Mets Notebook: Mets open up with a win

Mets Notebook for April 4 - The Mets open up 2006 with a victory ... Paul Lo Duca gets away with a close eighth-inning call at the plate ... Xavier Nady makes Mets history in his debut ...

  • Last game – Mets 3, Nationals 2: The Mets got the benefit of a pivotal call in the eighth inning, helping them post an Opening Day victory over Washington at Shea Stadium.

    With none out in the eighth inning, Alfonso Soriano attempted to score from first base on a double to left by Ryan Zimmerman. Cliff Floyd fielded the ball and fed it to cutoff man Jose Reyes, who delivered an on-target throw to catcher Paul Lo Duca.

    With a stray bat hugging the baseline, Soriano was forced to go in head-first, appearing to swipe his left hand across the plate. Lo Duca had the plate blocked but briefly lost control of the ball, a play that was obscured from the view of umpire Tim Tschida.

    Soriano was called out on the play, helping Aaron Heilman escape the inning unscored upon. Upon returning to the dugout, Lo Duca was informed by his Mets teammates - who had a better view of the play than either Tschida or the Nationals bench - that he had successfully 'sold' the play.

    "I told them, I'm a magician in the offseason," Lo Duca said. "The hand is quicker than the eye. I was guilty as charged."

    Billy Wagner fired a scoreless ninth inning around a single to record his first save as a Met.

    The Mets squeezed six strong innings out of starter Tom Glavine, making his seventh career Opening Day start and his third as a Met.

    Glavine allowed a run on six hits before yielding way to the bullpen, while Xavier Nady became the first Met since Richie Hebner in 1979 to collect four hits in his debut for the club.

    David Wright's solo home run in the sixth inning provided the margin of victory, drawing chants of "MVP, MVP" from the announced sellout crowd of 54,371.

    For starters: Nady has proved to be quite the opener. Not only did he go 4-for-4 in his Mets debut on Monday, but he also greeted the team by posting a four-hit game with a grand slam and six RBI against the Cardinals on March 2, his first Spring Training contest wearing a Mets uniform.

    Last Opening Day with the Padres, Nady was 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI at Colorado.

  • Coming up: Brian Bannister makes his Major League debut on Wednesday, pitching the second game of the season for the Mets. The 25-year-old right-hander will be opposed by Washington's John Patterson, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

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