Mets 7 Marlins 2
OK, let’s go over that checklist for a typical Mets win …
Ace pitcher Johan Santana pitches a gem … check.
Jose Reyes jumpstarts the offense … check.
David Wright begins his MVP candidacy … check.
Carlos Beltran gives Wright a run for his money … check.
Marlon Anderson gets a pinch-hit … check
Willie Randolph makes all the right moves … check.
Yup … the New York Mets were firing on all cylinders in their initial 2008 contest, with the only part missing a Billy Wagner save. Luckily, Wags wasn’t needed — hope it doesn’t throw off his rhythm.
The Mets offense exploded for six runs in the fourth inning, and Santana was spectacular, striking out eight and allowing only two runs on three hits and two walks in seven full innings. The first hit he gave up was a two-run homerun to Josh Willingham in the bottom of the fourth and immediately after the Mets’ offensive outburst.
Randolph looked like a genius in the final two innings, mixing and matching ROOGYs and LOOGYs to perfection. Of course, Aaron Heilman made an appearance, and in fact closed out the contest, in the first of what will likely be 150 games for the tall righthander.
It was a spectacular game from every angle, and a wonderful way to begin the season. And hey, the Mets are in first place!
Sorry for the late post, but I was in NYC attending the MetsBlog Opening Day party, which was a blast. It was amazing to be surrounded by people cheering and giving high-fives every time Johan threw a strike; I thought the walls might cave in when something truly exciting occurred, such as a Mets run. Being at Butterfield 8 was as close to being at Shea for a game, except they didn’t stop serving beer after the seventh inning and Cow-Bellman was nowhere to be found.
Hey, how about Luis Castillo laying down a perfect bunt and then running around the bases like the rabbit he was four years ago? He may yet fulfill that four-year contract on those new knees.
And oh, someone forgot to remind Ryan Church that he’s not supposed to hit lefties. He smoked Fish starter Mark Hendrickson a couple times, though only had one hit to show for it.
Nice to see Angel Pagan continue the hot hitting — and he’s another guy who isn’t supposed to hit lefties. Too bad Ruben Gotay wasn’t still around, or he might have proved the “rule” wrong as well.
Next game has Pedro Martinez going against Rick VandenHurk in a 7:10 PM start.