New York at Florida

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N.Y. Mets (1-0) «0006000017100
Florida (0-1)000200000251

Santana's debut a striking success for Mets in win over Marlins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Johan Santana insisted he was a bit nervous in the moments before his highly anticipated debut with the New York Mets.

Didn't look it, not one bit.

COMMENTARY
Santana's Mets debut soothes pain of 2007 disaster
by Eric Mack
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Santana struck out eight in seven dominant innings, David Wright hit a three-run double and New York opened its season with a 7-2 win Monday over the Florida Marlins.

"It's always good to get the first one out of the way," Santana said. "I wasn't trying to put anything in my head or anything. Just another game, another opening day, different uniform, lot of expectations. But I felt good."

If only the Mets had Santana (1-0) last September, when they blew a seven-game lead in the NL East with 17 games left. The collapse became complete when the Marlins scored seven times off Tom Glavine in the first inning on the season's final day.

But Santana -- who was traded to the Mets from Minnesota this winter and signed a $137.5 million, six-year contract -- dazzled Monday from beginning to end. The two-time Cy Young winner struck out Hanley Ramirez to begin the game and Matt Treanor to end his outing, and allowed only three hits.

"Off to a good start," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Santana was outstanding today. He was pounding the zone all day and I thought he threw even better than he looked, because he threw a lot of strikes and balls were kind of borderline that he didn't get. But he made pitches when he had to and it's nice to have the big horse start things for you."

Wright and Carlos Beltran each doubled twice for the Mets. Jose Reyes added two hits for New York, which has now won 30 of its last 39 openers.

Josh Willingham hit a two-run home run for Florida.

"We got the home run off him," Willingham said, "but that was about it."

The Mets took command with their biggest inning on an opening day, scoring six runs in the fourth against Mark Hendrickson (0-1).

Beltran led off the inning with a double and Angel Pagan, Mets newcomer Ryan Church and Reyes hit RBI singles. A walk to Luis Castillo loaded the bases for Wright, who began the game with a career .462 average in that situation.

No surprise, then, that his liner rolled all the way to the left-center field wall, giving the Mets a 6-0 lead. The Mets' previous biggest burst in an opener was five runs in the seventh inning in a win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 5, 1979.

"I was looking for a fastball," Wright said. "He was very sneaky. His fastball got on you a little bit -- but that one was left over the middle of the plate."

The Mets batted around for so long, they might've thrown Santana off his rhythm.

Santana retired the first nine Marlins he faced, then went 28 minutes without throwing a pitch while his teammates kept piling up runs. Ramirez drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and, two outs later, Willingham homered to left field.

Santana set down seven of the next nine batters, striking out five. When he walked off the field after the seventh, the decidedly pro-Mets crowd of 38,308 at Dolphin Stadium gave him a long cheer.

"He's one of the best," Randolph said. "It's a pleasure to watch him work."

With Santana out of the game, Florida tried to rally in the eighth, putting runners on second and third with two outs. Jorge Sosa, the third Mets pitcher of the inning, came on and struck out Willingham.

"When you get your opportunities, you have to cash in on them," Willingham said. "And we didn't get many."

Marlon Anderson singled and eventually scored from second after Matt Lindstrom's wild pitch in the ninth to give the Mets a 7-2 lead.

Notes

  • Randolph seemed baffled by a lengthy postgame line of questioning regarding Castillo not running hard on Beltran's bloop double in the first inning. "I'll chastise him later," Randolph said, tongue firmly in cheek. "I'll get on him. I'll get the whip and I'll beat him, I'll beat him later, all right? Wow, what about Santana?"
  • Florida has lost 11 of 12 at home against the Mets since Sept. 11, 2006.
  • Treanor, making his first opening day start, threw out Reyes -- who stole 78 bases last year - at second to end the sixth. Treanor easily caught Wright trying to steal third in the seventh.
  • Making his 18th straight opening-day start, a streak that began two years before the Marlins began play, Florida right fielder Luis Gonzalez was 1-for-4.
  • Florida honored "Mr. Marlin," retired OF Jeff Conine, as part of the pregame ceremonies. "I wore five other uniforms, but I want to say that I always considered myself a Florida Marlin," Conine told the crowd.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Johan Santana strikes out eight in seven innings in his Mets debut Monday.  (AP)
Johan Santana strikes out eight in seven innings in his Mets debut Monday. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

J. Willingham
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

D. Wright
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4121010 .500
Luis Castillo, 2B3110200 .333
David Wright, 3B4023102 .500
Carlos Beltran, CF5120012 .400
Carlos Delgado, 1B3100102 .000
Angel Pagan, LF3111100 .333
Ryan Church, RF4111001 .250
Brian Schneider, C4000003 .000
Johan Santana, P3000012 .000
    Matt Wise, P0000000 .000
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
    Jorge Sosa, P0000000 .000
   a- Marlon Anderson, PH11100001.000
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
Totals34710653  
a-singled for Sosa in the 9th
Batting
2B - David Wright 2 (2, Hendrickson, Nolasco), Carlos Beltran 2 (2, Hendrickson, Hendrickson), Angel Pagan (1, Hendrickson)
SH - Jose Reyes (1)
RBI - Jose Reyes (1), David Wright 3 (3), Angel Pagan (1), Ryan Church (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (1), David Wright 3 (3)
SB - Luis Castillo (1, 2nd base off Hendrickson/Treanor)
CS - Jose Reyes (1, 2nd base by Nolasco/Treanor), David Wright (1, 3rd base by Nolasco/Treanor)
Team LOB - 6
New York Mets
Johan Santana (W,1-0) 7322281 2.57
Matt Wise 0.1200000 0.00
Scott Schoeneweis (H,1) 0.1000000 0.00
Jorge Sosa (H,1) 0.1000010 0.00
Aaron Heilman 1000020 0.00
WP - Johan Santana (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 100-65, Matt Wise 10-6, Scott Schoeneweis 2-2, Jorge Sosa 6-3, Aaron Heilman 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 4-9, Scott Schoeneweis 1-0, Aaron Heilman 1-0
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 26, Matt Wise 3, Scott Schoeneweis 1, Jorge Sosa 1, Aaron Heilman 3
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS3100123 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B4010010 .250
Mike Jacobs, 1B4000011 .000
Josh Willingham, LF4112012 .250
Jorge Cantu, 3B4010020 .250
Cody Ross, CF4000011 .000
Luis Gonzalez, RF4010001 .250
Matt Treanor, C2000111 .000
Mark Hendrickson, P1000010 .000
   a- Jason Wood, PH1000012 .000
    Ricky Nolasco, P0000000 .000
   b- Alfredo Amezaga, PH10100001.000
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
Totals32252211  
a-struck out for Hendrickson in the 5th
b-singled for Nolasco in the 8th
Batting
HR - Josh Willingham (1, Santana)
RBI - Josh Willingham 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Willingham 2 (2)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Matt Treanor (1, Throwing)
Florida Marlins
Mark Hendrickson (L,0-1) 5766320 10.80
Ricky Nolasco 3200110 0.00
Matt Lindstrom 1110100 0.00
WP - Matt Lindstrom (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Hendrickson 89-51, Ricky Nolasco 35-22, Matt Lindstrom 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Hendrickson 2-11, Ricky Nolasco 3-3, Matt Lindstrom 3-0
Batters Faced - Mark Hendrickson 25, Ricky Nolasco 10, Matt Lindstrom 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38308
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Chad Fairchild