New York Mets fans probably aren’t that impressed. Only two wins over division rivals, the Atlanta Braves, to kick off the 2012 MLB season perfectly at home, with the bats working extra time. Still, it’s better than what everyone would have you expect from the little team in the Big Apple.
If the first win of the season was mostly about Johan Santana doing well through 5 innings before leaving the mound, the win on Saturday against the Braves was about hitting, mostly David Wright, going 3-5, driving in his second run of the season and even more, Lucas Duda.
Duda made a nice impression during the 2011 season, finishing with 50 RBIs while batting .292 through 100 games. This season, he begins with some power no one really expected to see from the left fielder. First of Jair Jurrjens in the 4th, the second off of Chad Durbin in the 7th. David Wright also hit a home run in the 1st inning of Jurrjens, who was blasted through the 4.1 innings he played in, giving up three runs and seven hits.
Martin Prado’s home run for the Braves brought in the first two points of the season for the Braves, who will probably prefer to put these two losses behind them. After all, these are only two games in a 162 game season. Division rivals or not, losing a series or not, it shouldn’t really matter that much. Not even when it’s the first time in four years that the Braves lose their first two games of the season.
For the Mets, it’s the first 2-0 start since 2-0. The feeling in the ball club? Some would call it giddy. Confident, but mostly, relief. And not just for the impressive relief pitching we saw in Citi Field. When you read so much about how bad you’re going to be, no matter how worthless pre season predictions can turn out to be very quickly, some begin to believe them.
Again, these are only two games, and the first games of the season more often than not don’t prove to be indicative of what the season may show us. The Miami Marlins, also in the NL East, haven’t started how most expected them to, but there seems to be enough talent in South Florida to turn things around. It’s probably going to be all these teams chasing the Phillies anyway.
The most intriguing man for me was Dan Uggla, coming off his disappointing first season with the Braves. Yes, he had a 33 game hit streak, and hit 36 home runs, hitting over 30 homers for the fifth season in a row. A rarity among second basemen. But his hitting funk is still here. He went 1-7 in the series, looking like the same guy who was so uncomfortable at the plate, hitting .233 for the season in 2011.