Very Early Recap

April 21, 2009

With twelve games in the books, the Mets sit at five hundred with a 6-6 record. At face value, it’s easy to be unimpressed with their performance thus far. But there have been some highlights in just a short amount of time. They began the season by taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds. Johan Santana made his Opening Day start and earned his first win, Frankie Rodriguez got his first save as a Met, and rookie sensation Daniel Murphy hit his first home run of the season. The Mets then headed south for warmer weather and played a three-game series against the Florida Marlins, the first of many games against divisional foes. They lost two of three. The first loss to the Marlins was in walk-off fashion; the second was an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel. The Mets were unable to overcome a tremendous performance from Florida’s Josh Johnson as well as Daniel Murphy’s dropped fly ball in left field. The miscue produced two unearned runs which was all the scoring the gritty Marlins needed as they edged the Mets, 2-1. Since then, the Marlins have maintained a healthy lead in the NL East as they sit atop the division with an 11-2 record ahead of the Atlanta Braves and our beloved Mets.

Searching for a spark, the Mets took their 3-3 record with them to Flushing to kick off the first ever Opening Day at their new digs, Citi Field. Scheduled as a night game, it provided for plenty of fanfare and camaraderie. The inaugural game against the San Diego Padres allowed for the participation of Mets immortality such as Rusty Staub, Doc Gooden, and the ageless Ralph Kiner. The Padres opened up the game with a quick 5-1 lead only to see it disappear because of a three-run bomb off the bat of David Wright. His game-tying blast sent shivers down the spines of those who attended; Tim Robbins and Jerry Seinfeld included, and conveniently defied the curse of a stray cat run amuck. Unfortunately, that rambunctious furry little feline would eventually become a specter for bad things to come as the Padres took that first game on a balk, 6-5. San Diego would also win the series two games to one.

With the Mets new home still acting as their backdrop, the inconsistent starting rotation would enter its third turn against the Milwaukee Brewers. John Maine would begin to see improvement; however Mike Pelfrey would be diagnosed with forearm tendinitis and would miss his next start. Luis Castillo’s hit in the bottom of the ninth inning produced the Mets first walk-off win at Citi Field and gave Castillo some much-needed respect. Within that same game, the newly acquired Gary Sheffield tied the score by smacking his 500th career homerun, the first player to do so in a Mets uniform. Johan Santana would continue his dominance with the completion of seven innings of masterful work in which he refused to allow a base runner to reach second base. The Mets won that game, 1-0. In the final game of the series, bench coach Willie Randolph and the Brew Crew were able to avoid a sweep by squelching numerous Mets rallies in the later innings to capture the win, 4-2.

Tonight, the Mets will begin a three-game series on the road in St. Louis. They hope to improve on their uninspiring batting average of .236 (25 for 106) with runners in scoring position. And most importantly, they’re keeping their fingers crossed that the “good Ollie” will show up to put the Mets over the five hundred mark and into second place.

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