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Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nationals 5, Mets 1

By Danny Knobler | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- It's not just the bullpen.

Oh, the Mets bullpen is a mess after closer Bobby Parnell was injured on Opening Day. But the first two games of the season have provided the Mets with more reasons for disappointment than that.

And more reasons for their fans to boo.

The Mets are off to an 0-2 start for the first time in seven years, and Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to the Nationals came packaged with another injury. New left fielder Chris Young, who missed Monday's game with a strained right quadriceps, was done after the first inning Wednesday with what the Mets described as tightness in the quad.

So Young's first Mets at-bat will have to wait.

But he still has as many hits as Curtis Granderson.

Granderson, the Mets' big offensive addition over the winter, is already hearing boos from the fans at Citi Field. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Wednesday, leaving him 0-for-9 with five strikeouts so far as a Met.

The other big Met addition, right-hander Bartolo Colon, wasn't as bad in his debut Wednesday. Colon gave up three runs in six innings but allowed the Nationals to take the lead with a pair of fifth-inning home runs, the second of which came off pitcher Gio Gonzalez's bat.

Trouble against Gio: Juan Lagares' leadoff triple and David Wright's sacrifice fly allowed the Mets to snap Gonzalez's string of 16 consecutive scoreless innings at Citi Field. But the Mets managed just two more hits and no more runs against Gonzalez, now 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA in seven Citi Field starts.

Bullpen update: The Mets trailed this game before the bullpen ever got involved, so manager Terry Collins didn't get a chance to see how his late-inning relief would look without Parnell. But Collins did get new Met Kyle Farnsworth into the game in the ninth inning.

Cheers for Colon: An American Leaguer for nearly his entire career, Colon had only 96 at-bats in 16 seasons (and almost half of those were with the Expos 12 years ago). But his first Mets at-bat got a rise out of the small, chilled crowd at Citi Field. Colon shattered his bat on the swing, and the crowd cheered as he still ran to first base.

Staying away: The Mets' announced that attendance for the second game of the season was 29,146, but the actual crowd at Citi Field was nowhere close to that.

What's next: The Mets and Nationals finish up their season-opening series with a 1:10 p.m. game Thursday at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler (7-5, 3.42 in 2013), who had hoped to be the Opening Day starter, will instead start the season's third game against Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (19-9, 3.25 in 2013). Daniel Murphy, who missed the first two games while on paternity leave, is expected to be back in the Mets lineup.