Let's dream on this one.
Let's ignore the fact that Johan Santana didn't hit 90 on the gun, and that he was down to 86-87 MPH on the fastball in the fifth inning. Let's look right past the fact that the Braves' offense isn't the sexiest these days. Let's not worry about the fact that the Mets only managed to plate one of their 11 baserunners. Let's not think about all that.
Let's instead think about how Johan Santana looked great for four innings. Let's imagine that changeup and slider dancing, as it did today, for a full season. He struck out five in his five innings! He only allowed four baserunners. He smiled. He pitched well, up until the fifth inning when he gave up a double to part-time lefty-killer Matt Diaz and then lost control and walked the bottom of the order. Let's remember that weak grounder he got from Michael Bourn to end the inning instead of focusing on the walk to Tommy Hanson.
And the lineup? We could yammer about all the missed opportunities -- and had the score ended up in the Braves' favor, we surely would be -- but we won't. It's more fun to notice that the Mets managed four walks against their six strikeouts, and that they only went down 1-2-3 once. Why point out that six of the seven hits were singles? The made contact! They were patient! Other than Ike Davis and Lucas Duda (oh-for-eight with four strikeouts combined), every regular put his foot on first base.
Ramon Ramirez didn't look super. Jon Rauch was only okay. Never mind! Tim Byrdak looked healthy and struck two guys out. He made Jose Constanza look silly. Frank Francisco was pumping gas. Don't think too hard about the booth calling him an Armando Benitez lookalike, don't do it. Just relax and enjoy game one.
There will be enough time to feel sad about things like Andres Torres coming up lame and re-injuring his calf muscle on day one. And surely there will be days where we lament the strikeouts from the middle of the order.
Today? Let's dream on this first win.
SB Nation Coverage
* Traditional Recap
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Talking Chop Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Johan Santana, +27.4%, Tim Byrdak +18.7%, Frank Francisco +15.6%, Daniel Murphy +13.0%
Big losers: Ike Davis -16.2%, Lucas Duda -11.5%, Jason Bay -7.7%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jose Constanza struck out swinging 11.5%
Teh sux0rest play: Tyler Pastornicky tripled to right -13.7%
Total pitcher WPA: +71.5%
Total batter WPA: -21.5%
GWRBI!: David Wright singled to left (Liner). Andres Torres scored. Daniel Murphy advanced to 2B.
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by astromets; that effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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