New York Mets right-hander Justin Verlander made his highly anticipated Citi Field debut Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it seems like the Flushing faithful could’ve waited a little longer for it.

Walking off the mound and into the dugout after allowing six runs through five innings of work – including a pair of homers – Verlander was greeted by boos and other jeers from a visibly upset Mets crowd. He was replaced by Dominic Leone to start the sixth.

The former MVP finished his night by allowing six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two over five innings of work. The Rays’ Isaac Paredes hit his second homer – a two-run shot – in that final fifth inning of work for Verlander, resulting in the boos.


The Mets wound up losing the game 8-5, dropping to 20-23 on the season.

“We’re frustrated too. Everybody is frustrated,” Verlander said following the game when asked about the crowd reaction. “We expect to be better. I expect to be better. I think this entire organization expects to be better. … I was hoping today I could be a catalyst, go and have a great start against a good team and help us win, and I wasn’t able to do that. Onto the next guy. And I know everybody in here is working their ass off to do just that.”

The three-time Cy Young winner added that the outing felt “like shit,” according to Deesha Thosar of Fox Sports.

Verlander has had a difficult start to the campaign after missing the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury. The 40-year-old now owns a 4.76 ERA and 5.48 FIP in three starts over 17 innings.

The Mets signed the nine-time All-Star to a two-year, $86.7-million deal this past winter.

The rough outing also comes in the midst of a tough stretch for the Mets, who now sit three games below .500 and in fourth place in the NL East. They haven’t won a series since April 17-19 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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