The entire opening series between the Mets and Nationals has been postponed as the Nationals organization continues to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing, per a league announcement Friday:
The first game of the series, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed after the Nationals revealed that one player had tested positive for COVID-19 and several others, as well as a staff member, were in quarantine as close contacts. Now the number of positive tests has reached at least three, and as of Thursday afternoon, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo expected a fourth test to come back positive. That wipes out a solid chunk of the Nationals’ Opening Day roster and certainly makes it possible that more players and coaches could have been exposed.
The Nationals have three players who have tested positive and expect there to be a fourth once their Thursday test results come in this afternoon (sounds like it will be on the later side). From there, the hope is that no one else tests positive off Thursday's PCR tests.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) April 2, 2021
With this news, the Nationals are off until at least Monday, when they’re scheduled to host the Braves. Considering the length of most COVID shutdowns last season, which generally ranged from a week to two weeks when a team had multiple positive tests, it seems fairly unlikely that that game will take place as scheduled. And while baseball players will always be a little bit out of sync after taking a few days off, the Nationals are likely going to be extremely out of rhythm even if they come back Monday, as they haven’t played a game since Monday’s Grapefruit League finale against the Astros.
Meanwhile, through no fault of their own, the Mets will have to wait until Monday night to open up their season against the Phillies. That will mark the Mets debut of Francisco Lindor, who agreed to a 10-year extension with the club late Wednesday night.