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Syracuse Mets unveil “unique” 2021 schedule amid pandemic

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

Photo by Eric Reinhardt/ CNYBJ

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Mets on Thursday announced their 142-game 2021 schedule, which the minor-league affiliate of the New York Mets calls “unique” because of the pandemic-influenced format.

Syracuse will play only the other five baseball teams in their division this year, with opening day scheduled for April 6 at Lehigh Valley. Syracuse’s 2021 home opener is planned for April 13 against the Buffalo Bisons at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Syracuse Mets are working with state and local health officials to plan for the safe return of fans to the stadium, the team said. It promised to release more information about tickets and health protocols at games “soon.”

About the schedule

The Syracuse Mets on Thursday announced their 2021 schedule, which has a pandemic-impacted format. The Mets will only play the five other teams in their division in a 142-game schedule that is filled with six-games series. (Visual credit: Syracuse Mets)

The 142-game slate is a “slight increase” from the last few years. Triple-A teams played 140-game schedules in 2018 and 2019. The last time there was a 142-game Triple-A schedule was 2017. Of course, Triple-A teams played no games in 2020, because of the pandemic.

The adjustment is part of a broader change in Minor League Baseball, the team said. Syracuse is part of a new “Group of 20” League, which is now called the Triple-A East League where the Mets are part of the Northeast Division.

The Northeast Division consists of the same six teams that were part of the former International League North Division. Besides Syracuse, the teams include Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Worcester, which moved from Pawtucket.

In order to reduce travel during the 2021 season, teams will play only opponents from the same division. The 2021 schedule also includes teams playing six straight games against the same opponent. Every Monday is an off day, and then teams will play a six-game series in the same city.

Syracuse’s schedule features 36 games against Buffalo, 34 contests against Rochester, and 24 games each against Lehigh Valley, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Worcester. The Triple-A Mets will play 70 games at home at NBT Bank Stadium and 72 on the road. All 142 games are slated to be played over a 167-day stretch that starts with opening day on April 6 and ends with the season finale on Sept. 19.

The Mets are also scheduled to be home for the week leading up to the Fourth of July. Syracuse will host Rochester for six straight games from Tuesday, June 29 to Sunday, July 4, the baseball club said.

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