Baseball, more than any other sport, has a season of ups and downs — a long haul where no one game is too important in the grand scheme of things. But Opening Day still means something, perhaps because seemingly everyone is paying attention, perhaps because each team has its ace pitcher going, or perhaps simply because, finally, it’s a game that counts.
So without putting too much stock in any single game, much less one in April, it’s worth pointing out that the Mets couldn’t have scripted their opener any better. Johan Santana gave up one run over five and one-third innings, then the bullpen — the Mets bullpen! — went the rest of the way without giving up a run, including innings by J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez.
And then there’s the Yankees. While the Mets’ new acquisitions were doing what they were supposed to in a 2–1 win over Cincinnati, the Yankees’ big-money free agents were not in a 10–5 loss to Baltimore. CC Sabathia was terrible, allowing six runs in four and one-third innings, while notorious slow-starter (and Baltimore native) Mark Teixeira went hitless while being mercilessly booed by Baltimore fans who thought he should have signed with his hometown team.
Obviously, fans of neither team should overreact too much, because again, it’s just one game. (Though, of course, that won’t stop anyone calling in to the FAN today from awarding K-Rod the Cy Young or proclaiming Sabathia a total bust.) But for one day at least, Mets fans’ hopes, and Yankees fans’ worst fears, were realized. One down, 161 to go.