Ah, Opening Day — the day when all teams are equal and the Mets are tied for first place. Well, Opening Day is over and the Mets are still tied for first place as they clubbed the Padres 11-2. The newest Mets made immediate splashes — a grand slam from Collin Cowgill and big hits from Marlon Byrd and John Buck.
The Mets got on the board first. Buck walked with two outs in the second inning. Ruben Tejada then hit a double to left to plate Buck. Johathon Niese followed with a single over the head of the third baseman to make it 2-0.
Niese gave one of the runs back in the top of the third. He walked Chris Denorfia and hit Everth Cabrera, and Carlos Quentin singled to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Mets extended their lead in the bottom of the inning. David Wright singled, stole second (he had two steals on the day) and Byrd singled to center to score Wright, again with two outs. Lucas Duda walked and Buck singled to make it 4-1.
The Mets knocked Padres starter Edinson Volquez out of the game in the fourth. Niese led off with a walk and Cowgill followed with a double to left center to put runners on second and third. Cowgill never slowed down, making the turn hard into first and hustling into second. Daniel Murphy greeted reliever Anthony Bass by ripping a single to right on his first pitch to score Niese. On the next pitch, to Wright, Murphy advanced to second on a wild pitch. Wright grounded out to score Cowgill. Byrd came through again with two outs, singling home Murphy to make it a 7-1 game.
Yonder Alonso led off the sixth inning with a home run to right to cut the Mets lead to 7-2.
Niese was removed from the game with two outs in the seventh inning — apparently after arguing with Terry Collins in the dugout after the sixth inning to be allowed to pitch the seventh. After breaking the 100 pitch barrier (he threw 101), Collins came out with the hook. Niese allowed just the two runs on four hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. He also excelled at bat, going two-for-two with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Cowgill laced a line drive to left that just cleared the orange line for a grand slam to give the Mets an 11-2 lead.
That was the final score, as Sandy Alderson is now a genius with his brilliant acquisitions. Let’s hope they can keep it up for the next six months.