WASHINGTON — It was Opening Day, and then it wasn’t.
The Mets’ first game of the season, a Thursday night matchup against the Nationals, was postponed because of the the hosts’ COVID-19 problems and “ongoing contact tracing involving members of the Nationals organization,” MLB announced.
The teams won’t play until Saturday at the earliest — and even that isn’t a given.
The Nats had one player test positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, general manager Mike Rizzo announced, and several others had to quarantine after being deemed close contacts.
The coronavirus issues are limited to the Nationals, sources said. The Mets do not have any positive tests.
The fate of the rest of the weekend series is unclear, but the initial postponement came with the possibility that more would follow. A person familiar with the league’s thinking said MLB would “play the long game and be smart about it.” For intra-division series between teams in close geographical proximity, making up games is relatively easy.
The Mets return to Washington for series May 18-20 and Sept. 3-6.
The teams will not play Friday, which will remain a previously scheduled off day — put there by schedule-makers to allow for an Opening Day makeup, usually in the event of bad weather.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the game will not be made up on Friday,” MLB said in its release.