FINAL SCORE: METS 7, MARLINS 1
WP: Johan Santana (1-0), 6 IP, 4H, I ER, 2 BB, 5 K
LP: Josh Johnson (0-1), 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
HR: David Wright (1st inning, one on)
Top 9th: K-Rod, sporting his old school goggles, sets the Marlins down in order as Sanchez adds to his tough day by flying out to Matthews in center for the game's final out. The Mets win their fifth straight Opening Day game and are over .500 for the first time since June 27 of last year. That may be a small and insignificant note but it shows the beauty of Opening Day. Hope spring eternal.
Bottom 8th: Mets go down easy. Time for Francisco Rodriguez to put the finishing touches on a lovely Opening Day.
Top 8th: Nieve strikes out Uggla to end the inning. 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K for Nieve, not a bad day's work out of the pen. K-Rod will come out for the ninth to make the obligatory closer's Opening Day non-save situation apperance.
Bottom 7th: Bay, running hard out of the box, would have had his third hit of the afternoon if not for a nice backhanded play and strong throw by Ramirez to just get him at first. Sidenote: I think the Bay signing may slightly edge out putting the Home Run Apple outside the main Citi Field entrance as the Mets best move of the offseason. Matthews doubles to deep left and scores on Francoeur blooper that fell between three Marlins. Francoeur advances to second with nobody covering. Not a good day in the field for the Marlins. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the visitor's locker room after the game. Mets 7, Marlins 1.
Top 7th: Fernando Nieve is first out of the bullpen for the Mets. He allows a double to Sanchez, who restores a small slice of pride, but nothing more.
Bottom 6th: Bay leads off the inning with a gapper to left-center and hustles for a triple. That will sell some jerseys. New Yorkers love to see hustle. Matthews walks to end Johnson's day then advances to second on a wild pick-off throw . Francoeur hits a sac fly to deep center to take the run right back. With Maybin playing shallow in center, Barajas sent one over his head and to the wall to drive in Matthews. Angel Pagan (pinch-hitting for Santata, oops I was wrong) follows with an RBI single and advances to third on yet another pick-off throw that gets behind first baseman Sanchez. We even saw a suicide sqeeze attempt by Cora with Pagan at third (Who are these guys???). It failed but Cora picked up the RBI on a groundout shorlty after. Sanchez adds another error for good measure, dropping a routine throw from Ramirez. Four runs for the Mets, three errors for the Marlins, unquantifiable embarassment for Marlin first baseman Sanchez. Mets 6, Marlins 1.
Top 6th: Chris Coghlan led off the inning with a single and came around to score on a double by Cantu to put the Marlins on the board. Santana then walked Uggla but got out of the inning without any further damage. Two strikeouts in the inning for Santana, including the third of the day against Cameron Maybin. If Maybin ever sees Santana again it will be too soon. Santana has eclipsed the 100-pitch mark but looks like he will come out for the seventh. Mets 2, Marlins 1.
Bottom 5th: Johnson gets through the inning without laboring. He puts the Mets down in order and may have bought himself another inning of work.
Top 5th: Santana gets back on track with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Johnson for his third of the game to end the inning. Sidenote: Jeff Francoeur can't throw a beach ball nearly a well as he throws a baseball. A beach ball came onto the field and Francouer tried to toss it to the ballboy but his toss looked more like a paper airplane that goes nowhere when you throw it.
Bottom 4th: Squandered opportunity for the Mets who get nothing out of a bases loaded, no out situation. Matthews led off the inning with his first hit as a Met, Francoeur walked, and Barajas hit a bloop single to load them up. Santana hit a shallow fly ball and Ramirez made a beautiful diving catch on Alex Cora liner up the middle and doubled off Francoeur at second to end the inning. LOB. One of the worst statistics in the sport.
Top 4th: Santana got into his first jam of the day after allowing a single to Hanley Ramirez and a walk to Jorge Cantu to put the tying runs on base. But he got Dan Uggla and Ronny Paulino to fly out to Matthews in center to end the threat. Neither catch was pretty as Matthews seemed to struggle with both fly balls. It will take time to adjust to the his new surroundings. Welcome to Citi Field.
Bottom 3rd: After back to back walks to Luis Castillo and Wright, Johnson got his second strikeout of the day, both coming at the expense of Mike Jacobs. He will make contact at some point, just not sure when exactly. Johnson also stuck out Bay on a breaking ball to strand the runners but needed 33 pitches to get through the inning and his pitch count is now on the wrong side of 60 through three innings.
Top 3rd: Nice diving play by Alex Cora in the hole at short to take a basehit away from Cody Ross to leadoff the inning. But the Marlins get their first baseunner of the day after Gaby Sanchez ends a quality at-bat against Santana with a single up the middle.
Bottom 2nd: The bottom of the Mets order - Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas, and Santana - goes down quietly. Sidenote: I comend the Mets decision to pass on Bengie Molina. There was no need to give into the demands of an aging catcher when the Mets lineup will produce enough runs to absorb the dreadful batting average of Barajas.
Top 2nd: Six up, six down for Santana. The dream season continues.
Bottom 1st: In his first at-bat of the season, David Wright has already equalled 10 percent of his entire home run total from last season. Wright put a 1-0 high fastball from Johnson just inside the right field foul pole for an opposite field, two-run home run. To the surprise of no one, Jacobs struck out. Bay singles in his first at-bat as a Met. From a Met perspective, you couldn't have asked for a better first inning to the season. Mets 2, Marlins 0.
Top 1st: Met fans can only hope that the 2010 season goes as smoothly for the Mets as the top of the first inning did for Johan Santana. A 12-pitch inning sets the Marlins down in order. Do you feel it? That is called hope.