Monday, April 5, 2010

And So It Begins…

Opening Day is upon us. A day that hope springs eternal… or at least until mid-June.

The Yankees lost their opener 9-7 in Boston thanks to a late inning comback by the Red Sox. Blowing a 5-1 lead is not something you’d expect from C.C. Sabathia, but he had a lousy opening day start last year too. No reason to expect him to suddenly struggle. The Yankees 2010 season looks quite bright.

The Mets are in the process of kicking the tar out of the Marlins helped by David Wright’s first homerun of the season, excellent pitching from Johan Santana and a few errors by the Marlins. They currently hold a 7-1 in the top of the 8th. I was a little surprised by Jerry Manual pulling Santana after the 6th. He pulled him for a pinch hitter (Pagan) with a 4-1 lead and only 69 pitches thrown. I wouldn’t have done that, but the Mets scored twice more that inning to make teh score 6-1. No harm no foul I suppose, but I still would have let Santana go out for the 7th at least.

The question really is… what do you expect from these two teams. As the defending champs, as with a stacked team, the Yanks only real issues is mostly possible injury and age. They are an older team (which did get a little younger with Curtis Granderson replacing Johnny Damon in the outfield and Nick Johnson replacing Hideki Matsui at DH) and you do have to be at least aware of Pettite, Posada, Jeter, and Rivera’s age. Rivera has almost no injury history to worry about. Same with Jeter for the most part. Posada and Pettite could be a concern. With injury, A.J. Burnett and Johnson are both higher injury risks when you note their history (although you must note that Burnett stayed healthy all last year). The only other real possible concern would be the Division. The three best teams in the AL are all AL EAST teams in the Yanks, Red Sox and Rays. One of those three is not making the playoffs.

For the Mets, the season is starting without two of their top players in Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, as well as first baseman Daniel Murphy. Reyes will be back by next week however, and Beltran and Murphy should both be in games by early May. The main concern for this team is the starting pitching, but no one really knows just what they are going to get from the 2-5 starters. Unlike the rest of the world, I do feel the Mets can contend… and while they don’t have the stacked lineup of the Phillies or the sexy starting pitching of the Braves, they have a soild team that will be quite good as long as someone from the trio of John Maine, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfry can repeat past success.

This early in the season though… it’s easy to dream and dream big. Enjoy 2010!

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