The Mets won Game 2 of the 2011 season, which means we can forget all about that terrible opening day. Things actually worked out beautifully — the Mets won and Francisco Rodriguez did not register a “game finished” (see new counter on right).
I thought this would have been the type of game from which K-Rod would have been removed earlier to avoid the game finished. I thought he was going to be pulled after giving up the game-tying run in the ninth — why leave him in to lose the game AND finish it? Luckily he was able to get the last out of the ninth, and the Mets were able to score three in the tenth to come away with the 6-4 win with Blaine Boyer on the mound on the bottom of the inning.
Even though it all worked out, I was disappointed in Terry Collins’s strategy in the tenth. With Jose Reyes on first with no outs, he elected to have Angel Pagan sacrifice rather than have Reyes steal second. Pagan was able to beat out the bunt, making it first and second with no outs, but still, why give away an out in that situation when Reyes could easily have stolen second? All ten runners who tried to steal off pitcher Ryan Webb (son of 1970s Mets pitching great Hank Webb) last season were successful. Collins chose to play it safe. I wonder what the bunt-hating sabermetricians in the front office thought of it.
In any case, David Wright followed with a single up the middle to drive in the tie-breaking run. It was nice to see Wright come through in the clutch like that (to go along with his solo homer in the fourth). With Jason Bay out and Carlos Beltran clearly hobbling, the Mets need Wright to come through in situations like these more than he has in the past.
Jonathon Niese (left) was another bright spot. After struggling in the first inning, allowing two runs, Niese shut down the Marlins for the next six innings, allowing just one hit. Bobby Parnell also looked good, striking out two in his one inning and mixing in an effective slider with his fastball, which reached 99 mph. It was his lack of a second pitch that allowed hitters to sit on his fastball in previous seasons.
It’s hard to call the second game of the season a “must win,” but this one was pretty close. If the Mets blew this game after that lackluster opener, the already suspicious fan base would have been that much more demoralized. But the offense came through in the tenth, and now the Mets are in the win column.