Well that didn’t take long. The high from opening day is already gone. Pedro Martinez is hurt 3.1 subpar innings into 2008. The bullpen blew a game in extra innings. Mets bats disappeared after the 6th inning. Didn’t we already go over this last year? Unfortunately, the script is all-too-familiar.
Not that there wasn’t some good in this game. David Wright continues to swing a good bat. Angel Pagan is justifying the front office’s faith in bringing him north through two games. The bullpen actually pitched mostly well, as between Pedro’s hammy tightening up and Robert Andino’s walkoff home run, they had not allowed a single run, a span of 6.1 innings. Brian Schneider had a 3 for 4 day at the plate, which is better than any Mets fan’s reasonable expectations.
There was just as much bad, though. The story of the Mets’ bullpen giving up a massive home run to drop a game was a script that brought back harrowing memories of 2008. Despite 9 hits, the Mets did not manage a single hit for extra bases – all nine of those hits were singles. Considering that 16 Mets reached base tonight, including every Mets’ positional player, that is a bit disappointing – one more hard hit ball against Rick VandenHurk or one of the six relievers that the Marlins brought into the game, and they could have ended this thing before it went to extra innings.
Then there’s the ugly – Pedro’s performance tonight. Even before he got pulled from the game with a tight hamstring, Pedro just did not look good at all. His stuff just wasn’t fooling anybody, and he was getting hit hard – three of the four hits he allowed were for extra bases, including two home runs and a triple. In addition, he only struck one batter out of the ten he retired. He just did not look good out there at all; the pulled hamstring was almost a mercy killing, except, you know, the team kind of needs him. If he’s forced to miss a start…well, you folks attending the home opener might be in for a bit of a letdown as far as who starts that last home opener at Shea Stadium.
So while there were silver linings to be found in this loss, ultimately it stings a lot; the poor performance of Pedro followed by the injury clinched that this wasn’t going to have a happy ending no matter what. Just look at it this way – only five more days until Johan pitches again!
The Mets will try to take the rubber game of this three game series tomorrow night in South Florida, with Oliver Perez making his season debut against Marlins rookie Andrew Miller. Game time is 7:10, game will be broadcast on SNY in the NY/NJ area, and on Extra Innings and MLB.tv.