Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. julie March 31, 2008 at 6:53 pm
    Oh, geez…someone take the tootsie pops and ice cream away from
    Keith Hernandez!! Yikes! He looks like he gained twenty five pounds
  2. Walnutz15 March 31, 2008 at 9:13 pm
    Not to mention his Eddie Munster-esque haircut….

    Great job by all involved today — even Willie. I agree with the utilization of the pen today with a 4-run lead….testing guys in different roles, especially Schoeneweis vs. Jacobs (strictly LOOGY).

    Johan was dealin’ all afternoon. Beauty!

  3. Walnutz15 March 31, 2008 at 11:27 pm
    I’m going to sit here all night until Joe posts a recap.
  4. murph March 31, 2008 at 11:41 pm
    At Opening Day 2006, I said it is a great feeling to finally have a ‘real’ closer, as we cheered Wagner entering the game.

    After Opening Day 2008, I say it is a great feeling to have a ‘real’ ace again.

  5. joe March 31, 2008 at 11:45 pm
    ‘nutz, it’s on the way!
  6. Walnutz15 April 1, 2008 at 6:29 am
    Haha — just kiddin’, keed….

    *2-Finger Uncle Bill handshake*

    Way to Open a Season, pal. YO-han!

  7. Timo April 1, 2008 at 8:06 am
    Not a Fan of Willie. He’s doing it AGAIN! The Mets got Johan to eat up innings and “SAVE” the bullpen. Johan went 7 which is great for the first game of the year. I totally understood Willie taking him out in the 7th because it’s the beginning of the season. HOWEVER, he had to use 4 more pitchers to finish the game (2 inning)? That is ridiculous. Also, this righty/lefty BS has got to stop! Does Willie know that a pitcher needs to warm-up in the bullpen before throwing his .1 inning. Warming up every game (which is like trhowing 1 or 2 innings) is what will wear out a pitcher over the season. Has Willie been watching ESPN or any sports talk show the pass 2 years. Players can’t take Steriods anymore so that means pitchers will actually need to rest before pitching multiple days.
    Enough about Willie. The Mets played great. However, i’m not too excited because we played the Marlins. BUT, we started on a good note and hopefully will keep this up the whole year.
    Go Mets!
  8. isuzudude April 1, 2008 at 9:09 am
    Can’t say I agree, Timo. Last year the huge knock on Willie was leaving his bullpen guys in games too long, creating poor match-ups and overworked pitchers. Thus, you had a fatigued bullpen facing batters they were not favored to beat. You simply can’t have it both ways and now say Willie should abandon the LOOGY/ROOGY roles…especially after just one game! The bottom line is his methods worked yesterday, as after Wise allowed 2 of the first 3 batters to reach base in the 8th, Schoeneweis got his lefty out and Sosa got his righty out. Remember at the time it was a 4-run game, so another hit or two by the Fish and they were going to be right back in it.

    If the relievers hadn’t gotten up to warm-up in the bullpen, more than likely they would have thrown some kind of side-session anyway, so I don’t buy into the philosophy that warming up in the ‘pen is going to overtax them. And in retrospect, Sosa and Show only faced a batter each, and Wagner, Feliciano, and Smith didn’t even get in the game. I’d say that’s pretty good bullpen management. Additionally, Johan needed 100 pitches to get through his 7 innings, which is, on opening day, pretty close to the limit I’d expect him to be around. No problems with taking him out there.

  9. Walnutz15 April 1, 2008 at 10:07 am
    Totally disagree with everyone belly-aching about the pen…it’s actually pretty astounding this morning!

    If the Met bullpen isn’t capable of holding 4 run leads this year, no matter who it is….then they’re not going anywhere.

    Willie checked out Wise (who looked rusty — but didn’t give up any runs/was bailed out by his bullpeb brethren. OK, no biggie there.)

    Willie got a LOOGY look at Schoeneweis (success).

    Willie got a ROOGY look at Sosa (success).

    Willie saw Heilman come into the 9th and lock it down (check).

    Willie “saved” Wagner from coming in during a “non-save” situation.

    As the old lady from Wendy’s used to say…….”WHERE’S THE BEEF?”

    I’m sure there’d have been plenty of complainers even if Willie had started Heilman in the 8th — as the pitcher’s spot was coming up in the 9th for the Mets.

    Heilman starts the 8th, he gets yanked from the game anyway, when Anderson comes up to pinch hit. Then what…..Wagner just because it’s the 9th, in a non-save situation?

    We all know how much he loves those…….any struggle there, and you have the same complainers whining “Oh, why’s Wagner even in the game right now?”

    People are looking for stuff to complain about in Game 1 — I love it. And I’d probably be one of the first people to complain about misuse…….Willie didn’t in Game 1.

    By any means.

  10. joe April 1, 2008 at 3:04 pm
    I’m old school, so if I were running the Mets, Johan would have finished the game. But then, I’d also have built up his endurance to a 150-pitch count (crazy, I know … but my college kids were up to 185).

    On the one hand, I agree with Timo — why in the world do you need four pitchers to hold a 4-run lead over the last two innings? But on the other hand, this is what baseball has become — for better or worse.