Ten years after the New York Mets won on Opening Day 2010, we look back at the first lineup of the season and how clear it was this team wasn’t bound for glory.
On April 5, 2010, the New York Mets opened the season with a 7-1 victory against the Florida Marlins. In front of the hometown fans, Johan Santana bested Josh Johnson in the first game of an otherwise forgettable year. The team finished a mediocre 79-83 record despite some solid pitching performances from Santana, R.A. Dickey, and multiple relievers.
The Opening Day lineup, however, gives a good picture of what was in store. We may not have known at the time, but the 2010 Mets were a mostly inept team at the plate. It didn’t show in game one, but with hindsight, it’s obvious why.
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Wright was still a productive player at this point in his career. The same cannot be said about the other two. This was Jacobs’ return season to New York after posting some powerful numbers elsewhere. For Bay, it was year one of a contract that never seemed to end.
Matthews Jr. had a miserable season, hitting .190 in 65 plate appearances. Frenchy wasn’t much better and ended up getting traded to the Texas Rangers in August. Then there was Barajas whose time in New York was as forgettable as anybody. He also failed to last the season with the Mets.
What made this such a disappointing beginning to the decade was how badly the previous three seasons ended. The Mets collapsed in 2007 and 2008 before falling completely out of contention in 2009. Their 70-92 record this season. The 70 wins in 2009 are the second-lowest of the century, only ahead of the 2003 squad.
The Mets have had a great history on Opening Day. As we learned in 2010, even a win in game one didn’t suggest there was much winning ahead.
Although they were just two games below .500, the Mets were a fourth-place team 18 games out of first place. There was hardly ever a chance at sniffing the postseason.
Ten years later, the team opened 2020 with a lineup looking much different. There’s greater hope for a positive season ahead.
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Opening Day can set a tone for the year to come. Whether a team wins or loses, the lineup the manager puts out in game number one is enough to hint at what will happen over the next 161 games. Unfortunately in 2010, a quick win wasn’t enough to overcome a lineup short on talent.