Few things in life are better than an Opening Day win.  But it’s even better when everything goes right, like it did for the Mets yesterday.

Let’s say you are watching a game where you have a rooting interest in the outcome.  Would you rather have your team put the game away early and enjoy a laugher or would you rather have a tight game and have each play carry extra significance until your team emerges victorious at the end?

We had that in my house yesterday.  My wife is a UNC grad (but she has lots of other good qualities, I assure you) and we watched the NCAA finals.  As you know, that game was a blowout, which was how my wife preferred it to be.  She said it would have been too stressful otherwise.  While she was basking in the rout, I fell asleep in the recliner.

Earlier in the day, I watched the Mets beat the Reds on Opening Day, 2-1.  While I wish the Mets offense would have showed up, it was a thrilling game with big implications on each play.  And without a doubt, I’d rather have one of these games.  Perhaps if it was Game 7 of the World Series, I’d feel better about a blowout, but there’s just something about the excitement of the moment that I generally don’t want to trade for a guaranteed win.

And there were a ton of positives for the Mets in the win.  Johan Santana pitched great considering the circumstances, had good velocity and did not seem to have any issues with his elbow.  Daniel Murphy repaid Jerry Manuel‘s faith in him by driving in both runs, including his third homer in the majors.  Carlos Delgado looked like he was in great shape and reached base three times.

Ryan Church had a solid game at the bat and in the field.  I have my doubts about Church being able to duplicate offensively what he did in the first half last year but no doubts whatsoever about how good he is defensively.  There’s no chance Gary Sheffield turns the double play that Church did.  Even Luis Castillo got a hit, and surprisingly it was a double.

Perhaps best of all was the bullpen.  Not only was it 3.1 scoreless innings, it was 3.1 hitless innings, too.  Sean Green and J.J. Putz bridged the gap and Francisco Rodriguez took care of business 1-2-3 in the ninth.  And Rodriguez did it by throwing strikes as well as featuring a 93 mph fastball.  For one day at least, K-Rod quieted those who harp about his declining peripherals.

While the Mets big off-season acquisitions were coming through in the clutch, the New York debut for C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira went considerably worse.  Sabathia did not make it out of the fifth inning, gave up six runs and took the loss. Teixeira came up five times with runners on base and did not drive home a single run.

If you were going to script Opening Day as a Mets fan, it would have been hard to have come up with a better outcome than this.  I just hope these good feelings can last throughout the entire year.

And if anyone besides me cares, Murphy now has five at-bats with a 1.000 OPS.

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