The New York Mets opened their season in Miami this afternoon, receiving great performances from Johan Santana and David Wright, as they went on to win 7-2 over the Florida Marlins.
Santana pitched seven strong innings, allowing only three hits, one of which went for a 2-run home run to Josh Willingham in the bottom of the fourth inning. Those two earned runs were the only runs allowed. Santana walked two while striking out eight. He set down the first nine Marlins in a row, and also struck out four batters in a row between the fifth and sixth innings.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say everyone in their right mind is absolutely impressed and excited about this performance. I will accept no less than this for every game from here on out (kidding). Great stuff.
The eighth inning saw three pitchers make appearances, each tallied one out. Matt Wise, making his first appearance as a Met, started the inning, allowing two hits, both singles to Alfredo Amezaga and Dan Uggla. Scott Schoeneweis came in to face ex-Met Mike Jacobs, getting him to ground out to first. For the final out of the inning, Jorge Sosa came in with runners on second and third, and got Willingham to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Interesting inning management from Willie Randolph here, but I can't get on him because it worked. Wise struggled a bit, but before any damage was done he was pulled, in a nice move from Randolph. That's something I don't think he would have done last year.
Aaron Heilman finished out the game, striking out Jorge Cantu and Cody Ross to start the inning, and inducing a comebacker off the bat of Luis Gonzalez to end the game.
I didn't think he was going pitch at all when he didn't come in for the eighth. I guess we should throw out the book on how Randolph is handling the bullpen this year, or is it too early to tell?
The Mets offense came to play today, picking up 10 hits, five of them doubles.
David Wright and Carlos Beltran led the way, each picking up two doubles. Beltran started off the fourth inning with a double, scoring on an Angel Pagan double. Wright had a three-run double later in the six-run fourth, scoring Ryan Church, Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes.
Now that is how you start a season.
Reyes went 2-4, scoring once and driving in one run. Castillo was on base three times, picking up one hit and walking twice. Church and Marlon Anderson each picked up one hit on the day. Anderson singled in the ninth inning, moved to second on a Reyes sac-bunt, swiped third on a passed ball, and scored on the same play when Cantu couldn't handle the throw from Matt Treanor.
I could get used to some of this small ball stuff.
Game Ball: Mr. Johan Santana.