Sunny Outcome On A Drizzling Opening Day

The Mets have the best Opening Day record in baseball so if you were feeling cocky before yesterday's Opening Day game you might have considered to yourself the preferred methods of victory:

Lopsided drubbing wherein Wright, Delgado and Beltran all homer and the Mets jump to a lead so large and so early, say 13-0 by the 3rd inning, that Johan can leave the game as soon as he's reached the minimum innings to earn the victory.

"To get in a close game and perform on Opening Day, that says a lot about those guys. We know that K-Rod likes the big stage. J.J. is a guy who's taken a different role, but now he sees how significant that role is. And Green came in to relieve Johan Santana. It was big for us to have that particular combination work out the way it did today." -- Jerry Manuel

Or nail-biter result showcasing the shiny new bullpen featuring the glorious new closer and holds your interest throughout.

Church making a stumbling catch in right field in the 2nd and doubling off the runner, showcasing his talents, the auld nya-nya, Gary Sheffield.

Dusty Baker in the dugout wearing white gloves and chewing on his toothpick.

Santana had 86 pitches already with only one out in the 4th and with the game still 0-0 at that stage, getting a long hard look at the bullpen seemed the likely outcome. Especially when he barely escaped the 4th without surrendering a run.

Apropos of nothing, I just realised the Mets, potentially, could have TWO guys reaching 500 homers this season. That can't ever have been done before.

And then suddenly and without warning, just like that, pow, the first Mets homer of the season is hit by none other than The Magical Murph for a 1-0 Opening Day lead.

But the stadium is like a mausoleum. It kills the excitement in a way, imagining how crazy the Citi Field crowd would be going whilst they stood in line for their gourmet food, going from stand to stand uncertain at which culinary delight they could tickle their taste buds with, they'd be going crazy trying to clap with a taco in one hand, a fruit shake in the other and pulled more money from the cash machine to fund it all.

And in Cincinnati, quiet. Hushed. Heads bowed. The inevitable.

Outfield buffoonery later in the 5th by the Reds reminds you for the what, thousandth time during the broadcast that you're not living in Cincinnati or even Ohio for that matter. Ugh. The weather looks worse than England, the announcers drone like somnambulists talking in their sleep, the team fields sloppily, the line up is full of holes...just reminds you that whilst our criticisms of the Mets are quick and shrill in coming, at least we aren't stuck supporting the bloody Reds!

Indecision on the base path is a killah.

Wright, what a day. K'd in the first with Reyes in scoring position to kill a rally in the making. Got thrown out at the plate for sort of jogging to third before being waved to home after the outfielder bobbled a single.

Church on the other hand, two hits in his first two at-bats, cut off from an RBI single in the 4th by a quick catch at second base, that catch of his own and doubling off the runner from right field in the 2nd...should we be grooming Sheffield to play third base instead of right field?

And then in the 6th, it all started going pear-shaped with Santana up to 92 pitches clinging to a meagre two run lead, just saving a run from scoring by heady fielding back up before finally exiting at the 99 pitch point with a one run lead.

Finally, the much ballyhoo'd bullpen was to make it's regular season appearance.

Sean Green, the first contestant. Saved by The Magical Murph on a well-hit ball to end the inning. Oh boy, Sean Green, you'd have been hearing it from all the way over here had that ball fallen into the gap. Nonetheless Sean, you were saved. First batter faced in a Mets regular season uniform and somehow you manage to get that key out.

And Green got them out 1-2-3 in the 7th but again, only just; another hard liner, this time at Wright. A pressure situation, a different team, maybe a different story. Mr Sean Green's outing whilst statistically perfect, well, the hell with it, well done. Stay lucky.

Thereafter, something we might enjoy singing as the season goes on: Putz and K-Rod Do The Job.

Happy Joy at surviving Opening Day


sanchez said...

yes, you're right, a fate worse than death, rooting for the Reds.

jdon said...

I was impressed with the bullpen today. But this lineup continues to depress me. I do not like some of these guys and I would never go to war with most of them. We will see what Sheffield brings, besides lots of doubles for the other team.

katherine said...

jaap, you may not have seen this little pregame snippet, since it was not on the MLB TV coverage, at least not on the one I saw. My son claims not to be a Met fan,as an expression of his adolescent independence, but I caught him secretly watching this on youtube.


Jaap said...

Ha! Thanks for this Katherine, that's the fastest I've seen Castillo move in two years!

Jaap said...

jdon, the lineup will hold up I think, but even if they'd scored 20 runs the only time I'm going to be concerned about their clutch hitting is in the post season.
I'm feeling ambitious and wanting to believe, seeing the full degree of this lineup that the Mets are capable of running away with the East. Someone please stop me.

jdon said...

Maybe you should try hypnosis? I would not recommend self-hypnosis, since you are likely to prejudice the outcome with your weak-kneed, pathetic, blind loyalty to the Orange and Blue.

P.S. I sincerely hope you are right about our lineup. I sincerely think you are probably not.

Jaap said...

well j'don with Sheffield bound to get 200 at-bats for us this season, how can we possibly go wrong?

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