4 Mets players we already forgot started on Opening Day in the last five seasons
4) Kevin Pillar was the NY Mets Opening Day center fielder in 2021
After the Mets first series of the season in Washington was postponed, they ended up playing in Philadelphia for their Opening Day after everyone else had already played. The Phillies started left-hander Matt Moore so New York responded with their version of a lineup to beat a lefty. The order was very strange.
Leading off and playing center field in his first game as a Met was none other than Kevin Pillar. Mets fans had grown accustomed to Brandon Nimmo leading off games and playing center field but it was Pillar getting the honor of being the first Met to step into the box in a regular season game in 2021.
Pillar would fly out on the third pitch thrown by Moore in his opening at-bat. Pillar would end up stranding two in his second at-bat (including Jacob deGrom) after popping out in foul territory. In his third at-bat he hit into a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out to end the Mets' threat after scoring two runs.
Pillar did single in the top of the ninth and scored on a Michael Conforto RBI single but the Mets would suffer a rare Opening Day defeat at the hands of the Phillies. Would there have been a different outcome if Nimmo was leading off with all of the baserunners Pillar stranded? We'll never know.
Pillar was mostly fine as a fourth outfielder but had to play way too much due to injuries. In 124 games he had a .692 OPS and an 87 OPS+.