Ah, sweet Opening Day. Is there anything better? Sun shining brightly, birds chirping gleefully, the smell of peanuts and cracker jack wafting through the fresh spring air… or at least that’s what you'd imagine opening day to be like, if you weren’t stuck in a cubicle at your place of employment, reloading Gameday audio 12,042 times while simultaneously researching where to purchase an atomic bomb with which to obliterate MLB.tv tech support.
[Deep cleansing breath.]
Luckily, when the Marlins opened their season against the Mets at Citi Field Monday, they gave us Fish fans a few reasons to be glad that it's hard to find a way to be in front of a television at 1:10 in the afternoon. Sure, it promised to be a good match-up with Marlins ace Josh Johnson starting against Johan Santana, but things didn't exactly unfold that way. (Not that I saw how any of it did unfold, but I got to watch those little cartoon-y figures on MLB Gameday, which we all know is practically the same as being there live.)
JJ lasted just five innings in his season debut, and gave up four runs on five hits, walked four, and put the Marlins in an early hole on a two-run shot to David Wright in the bottom of the first.
The Fish, meanwhile, couldn't get much of anything accomplished against Santana, who--despite the many hopes of every non-Mets fan in existence--did not miraculously forget how to pitch during the off-season. (I, for one, intend to return my voodoo dolls to the manufacturer for a full refund of the purchase price, less shipping and handling.)
The Fish managed a meager four hits off of Santana in his six innings of work. They finally got on the board in the sixth on an RBI double by Jorge Cantu that scored Chris Coghlan, but that was the last of the good news for Florida.
Things got sloppy for the Marlins as the bullpen took over in the sixth. The Mets scored four times, and Clay Hensley, Dan Meyer and Gaby Sanchez all committed errors in the half inning. Hensley--whose current ERA is 27.00, which is fun to say--gave up two runs to the Mets in his Marlins debut, and Tim Wood allowed a run in the seventh to make the score 7-1.
Aside from 2-for-4 afternoons from Hanley and Gaby, it was a sloppy, forgettable game that definitely didn’t leave Fish fans with warm, fuzzy feelings to kick off the regular season.
The good news is, we get to try this 161 more times.