Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

In Other News

Posted by JD on April 5, 2010

Despite my fascination with the (largely) trivial aspects of Citi Field, the Mets actually played a game today. I think you know where to go if you need a comprehensive recap, but what follows are my thoughts on the Opening Day victory:

1. It was a victory! Personally, I needed a win in the worst way. I still expect this season to be a struggle, but starting off on the Wright foot helped me immeasurably. Speaking of which:

2. David Wright hit a home run in his first at bat at Citi Field for the second consecutive season. And it was an opposite field shot to boot! I couldn’t see it from my seats, but Matt Cerrone mentioned that he smiled from “ear to ear, as he exhaled and ran around the bases.” If the Game Winning RBI still existed, Wright would’ve notched one today as the Marlins could only muster one run in response. Regardless, it had to feel like a monkey was lifted from his shoulders (if only for a little bit). What a great start to the season.

3. Jeff Francoeur walked*. I couldn’t resist the urge to send a sarcastic tweet because of his well-documented aversion to walking. I know better than to think he’ll walk more this season, but for one shining moment, anything was possible. The magic of Opening Day…

*I also don’t want this to get lost: Frenchy had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to plate the first insurance run. I rag on him from time to time, but he had a nice game today.

4. Fernando Nieve threw two solid innings of relief. The bullpen is still in a state of flux, but it was nice to see Nieve take another step forward.

5. Johan Santana was Johan Santana. He wasn’t totally lights out, but he was close enough, limiting the Marlins to one run on four hits and two walks, while striking out five in six innings pitched. He’s amazing, and I can’t wait to watch him pitch again on Sunday.

6. Mike Jacobs struggled today. I tweeted a picture of the Topps lineups cards which didn’t include a picture of our clean-up hitter. It was an omen. Jacobs looked awful in his first two at-bats and was only slightly improved in his final two. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression: I’m not saying Jacobs shouldn’t be the cleanup hitter just because there was no picture of him in the Topps lineup. No, I’m saying he shouldn’t be the clean-up hitter because he stinks. I know: it’s only one game. Miniscule sample size, and I don’t mean to dwell on the negatives, but I hope this experiment ends sooner rather than later.

7. Cameron Maybin won’t be saving this box score in his scrapbook. He had an absolutely atrocious game, striking out in his first three at bats and badly misjudging three different fly balls that directly lead to Mets runs. While he didn’t get credited with an error, he just could not get an accurate read off the bat and took poor routes on several occasions. I noticed it in warm-ups when he was struggling with long-tosses from second base, but it got worse from there. It’s a long season and he’s still young, but I’d be very worried if I were the Marlins.

8. Gary Matthews was competent. He went 2-3 and scored two runs but, more importantly, he adjusted well to the difficult Citi center field. Sure, I’d rather have Angel Pagan out there, but GMJ didn’t embarrass himself out there. Today.

I’m sure there were a few other notes I wanted to share, but I’m in a bit of haze after spending the day at the ballpark: there was a lot to process (and most of it was good). It’s only one of 162 games and there will be lots of things to chronicle as we go forward. For now, I’m going to sleep well knowing that the Mets exceeded expectations in the first game of the year. It was a great day, and there’s a lot to build on. Let’s hope they duplicate it when John Maine takes the mound on Wednesday.

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