Santastic: Mets Sink Marlins in Opener

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Santastic: Mets Sink Marlins in Opener

The Mets topped the Florida Marlins 7-2 in Dolphin Stadium in Miami today.

Winning Pitcher: Johan Santana (1-0) was solid in his much-anticipated Mets debut, going seven full innings while giving up two earned runs on three hits.

The only runs scored were off of Josh Willingham's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. He walked two and struck out eight.

Losing Pitcher: Mark Hendrickson (0-1) looked OK for the first three innings, but had the ceiling fall in on him in the fourth, where he gave up six runs.

He pitched five full innings, giving up six runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out two. He was less than impressive. Let's hope for the Marlins' sake that they aren't counting on him to be their No. 1 guy this season.

Notes:

1. So much for my speculation about the Mets' potential long relievers. Both candidates I listed yesterday, Matt Wise and Jorge Sosa, pitched in relief in the eighth inning of this game. Wise spread two hits around an out to start the inning, while Scott Schoeneweis and Sosa cleaned up the mess by each recording an out.

I wonder who the Mets will turn to in the event of a poor start. Maybe they won't have a specific long reliever's role as they have the past two years with Aaron Sele last year and Darren Oliver in 2006.

Perhaps they are planning to share the load here. Stay tuned. Hey, maybe we won't need a long reliever all year long because our starters will go seven innings each start.

2. Santana was pretty good today. His fastball maxed out at 93 mph, I think, which is good for the beginning of the season, and his change-up was around 80, which is normal.

Apart from the home run in the fourth, Santana was superb. He wasn't overworked either, as he threw an even 100 pitches, 68 of them strikes. If he can give the Mets starts like this all year long, it's going to make it difficult for the Mets to go into prolonged slumps. At least, I hope so.

3. The Mets' bats were pretty good today, at least for one inning. They scored seven runs off of 10 hits in the ballgame.

Jose Reyes and David Wright were 2-4, while Carlos Beltran went 2-5. Angel Pagan, Ryan Church, and Reyes all had run-scoring hits in the six-run fourth, while Wright smacked a three-run double in the same inning.

Marlon Anderson, who had a pinch-hit single in the ninth, went to second on a Reyes bunt, advanced to third on a Matt Lindsrom wild pitch, and scored on catcher Matt Treanor's throwing error as he tried to throw Anderson out at third after the wild pitch. (I know that's a horrible sentence, but this is a blog. Come on.)

Carlos Delgado went 0-3 while Brian Schneider went 0-4. No surprises there. These two guys are going to be liabilities offensively for most of the year.

That's OK for Schneider, who was brought in for his defense, but that's not OK for Delgado. The sad thing is that he is the highest-paid player on the team for this season. Ouch.

4. The Mets hit four doubles today, two from both Carlos Beltran Wright, Pagan recorded an RBI on his fourth-inning double.

5. Both Reyes and Wright were caught stealing.

6. Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two in the process. The Mets need him to be productive this year, and this is a very good start.

I love wins like these. It's just a comfortable, solid-in-all-aspects cruiser.

Tomorrow's game: 7:10 p.m.
Pedro Martinez vs. Rick VandenHurk. I bet Endy Chavez gets the start in left.

Oh, and don't expect me to post like this after every game. I have a life, you know.

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