Santana Brilliant; Mets Cruise on Opening Day
Johan Santana was acquired over the offseason to bring his Cy Young left arm to Flushing and provide a stabilizing force atop the Mets rotation.
After one start, the Mets and their fans had to be feeling pretty good about their new southpaw.
Don’t expect to be hearing any talk of missing Carlos Gomez or Phillip Humber, not after Santana struck out 8 batters over 7 strong innings of work to help secure an Opening Day victory for his new ballclub.
David Wright broke the game open in the top of the fourth, as he cleared the bases with a 3 run double off Marlins lefty Mark Hendrickson.
Wright finished the day 2-4 with those 3 RBI, while the Mets also got production from Carlos Beltran with two doubles, Jose Reyes who had two hits and an RBI, along with Angel Pagan and Ryan Church who contributed an RBI a piece.
The story however was Santana, who beautifully mixed a live fastball and dancing changeup which kept Marlins hitters off-balance all afternoon.
He allowed a mere 3 hits, and walked two, with his only blemish coming in the result of a Josh Willingham 2 run shot in the bottom of the 4th.
The bullpen was solid, as Matt Wise, Scott Schoeneweis, Jorge Sosa and Aaron Heilman combined to pitch the final two innings, without allowing a run.
With the game on the line in the bottom of the eight, manager Willie Randolph called upon Schoeneweis an Sosa to face a batter each, leaving two runners stranded.
The Mets hope their 1a can be equally as dominant as their 1 was today, when Pedro Martinez takes the hill tomorrow night against Marlins righty Rick VandenHurk.
Interestingly, the Mets opened their season in much the same way they ended last season, facing a young Marlins team with a veteran southpaw on the mound for them.
Fortunately for the orange and blue, the lefty was Johan Santana, and the results were just a bit more satisfying.
What a difference an ace makes.
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