Game #1: Mets 1, Braves 0, at Citi Field (1-0)
BY THE NUMBERS: The Mets are 33-18 in season openers, the best record in the major leagues.
SANTANA: Goes five strong. (Getty)
QUOTE BOOK: “If we pitch we can play with anybody. Our guy pitched today.’’ – manager Terry Collins on Johan Santana’s strong effort.
SANTANA IS BACK: Hopefully, that is the case. If nothing else, it was a good sign and a positive step after five scoreless innings against the Braves in his first start since Sept. 2010.
Santana gave up two hits, and another good sign was pitching out of trouble in the fifth.
Santana threw in the high 80s and he’ll be the first to admit he’s still a work in progress.
Psychologically, this was a huge game for the Santana and the Mets. Had Santana imploded it could have left a strong negative impression. There was nothing but positives today for Santana.
BULLPEN STELLAR: With no outs and a runner on third in the seventh, Tim Byrdak – who underwent knee surgery three weeks ago – entered and got out of the inning.
The Mets’ new-look bullpen threw four scoreless innings. One game, of course, but a good sign. And, who didn’t think the worse when Byrdak entered.
Frank Francisco pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
OFFENSE STAGNANT: David Wright, Josh Thole and Daniel Murphy had two hits apiece and Wright drove in the game winner. Jason Bay was hitless in three at-bats and was booed during introductions.
THE DOWNSIDE: Center fielder Andres Torres re-strained his left calf muscle and will go on the disabled list. The Mets haven’t announced who’ll they’ll bring up, but it could be Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Collins said Collins said Ruben Tejada will be the leadoff hitter.
UP NEXT: The Mets are off Friday. R.A. Dickey will start Saturday and Jon Niese will work Sunday.