The Mets beat the Marlins 9-2 today to take the first series of the season 2-1. It’s really hard to draw anything substantial out of a three game series, let alone the season-opening series, but it felt like a big win to me.
Maybe it was because they lost the first game in rather unconvincing fashion. I mean, Josh Johnson is a legitimate Cy Young candidate: there’s no shame in losing to one of the best pitchers in the league. But they were pretty much out of it after John Buck’s grand slam in the fourth inning. According to Baseball-Reference’s Win Probability Chart, the Mets never had more than a 10% chance of coming back. Subjectively, I felt it while watching the game. I kept telling myself that it was only one game, but I think it loomed larger in my mind just because it was the first real game of the season.
When the Mets won yesterday, my first thought was of today’s game: they had a chance to win the series. The 2010 Mets didn’t win a series on the road against a National League opponent until August 16 (they did take consecutive series against the Indians and Orioles during inter-league play in June), and the franchise hadn’t won a series in Florida since September 2009. That recent history was weighing on me, even as I was watching them jump all over Javier Vasquez early on. As the game wore on, a funny thing happened: I started feeling confident that they would win.
There were bumps in the road (for one, Chris Capuano’s debut went less smoothly than hoped), but there always are. Winning a series on the road against a division rival doesn’t guarantee a winning season, but it’s a great start. Right now, that’s enough for me.
Next stop, Philadelphia. I can’t wait to see how the Mets handle the Phillies’ vaunted rotation.