One down, 161 to go. The Mets' dream of a perfect season is still alive. Bruce Beck breaks down the Amazins' impressive season opening win over the Braves.
If you asked Mets fans what they wanted most on Opening Day at Citi Field, a majority would have said a good start by Johan Santana and a home run from David Wright.
They didn't get the homer, but Santana looked very sharp in five shutout innings and Wright drove in the only run of a 1-0 win over the visiting Braves.
Santana struck out five Braves and spent 84 pitches to get through five innings. The last out was the biggest one of the day as Santana got Michael Bourn to bounce back to the mound with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth.
Now attention will turn to how he responds to the outing, especially after he felt some soreness after his last Grapefruit League start. It was about as encouraging an outing as you could have hoped to see from Santana, though, and that's enough to make for a happy opener.
Neither Wright nor anyone else could take advantage of the more forgiving fences at the ballpark, but the third baseman was able to deliver with runners on first and third with no one out in the bottom of the sixth. His bouncer through the left side scored Torres with not only the first run of this game, but the first run of any game played Thursday around the major leagues.
Of course, we are still talking about the Mets which means that there had to be one bit of darkness on an otherwise happy day at the ballpark. Torres injured his calf chasing after a triple by Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky in the top of the seventh and was forced out of the game.
Torres had issues with the calf down in Florida as well, raising the possibility that he might be headed to the disabled list before the Mets even reach their first weekend of baseball. If so, this will be the first test of the Mets' depth and, given what we've seen in spring training, that's not a good thing.
But why feel down when the Mets are undefeated and the sun is shining brightly over Citi Field? Pastornicky was left on third when Tim Byrdak came into the game and struck out two straight hitters to keep the score 1-0, part of four shutout innings for the revamped Mets bullpen.
A great start and a great finish with a little good stuff from Wright in the middle. Who else would take 161 more of these?