April 11, 2006: Bannister's First Major League Win

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Date: April 11, 2006
Mets starter: Brian Bannister
Mets: 7
Nationals: 1
Winning pitcher: Brian Bannister
Key player(s): Brian Bannister, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran
Key play: Wright’s double, Reyes’ triple, Beltran’s home run

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Tuesday afternoon in Washington. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Brian Bannister allowed three-hits in seven innings and recorded his first major league win in a 7-1 Mets victory.

Bannister and the Nats’ Ramon Ortiz each pitched three scoreless innings to start the game. Brian gave up only a single to Nick Johnson and collected one of two Mets singles yielded by Ortiz. Carlos Beltran singled with one out in the top of the fourth. Carlos Delgado hit a single and advanced to third base on David Wright’s double that drove home Beltran. Cliff Floyd followed with a sacrifice fly to score Delgado for a 2-0 Mets lead. Ortiz retired Xavier Nady on a fly ball to right fielder Jose Guillen to end the inning. Bannister then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Anderson Hernandez got an infield single to open the top of the fifth. Hernandez moved to second base on Bannister’s sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a single by Jose Reyes. Paul Lo Duca doubled to bring home Reyes and increase the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Beltran drew a walk and Delgado grounded out to first baseman Johnson. Wright flied out to Guillen to end the inning and Bannister held the Nationals to a single by Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom half. Ortiz retired the side on three straight outfield fly balls in the top of the sixth. Bannister then hurled a perfect bottom of the inning.

Bannister hit a double against Washington reliever Jon Rauch to lead off the top of the seventh. Reyes tripled to score Bannister for a 5-0 Mets lead. Lo Duca grounded out to third baseman Zimmerman and a pop-up by Beltran was caught by Johnson. Delgado was walked intentionally and Rauch got Wright on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Brandon Watson. With two outs in the bottom half, Alfonso Soriano homered for the Nats’ third hit and first run of the game. Bannister then retired Zimmerman on a fly ball to left fielder Floyd to finish off the inning.

Nationals’ reliever Joey Eischen set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. The Mets’ Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect bottom half and Lo Duca singled against Washington’s Felix Rodriguez with two out in the top of the ninth. Beltran homered for the sixth and seventh New York runs and Rodriguez fanned Delgado for the inning’s final out. The Nats loaded the bases with two outs against the Mets’ Billy Wagner in the bottom half. Wagner then struck out Zimmerman to end the game. The Mets had a series-opening triumph as Bannister chalked up his first win as a major leaguer.