Tagged: Josh Johnson

The Way It Needs to Be…

If the Mets are to succeed this year, this game will be a prototype.  First of all, Santana is going to need to pitch amazing.  And…they are going to have to win his starts.  In addition, they will need to play solid defense and have timely hitting.  Well, all of those aspects came together on Monday.  Johan pitched very well, going 6 innings, allowing 2 hits, a run, walking 2, and striking out 5.  He got into a little trouble in the 6th which raised his pitch count.  Otherwise, it looked like he would go 7 strong.  The bullpen did a great job finishing off the game, allowing only 2 hits in the final 3 innings.  However, before Santana officially left the game, the Met offense had all but finished the game off.  And did it in great team style.  Four different players contributed RBI in the late innings.  The newcomers -Bay, Matthews, and Barajas) (minus Jacobs) went 6 for 11 with 3 RBI and 4 runs scored.  Nobody had an amazing day, but enough players had solid days, which is something that will need to be the case this year.  The Marlins defense also helped the Mets with 3 key errors. 

So, pitching?  Check.  Defense?  Check.  Timely hitting?  Check.  So far, so good…

Opening Day Figures:

  • After a year of struggling for power, David Wright homered in his 1st AB.  He now has 10% of his total from last year…
  • Fernando Nieve looked great in his 2 innings of relief.  With only K-Rod and Feliciano returning as dependable arms in the bullpen, Nieve is going to be very under-valued this year…
  • One thing that was nice to see was the potential speed of Jason Bay.  Leading off the 6th inning, he turned an easy double into a hustling triple.  He was also thrown out on an infield ground out, but he turned what looked like an easy out into a close play…
  • Josh Johnson had previously never lost to the Mets, including a stellar defeat of Santana last April in an epic 2-1 game…
  • My favorite part of Opening Day is the pitching match-ups.  It is always something to relish because there is never another day throughout the regular season that teams always have their aces on the mound.  Hopefully, throughout the year, we will see these pitchers face off, again…     

Wednesday, 7:10, Citi Field, Nolasco vs. Maine…

Stacked Deck…

The Mets had the odds stacked against the today.  Part of it was the natural turn in the rotation and part of it was a managerial move by Jerry Manuel.

1.  Josh Johnson pitched for the Marlins.  He had been 5-0 against the Mets, coming into Saturday’s game.  He proved to live up to his reputation by going 7 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 BBs, and 5 Ks.  He pitched with no fear and went right after the Mets hitters.  Johnson got a lot of soft ground balls, which he normally gets when he is on his game.  The bullpen made the game interesting in the 9th inning, but was able to lock the game down, 7-3.

 

2.  Tim Redding took the mound for the Mets.  Redding has been up and down in his couple of starts.  Either way, he is definitely the #5 starter for NY.  Redding is way off of his game today, only goin 4+, 8 hits, 7 runs, 2 BBs, and 2 Ks.  He is now 0-2 in his 3 starts.  After looking promising in his start against the Dodgers, a week and a half ago, Redding has gone consistently downhill since.  It will be interesting to see how the Mets manage this situation with him.  All of the other 4 starters have been very good, but it seems no one is taking a hold of the last spot.  I think Redding will get another shot, but it also wouldn’t be surprising to see someone else get a chance.  Perhaps the newcomer in Buffalo, Broadway?

3.  With the pitching matchup set, Manuel decided to rest his 3/4 of his most consistent hitters.  Wright, Sheffield, and Castillo all sat today.  The offense did not look good at all as the Mets did not mount a serious big inning threat until the 9th.  I actually didn’t mind Manuel doing this because Sheff and Wright need days off sometimes.  And no one on the Mets was having much success against Johnson, anyway (except Tatis, who got the 1st Met RBI).  So, he might as well, “give” the game to the Marlins and hope to catch lightning in a bottle with all of the backups.  If you happen to stay in the game and somehow beat Johnson or get to the bullpen, great.  If not, well, the chances of beating him weren’t overly positive, anyway.  And, some people get some more playing time.  Not a terrible move at all. 

 

A Couple Memories:

  • F-Mart got his first couple hits in the Majors, today.  He also tacked on another RBI.  It should be interesting to see how much he plays, given that Sheffield is a necessary part of the lineup and Pagan in playing well…
  • Wilson Valdez got his first hit as a Met in the 9th inning…
  • Fernando Tatis committed his first error of the year, playing 3rd for David Wright.  That error broke the 4 game error-less streak for the Mets…
  • Ken Takahashi did a great job in relief, going 3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 BB, and 2 Ks.  He saved many of the regulars in the bullpen and gave them an extra day off…

 

Sunday, 1:10, Citi Field, Volstad vs. Maine…