New Kids on the Block…Mets win home opener 7-1April 5, 2010
via Associated Press
Newcomers Bay, Rod Barajas and Gary Matthews Jr. each got two hits for New York, which improved to a major league-best 32-17 (.653) on Opening Day. Manager Jerry Manuel also got three scoreless innings from his beleaguered bullpen, which he said was his biggest concern entering the season.
For one game, at least, the Mets looked ready to bounce back after they stumbled to a fourth-place finish in the NL East last year.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez and the Marlins think they can surprise the experts again this season and contend for a playoff spot, but this sloppy performance wasn’t a very good beginning.
Johnson allowed four runs and five hits over five-plus innings in his first Opening Day start, dropping to 7-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 career starts against New York. Cameron Maybin struck out swinging three times and Florida committed three errors during the Mets’ four-run sixth.
Santana looked healthy after finishing last season on disabled list, allowing just four hits while improving to 4-1 with a 3.56 ERA in five career Opening Day starts.
The Mets desperately need a fast start to wash away the bad taste from last season’s 70-92 finish, when they were ravaged by injuries and made a handful of embarrassing mistakes while stumbling to their worst finish since they went 66-95 in 2003.
The crowd of 41,245 for Citi Field’s first Opening Day made it clear it hadn’t forgotten what happened in 2009, booing erratic left-hander Oliver Perez and the training staff during pregame introductions. Manuel, second baseman Luis Castillo and reliever Sean Green also got mixed receptions.
Wright sent a charge through the crowd when he sliced a 1-0 pitch from Johnson over the wall in right to give New York a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The All-Star third baseman hit a career-low 10 homers last season, including five at home during the Mets’ first season at their spacious ballpark.
Jeff Francoeur also drove in two runs for New York, which opened the year with shortstop Jose Reyes, All-Star center fielder Carlos Beltran and first baseman Daniel Murphy on the disabled list. Pinch-hitter Angel Pagan added an RBI single in the sixth.