The ebb and flow of a baseball season inevitably renders much of what is discussed about a particular team, in the preseason, meaningless. Once they’re out there playing, all the anticipation, all the guesswork, seems to almost fall away in a second: Suddenly the game is on and everything we thought was important is silly. The game itself is too unpredictable and strange, an opera in every at bat, chaos theory with each pitch. And each game itself doesn’t matter: You might remember opening day for the rest of the season, but you won’t remember Wednesday’s game, or Thursday’s, or next Friday’s, or whatever. Each game counts only as itself, really. So: As of today, everything is wonderful and glorious and perfect. The Mets look dominant, and the Marlins look inept. If only the story could hold.
This, after all, is how the Mets would draw it up: A two-run homer by David Wright — one-tenth of the way to last season’s total already! — in the first inning, the vexing brilliance of Johan Santana’s changeup, Florida stumbling with seemingly every pop-up. It ended with an easy 7–1 victory on a Heaven-perfect afternoon, an opening day straight from happyland. Heck, even Gary Matthews Jr. had a good day.
The Mets have a day off tomorrow, already, as usual, so for 50 more blissful hours, they are undefeated, and it never rains, and Johan Santana cures all that might ail the world. It is just one game, sure, but the Mets, these Mets, are just trying to hold down the fort until the reinforcements arrive. (And they are arriving, yes?) In that context, every win can stave off trouble, and every win counts.