I haven't written a real recap in more than six months and I'll confess to a bit of rustiness. The Mets looked to have the same problem tonight against Josh Johnson, but then they always have problems with Johnson, but then so do most teams. Great pitchers have a way of making decent teams look pretty bad, and they have a way of making Mets fans riding a modest wave of Opening Day excitement devolve into a blur of defeatism and self-loathing. Mike Pelfrey's ineffective start was simply grist for the depressing mill, and the gamethread nearly exploded when John Buck hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth.
The Mets had zero hits and a to their credit against Johnson through the first six innings before Willie Harris, starting because Jason Bay is on the disabled list, batting second because who the hell knows, led off the seventh with a single to center, which he hustled into a double because he plays the game the right way™. Two batters later, Carlos Beltran selfishly doubled Harris in with the first run. An Ike Davis ground out would narrow the deficit to 5-2, and after a Brad Emaus walk forced Johnson from the game we all got together and agreed that Moneyball definitely works.
Pedro Beato gave up three hits in two innings but didn't allow a run (nor did he walk or strike out anyone) in what should be considered a successful big league debut. Taylor Buchholz, who gave up a line drive home run to Logan Morrison, had a less auspicious first appearance with the Mets.
The game passed quickly, as most Opening Day affairs do. We're so excited for actual baseball that we can hardly remember all the details. Well, we remember the bad details for the most part. But it's one game of a long season in which few expect the Mets to do anything of consequence. The losing I can live with, but I can't really embrace the negativity or the this-is-what-it's-like-to-be-a-Mets-fan sad-sackery. We've got another game tomorrow, so I'll look forward to that.
Big winners: Pedro Beato, +1.8% WPA
Big losers: Mike Pelfrey, -20.1% WPA, David Wright, -6.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Sanchez ground out in first, -5.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Buck grand slam in fourth, -23.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -19.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: -30.1% WPA
GWRBI!: John Buck
Nice job by BobbyV_Incognito; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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