Opening Day Lineup and Preview: Mets Vs. Marlins

Jerry Manuel has announced his Opening Day lineup for tomorrow:

1. Alex Cora SS
2. Luis Castillo 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Mike Jacobs 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Gary Matthews Jr. CF
7. Jeff Francoeur RF
8. Rod Barajas C
9. Johan Santana P

Observations: Gary Matthews Jr. gets the starting nod over Angel Pagan, 20-year old Ruben Tejada will be riding the pine, Mike Jacobs is in fact your cleanup hitter, and Alex Cora who has a career .246 BA / .313 OBP is leading off. Questions and concerns?

Original Post 3/31 8:00 AM

April 5th is the day that Mets fans have been longing for.  It’s been almost six months since a regular season Mets game and many more months since a meaningful one.  The long winter of discontent will be over.  What the spring and summer will bring is unknown.  But we will get our first look at it in one week when the Mets take the field to play at Citi Field against the Florida Marlins.

What a pitching match up to start the season!  Two true aces will face each other – Johan Santana and Josh Johnson.  Who knows what to expect; a pitchers duel, both pitchers getting knocked around, or how about a one sided Mets victory.  Whichever, we want the box score to read:  Santana W 1-0.  For at least one day, life will be grand, and we can wear our Mets paraphernalia proudly around town.

Over the last several years the Mets and Marlins have become heated rivals.  The Mets have had trouble beating them.  I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that in both 2007 and 2008 the Marlins buried the Mets and their playoff hopes on the last day of the season.

Josh Johnson has often dominated the Mets.  Last year he was 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA against them.  Overall Josh was outstanding with a 15-5 record, 3.23 ERA and 8.2 K/9 innings.  Offensively, the Mets can never seem to get Hanley Ramirez out.  Look at these 2009 numbers against the Mets.  BA – .373, OBP – .439, SL – .542, OPS – .982.  I think it’s time to start walking Hanley more often.  Dan Uggla and Cody Ross also typically kill the Mets.

Monday April 5th begins the marathon of all marathons.  The six month, 162 game baseball season is unmatched in the world of sports.  Game 1 is important but in no way a portent of what the future holds.  Mets fans must remember this.  Yes, we want to get off to a good start but if we lose game 1 we need not bury our heads in disgust and immediately call for Jerry Manuel’s head.

To fanatical Mets fans, each game whether in April or September will feel like a playoff game.  We will dissect and second guess constantly.  But if the Mets win opening day we can dream about, and not dread the next game.