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2009 Baseball…At Long Last

Opening day of the 2009 Major League Baseball season technically got underway on Sunday night with the Atlanta Braves matched up (and defeating) the (hated) Philadelphia Phillies. But it wasn’t opening day for me until yesterday afternoon with the first game of the season for the New York Mets, against the Cincinnati Reds.

As a Mets fan, opening day was very encouraging, showcasing precisely the opposite kind of performances that doomed the team in each of the past two years: specifically, bullpen. At this point fans can take it for granted that Johan Santana is going to be stellar, but after countless victories lost to incompetent relief pitching last year, for Santana and the team at large, the Sean Green, JJ Putz, Francisco Rodriguez combined effort for 3 1/3 shutout innings was reassuring. In my baseball-following lifetime I can’t remember a relief pitching situation in which I felt more secure in the teams prospects for victory once ahead. An aging John Franco, Armando Benitez, Branden Looper, and even Billy Wagner ranged from atrocious to erratic.

Perhaps a few too many runner left on base, but pitching and defense…

In other, less significant American league news, of possible interest to New England readers, the New York Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10 to 5 and the Boston Red Sox home opener with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays was postponed for weather.


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