Mets Win Home Opener

With only a couple of minor electrical hitches, the home opener at the newly refurbished Tradition Field went well for the Mets as they combined accolades for their upgraded facility with a 10-6 drubbing of the Cardinals.

The Mets plated all ten of their runs in the first 2 innings, nine of the charged to the account of Cards' ace Matt Morris.

Cedeno blooped a fly to left that was generously scored a lead off double. Jose Reyes grounded out moving Cedeno to third. Reyes has shown that he will pull a groundball to move the runner up several times so far this spring, which is a good indication of what kind of two-hole hitter he'll be, and of his coachability.

Mike Piazza delivered the games first run with a solid single to center. Piazza, showing no signs of his minor leg woes, then went from first to third on Cliff single, setting up Mike Cameron, who laced a double, scoring Piazza and leaving second and third for Todd Zeile, who promptly smacked a Matt Morris offering for a 2 run single before Ty Wigginton grounded into a classic 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Zeile's two run single provided the scariest moment of the game as Cliff Floyd tumbled coming across the plate, and landed hard, holding his knee for several moments before gingerly getting to his feet. Floyd stayed in the game and showed no signs of any lingering pain.

Al Leiter worked through two less than stellar innings, though he came out of them unscathed. Despite a good line (2IP, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 BB, 2 Ks), Leiter struggled in the first, letting the Cards load the bases and serving up 400 foot foul balls to both Greg Vaughn and Albert Pujols.

In the second, Morris came back out to start and the Mets pummeled him a second time. After retiring McEwing, Morris gave up consecutive singles to Karim Garcia and Roger Cedeno, both of whom trotted home on a Jose Reyes triple. Piazza plated Reyes with a sacrifice fly.

The Mets kept the second inning going with a walk to Cliff Floyd and a single by Mike Cameron, before Larussa came out to get Morris. Another walk and a bases clearing double by Wigginton finished the inning and pretty much ended the game.

The Mets cruised through the next four innings, with Tyler Yates going a strong two innings behind Leiter, including sawing off Pujols and getting him to hit into a double play. David Weathers and Mike Stanton also each threw a solid inning.

The Mets young pitchers Matt Peterson and Bob Keppel each got into the game late. Peterson was cruising until a two-out grounder ate up 3B Aaron Baldiris, after which Peterson struggled and let 3 runs score before he could get out of the inning. Keppel pitched a scary ninth, loading the bases and letting a run score before working his way out of the jam and ending the game.

The Difference A Uniform Makes

Fans ran, pushed and stretched to get autographs from AA and down catchers who were in the Mets bullpen last night, running right past more highly touted minor leaguers who stood beside the in street clothes, checking out the game after minor league camp workouts were done for the day. Blake Whealey, Rashad Parker, Chase Lambin, Kole Strayhorn, Cory Coles, Ian Bladergroen, and Chad Elliot were among those in attendance.

L to R: Whealey, Parker, Lambin, Strayhorn, McGinley

GAME PHOTOS: Zeile, Piazza, McEwing, Wigginton, Cameron, Floyd, K. Garcia, Reyes(2), Yates, Leiter, Huber, Wilson, Piazza, R. Peterson, Reyes/Zeile, Cameron, Piazza, Crowd, Leiter(2), Pujols, Rolen, Cedeno, Reyes(2), Piazza, Floyd, Piazza(2), Floyd/Cameron(3), Floyd/McEwing, Reyes(2), Cameron, Piazza, Floyd, Cameron(2), Pujols(2), Peterson(4), Peterson/Wilson, K. Garcia, Basak, Kelly, Perez, Diaz, Wilson

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