphia’s evolving situation in light of Monday’s news. (Paywall Alert)

After the Marlins outbreak, the Phillies will be undergoing expedited, drive-thru COVID-19 testing.

Following all this, epidemiologist Dr. Zach Binney expressed his belief that the Phillies should shut their team down for at least five days following Sunday’s events.

Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez felt concerned following the outbreak, saying that it “went from an eight to about a twelve”.

The Nationals fell to 1-3 after dropping their series opener 4-1 to the Blue Jays.

The Braves, meanwhile, dropped to .500 after getting pounded 14-5 by the Rays.

After the game, the team designated starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz for assignment. Chad Sobotka will join the team tomorrow.

The Braves placed Yonder Alonso on the restricted list.

Around Major League Baseball

MLB released a statement following the cancellation of two games last night following the COVID-19 outbreak on the Marlins.

The situation with the Marlins could threaten to end the 2020 season.

Despite that, there are no plans to cancel or pause the 2020 season at this time, despite the pretty discouraging news of a widespread outbreak hitting one of its 30 teams.

Andy McCullough and Marc Carig explored how the Marlins news affected the rest of the league. (Paywall Alert)

Rob Manfred hasn’t put the Marlins’ outbreak in the “nightmare category”.

MLB’s 101-page Operations Manual did not explain what to do in case of an outbreak, so now the league must scramble.

These four infectious disease experts do not feel confident in MLB’s ability to weather the storm.

In fact, one epidemiologist called the league’s plan “absolutely insane...the literal stupidest plan.” (Paywall Alert)

Meanwhile, Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez confirmed he is dealing with a heart issue stemming from his COVID-19 infection.

David Price, who previously opted out of the 2020 season, shared his thoughts on MLB’s claim that the health of the players if paramount.

Rockies’ reliever Tim Collins has opted out of the MLB season.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria woke up on Monday with a slight cough and nasal congestion, and will stay away from the team until he receives his test results. Former Met Joe McEwing will manage the team in his place. It looks like Renteria’s test did not come back positive.

The league’s attempt at activism over opening weekend felt more performative than anything.

The Rangers will shut down Corey Kluber for at least four weeks with a Grade 2 strain of the teres major muscle in the back of his shoulder.

It’s still early in this season, but the pressure is already on three teams who have gotten off to slow starts.

Our friend Renee Dechert over at Purple Row changed her tune on carboard cutouts and would like to see the Rockies keep Coors Field cutout-free for the duration of the season.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Steve Sypa examined the career of former Mets prospect Brad Holt.

Steve Sypa provided an update on the CPBL team, the KBO team, and the NPB team that the From Complex to Queens team has been following this year.

Episode 72 of From Complex to Queens looked at some moves involving minor league players that were made before the start of the major league season.

I wrote about the team calling up Bashlor.

This Date in Mets History

The Mets swept the Pirates at Citi Field with an 8-7 victory on this date last year to complete a 5-1 homestand. The Mets dropped six on Pittsburgh starter Chris Archer in the first, highlighted by Conforto’s two-run homer, and survived a four-run ninth to hold on for the victory. Jason Vargas picked up the W in his final start in New York. It was the team’s fourth straight win en route to taking 15 out of 16.

The Mets kept the positive vibes going later that afternoon when they acquired Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays for Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson. It was a shocking trade for a team that, just a few days earlier, looked like sellers and was entertaining trades for Zack Wheeler. It was a clear vote of confidence for a club that would eventually find itself in the middle of a playoff race.