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Disastrous 7th Hands Braves Season-Opening Loss

NEW YORK — On Monday morning, a promising young starting pitcher for the New York Mets revealed he was injured more seriously than first believed.

On Monday afternoon, another one of those promising young starting pitchers threw six shutout innings before exiting due to a blister just before the Mets’ feast-or-famine lineup scored six runs in the seventh.

Afterward, manager Terry Collins couldn’t help but blurt out some bad news: Another one of those promising young starting pitchers was injured more seriously than first believed.

With one game under their belts, the Mets are already in midseason injury form.

Asdrubal Cabrera’s RBI single jump-started the six-run seventh for the Mets, whose 6-0 rout of the Atlanta Braves in Opening Day for both teams at Citi Field was overshadowed by the ailments of Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard and Seth Lugo.

The good news for the Mets is that Syndergaard — the right-handed ace who uncorked 92 mph sinkers, 94 mph sliders and 98 mph fastballs while allowing five hits and no walks and striking out seven — should be fine after a blister popped on his right middle finger.

“He was not going to be done until he came off (with) the blister,” Collins said of Syndergaard. “And then we said that was going to be enough.”

With Syndergaard out, Hansel Robles (1-0) threw a perfect seventh and earned the win following the seventh-inning outburst. The Mets stranded seven runners in the first six innings before Cabrera’s run-scoring single was followed by Curtis Granderson’s sacrifice fly, a bases-loaded walk by Jay Bruce and a three-run double by Lucas Duda.

Last season, the Mets scored six or more runs 42 times and two runs or fewer 55 times.

“We put some good at-bats together and scored,” Collins said. “Day one, you hope it sets a big tone.”

Collins said Syndergaard will have the blister dried out over the next few days and that the Mets will push his next start back a day, to Sunday, as a precaution. Fifth starter Robert Gsellman, who tossed a scoreless ninth, will start Saturday.

“It’s just a little blister,” Syndergaard said. “I’m really not too concerned about it.”

The Mets are far more concerned about Matz and Lugo. Matz, who is on the 10-day disabled list with what was initially described as left elbow inflammation, told Newsday Monday morning that he actually as a flexor tendon strain in his elbow. He will not throw again for at least three weeks. Matz underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010 and had a bone chip removed from his left elbow last October.

The Mets placed Lugo on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with right elbow inflammation. Lugo, who pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, said Friday he hoped a few days of rest would be enough, but Collins said during what was supposed to be the final question of his press conference Monday afternoon that ” … we lost Seth Lugo today for a period of time.”

Collins — who revealed Syndergaard was going to the doctor for an elbow exam in similar fashion following a game against the Kansas City Royals last June — tried to get up from the podium before a follow-up question could be asked. He sat back down when he was asked to elaborate on Lugo.

“He’s going to miss some time with his elbow,” Collins said. “We’ve got to make sure we keep these five guys healthy. It’s going to be a couple weeks, for sure.”

Lugo appeared nervous when he briefly talked to reporters on his way out of the locker room.

“See (the) doctor tomorrow and get more information,” said Lugo, who said the doctor’s visit was of the second opinion variety.

Ian Krol (0-1), the first of four relievers to appear in the seventh, took the loss. Right-hander Julio Teheran matched Syndergaard over six scoreless innings, during which he allowed four hits and three walks while striking out six.

“Just the one inning kind of spiraled out of control there,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I know the guys in the bullpen, with continued work, (will) be OK. It’s just a shame that Julio threw the ball so well and didn’t get anything for it.”

Freddie Freeman had three hits for the Braves, who stranded runners at third in the fourth, sixth and ninth innings. Brandon Phillips hit into a game-ending 1-6-3 double play.

“We had our opportunities today to get it done,” Freeman said.

NOTES: The Mets improved their baseball-best record on Opening Day to 36-20. The Braves fell to 23-29 on Opening Day since moving to Atlanta in 1966. … A moment of silence was held prior to the game in honor of four recently deceased baseball figures: Former National League executive Katy Feeney, former Mets pitcher and manager Dallas Green, former Mets scout Harry Minor and Bill Webb, who directed Mets broadcasts on SNY.

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