Hey Mets Fans, Shouldn't History Matter More Than a Sunday in April?

Max ColtenCorrespondent IApril 12, 2009

PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets poses during photo day at Tradition Field on February 23, 2009 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Mets fans, here is yet another screw up by the Mets brass in the face of history.

Tomorrow night at 7:10, a New York Met will toe the rubber and fire the first ever regular season pitch to the Padres' leadoff hitter. Wouldn't you think that the $157 million arm of Johan Santana should be making that pitch?

Well, he isn't.

No, the Mets pitched Johan today against the Marlins and will have Mike Pelfrey make his second start of the year tomorrow at the home opener. Now, don't get me wrong, it is an honor for Mike and I'm happy for him, but should Johan start that game?

Today's Mets-Marlins finale was a fantastic game to watch—two excellent pitchers dueling it out, one striking out 13 batters, the other pitching the first complete game of the 2009 season (in case you didn't know, the Marlins beat the Mets 2-1 today).

Johan Santana was vintage Johan Santana, and Josh Johnson was the Josh Johnson that everyone is expecting to lead the Marlins staff to the playoffs. Today's date is April 12, yes April 12. A gorgeous Sunday in the month of April.

So why was Johan pitching when he could make history tomorrow?

Why is it that the Mets' Ace is not going to be the guy to make the first pitch/strikeout/win? by a Met at Citi Field. A question that, quite honestly, should not have be a question.

While I too am high on Mike Pelfrey, and think he will be a force to be reckoned with along with Santana, why is he pitching in this historic game? This will make him a Met for life, but I mean, come on, passing on Johan Santana, so that he can pitch against the Marlins, which has resulted in a loss anyway, despite an excellent performance?

Of course, I can say this now that the Mets lost today, but regardless, when it was announced during Saturday's game that Johan Santana would face off against Josh Johnson, I thought two things—great matchup, and I have the wrong pitcher's jersey prepared to wear to the opener.

Look, the Mets really didn't have anyone else to start in this game beside Johan, so I don't have a problem with that, but wouldn't one think that if the Mets knew they had this historic game, why not start Santana the second game of the season instead? Or why not let Brian Stokes start today's game and consider the April game a wash (I know he pitched a couple innings on Friday but stay with me)?

Why is it that one of the most historic games in Mets history, one in which Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver will come to the new ballpark, that Johan Santana is not starting? Absolutely crazy if you ask me.

Again, I like Mike Pelfrey, and he certainly pitched well every time I saw him at Shea last year (4-0 in five starts, pitching six to eight scoreless innings in each win), but why isn't Johan, who struck out 13 Marlins today, pitching?

I'd like to hear all of your opinions, Mets fan or not. I mean, come on, historic game and Johan's not pitching?