Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mets stun Braves in season opener, as Santana goes five strong


Holy Cow, who would have thunk it, there was actual footage today of the Mets winning a baseball game. Even though victories will likely be a rare occurrence for New York this season, the Metropolitans found a way to hold off the equally putrid Atlanta Braves in a 1-0 pitchers duel to open the season.

The most important factor in today's game however was the status of ace Johan Santana. Santana missed all of 2011 with a leg injury, was solid in his first outing back on the mound. He went five innings of shutout baseball, holding Atlanta to hits, while striking out five, and at one point retired 12 striaght batters.

Santana did get into some trouble in the fifth inning, when he gave up a double to Matt Diaz, and walked Tyler Pastornicky and Tommy Hanson to load up the bases, but, he was able to get out if it by inducing a ground ball out by Michael Bourn to get out of the inning unscathed.

Offensively, it was an uneven day for the Mets. While David Wright and Daniel Murphy had big days at the plate, it was not the case for Jason Bay and Lucas Duda, who both inept. On the good side, Murphy had two hits on the afternoon, while Wright actually delivered a clutch hit, when his single drove in Andres Torres with the games only run in the sixth.

However in the seventh, Torres was injured in the outfield and had to leave the game; he will likely land on the disabled list. This is bad news for the Mets, who have a dreadful outfield to begin with, and an even more despicable bench. The Mets have absolutely no depth on the bench, and they will have to go out and shop for a center fielder, something they should have done a long time ago. Not that Torres was any loss, but now the Mets have to find someone to play center field and lead off.

As for Bay, what can you say? He was bad again, going 0-for-3 with a fly out, once again showing little pop in his bat. As for the over-hyped Duda, he was really bad going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, including striking out with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.

The only bright spot for the Mets was the bullpen. The combination of Ramon Ramirez, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco shut down a meek Braves lineup in four shut-out innings to preserve the victory.

So be happy Mets fans', your team is in first place at 1-0. Probably the only time this year the Mets will be in first place and over .500. Congrats!

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