Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Castillo and Church Lead Mets in Opener


For much of the off-season, fans and media have called for the head of Mets second baseman Luis Castillo. No one was happy with the effort the former all star put forth in 2008, batting .245 with three homers and just 28 RBIs. Castillo failed to give the Mets the nessecary stats for a number two hitter behind Jose Reyes.

Once camp started two weeks ago, Jerry Manuel confrimed that he would like to see Castillo bat leadoff this season, with Reyes either as the number two or three hitter. The idea: put more responsiblity in the hands of Castillo to see if he could perform.

Well, in the Mets pre-season opener, Castillo performed. The second baseman went 2 for 3 with four RBIs in the Mets 9-3 victory against the Balitmore Orioles. In the second inning, with one out and the bases loaded, Castillo slapped a single up the middle to drive in two runs to give New York a 2-1 advantage.

Ryan Church, who has also gone under the microsope this spring after his return from two serious concussions, responded with a 2 for 3 day with three RBIs. Church also had two doubles on the afternoon.

Angel Pagan, who is coming off a horrific knee injury he suffered early last May in Los Angeles, went 3 for 4 with a run scored and a walk. Meanwhile, Mets left-fielder Dan Murphy went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a first inning walk.

The Mets sent out their entire bullpen up against Baltimore. Middle reliever Sean Green got the rare start and got shelled for one run on two hits in two-thrids of an inning. Pedro Feliciano pitched an inning and a third of shut out ball for the win. BOXSCORE.

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