Welcome to Opening Day! Where our New York Mets will open up a newer, smaller version of Citi Field this year against the rival Atlanta Braves.
This is the 50th anniversary of the Franchise that we all know and love and even though things have been a little down this off-season, its on a day like today, that we forget all that and welcome baseball back into our lives again.
The Mets lost Jose Reyes and traded Angel Pagan, but will have Johan Santana back on the mound plus Ike Davis and David Wright are healthy and ready to go. With the new, smaller dimensions at Citi Field, the power that has been sapped from the Mets could come back as the park is deemed a little more hitter friendly.
Prior to the game, the Mets will honor Gary Carter with a ceremony and a moment of silence. Carter’s family will take part in the tribute and throw out the first pitch. As we all know, The Hall of Fame catcher, who helped lead us to the Mets most recent championship in 1986, died Feb. 16 at age 57.
New York Mets Lineup
1. Andres Torres, CF
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Ike Davis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Lucas Duda, RF
7. Josh Thole, C
8. Ruben Tejada, SS
9. Johan Santana, SP
Stache Fact: The Mets are 32-18 in season openers, the best winning percentage (.640) in baseball history. That also is amazing when you consider that they lost its first eight.
Atlanta Braves Lineup
1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Martin Prado, 3B
3. Brian McCann, C
4. Dan Uggla, 2B
5. Freddie Freeman, 1B
6. Matt Diaz, LF
7. Jason Heyward, RF
8. Tyler Pastornicky, SS
9. Tommy Hanson, SP
Stache Fact: Last season the Braves were up by 8 1/2 games through Sept. 5, but they went 9-18 down the stretch and were overtaken by St. Louis on the final day of the season. (Welcome to the Collapse Club boys, drinks and food are free)
NYM- Johan Santana (0-0, 0.00 ERA, Injured In 2011)
Welcome back Johan! The Ace of the Mets staff is back and its really something special when you consider the type of injury he had is very hard to comeback from. He has not made a start since September of 2010 when he beat the Braves 4-2, leaving early because of the injury. He is the best pitcher the Mets have ever had in the 21st century and it will be great to see #57 back on the Mound for the Mets.
ATL- Tommmy Hanson (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 11-7 3.60 ERA In 2011)
Based upon the hype he had coming into his major league career I would say that Hanson has been delayed on his way to becoming the anchor of the Braves pitching staff. Injuries last year forced him to make only one start after July, an 11-7 loss to the Mets. He is only 3-3 against the Mets in 7 starts with a 3.69 ERA. If the Braves are going to make a run at the playoffs, he must stay healthy and help to anchor this staff.
Stache Keys to the Game
1. Go after Hanson early. As is the case with guys making their first start of the season, they are going to trying to find their game the same as the batters are trying to adjust. If the Mets can be quick in getting comfortable before Hanson does, its could be a poor day for Tommy boy.
2. Make sure that Santana can leave the game happy and healthy. There is no question that Terry Collins will be monitoring Johan’s pitches and his performance throughout his start. Outside of a No-htter, Johan is not going to go too deep in this game and the object in my opinion is to let him leave hopefully with a lead/no chance to lose and to always make sure in 5 days, he is ready to do this all again.
3. I’m not going to be at the game this season, and so I ask this as a favor to all my fellow Mets fans. Support the boys more than you ever have before at Citi Field. The fact is that our negativity will mean nothing to the players outside the white lines and everything inside those same lines. Being just a little more positive may go along way for a young team just trying to make this year the building blocks towards future success.
LETS GO METS!