“Put it in the books!” – Mets Baseball is back. Under partly cloudy skies this afternoon, and a cooperative temperate in the low-60′s, Mets fans were treated to a fine opening performance by the Boys from Flushing. I’m happy to announce that in the fifty-second Opening Day in club history, the Roosevelt Avenue Nine were overwhelmingly victorious over the San Diego Padres today at Citi Field. Without hesitation, it is now my pleasure to welcome you to the first Happy Recap of the 2013 regular season.
Offensively, the Mets connected against San Diego starter Edinson Volquez early and often. The Mets opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. After John Buck managed a two out walk, Ruben Tejada doubled him home all the way from first thanks to aggressive third base coaching by Tim Teufel. Jon Niese then helped his own cause with a single that drove in Tejada for the second Mets run.
Jon Niese allowed the Padres one run in the top of the third. In the bottom of the frame, RBI singles by Marlon Byrd and John Buck gave the Mets a 4-1 lead.
After allowing a lead-off walk to the Mets pitcher, then a double to Collin Cowgill, Edinson Volquez was yanked in favor of Anthony Bass. Daniel Murphy promptly delivered Niese home with a single. Collin Cowgill then scored on David Wright‘s ground-out to third. With two outs, Marlon Byrd gave the Mets a 7-1 lead, scoring David Wright with his second RBI single of the game.
Leading off the sixth inning against Jon Niese, Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso homered to make it a 7-2 game. Terry Collins allowed Jon Niese to face two batters in the seventh inning. After securing two outs, the Mets starter was removed in favor of Brandon Lyon, who gained out number three. Jon Niese pitched 6.2 innings in his Opening Day effort. He allowed two earned runs, allowed four hits, walked two batters, and struck out four in earning his first win of the season.
In the home seventh, San Diego replaced Anthony Bass with Brad Brach. Lucas Duda negotiated a one out walk. John Buck and Ruben Tejada both followed with singles to load the bases. Collin Cowgill then stepped in, and drove a pitch just over the orange line in left field for a grand slam home run.
Brandon Lyon gave way for Scott Atchison in the eighth inning, who pitched a scoreless, and hitless frame. Then in the ninth, making his major league debut after fourteen seasons in the minors, Scott Rice was given the ball to close out the game. He retired the side in order, while striking out the first two batters he faced swinging.
* First, congratulations are in order. The Mets are now 34-18 in their home openers. That is a record to marvel considering they lost their first eight openers upon entering the National League.
* Eleven runs by the Mets are the second most they ever scored on Opening Day (12 runs 1994).
* Six Mets players had multiple hits. Eight different Mets scored runs.
* Let’s hear it for the new guys! Collin Cowgill was 2/5 with a grand slam, a hustle double, and two runs scored. Marlon Byrd was 2/5 with two RBI. John Buck batted 2/4, with two runs scored and an RBI.
* From the department of – WHO NEEDS SPRING TRAINING? – With no Grapefruit League action to speak of, Daniel Murphy had two hits in five at-bats, with an RBI. Ruben Tejada, who batted an anemic .098 in Grapefruit League play, had two hits in four at-bats, with a run scored, and an RBI.
* Jon Niese has the early jump on the National League batting title. He helped out his own cause this afternoon with two hits in two at-bats. You do the math. He also drew a walk, scored once, and drove in a run.
* The Bullpen pitched 2.1 innings, allowed no hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out two, thanks to Scott Rice, who at age thirty-one, made his MLB debut after fourteen minor league seasons.
* Ike Davis was hitless in five at-bats with four strikeouts. Lucas Duda was hitless in two at-bats, but drew two walks.
There it is folks. We didn’t have to wait very long for the Mets first victory of the season. May many more come our way. The Mets and Padres are off tomorrow. Game two of this three game series will be played Wednesday evening. Matt Harvey is scheduled to pitch. The series concludes Thursday afternoon.