April 5, 2012: Mets Shut Out Braves in Season Opener

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Date: April 5, 2012
Mets starter: Johan Santana
Mets: 1
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Ramon Ramirez
Key player(s): David Wright, Tim Byrdak
Key play: Wright’s single in 6th, Byrdak’s strikeouts in 7th

The Mets faced the Braves in the season opener on a Thursday afternoon. The team began its 50th anniversary season on a sunny 53-degree day at Citi Field. A quintet of pitchers teamed up for a shutout as the Mets blanked Atlanta, 1-0.

Johan Santana and the Braves’ Tommy Hanson each started the game by pitching four innings of one-hit scoreless ball. With one out in the top of the fifth, Mike Diaz hit a double to right-center field. Jason Heyward flied out to left fielder Jason Bay and a walk to Tyler Pastornicky followed. Santana issued a walk to Hanson that loaded the bases and retired Michael Bourn on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning. The Mets had two runners on base with two outs in the bottom half. Hanson then fanned pinch-hitter Mike Baxter for the third out.

Mets’ reliever Ramon Ramirez shut down the Braves in the top of the sixth. To begin the bottom of the inning, Andres Torres drew a walk and advanced to third base on Daniel Murphy’s single to right field. David Wright singled to drive home Torres with the first run of the game. For Atlanta, Kris Medlen replaced Hanson on the mound and retired Ike Davis on a fly ball to center fielder Bourn. Medlen then got Bay to fly out to left fielder Jose Constanza and set down Lucas Duda on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Dan Uggla.

Pastornicky got a one-out triple against Ramirez in the top of the seventh. For New York, Tim Byrdak came in to pitch and struck out Constanza and Bourn to end the inning. Thole singled to lead off the bottom half. Ruben Tejada hit into a force play and Medlen got pinch-hitter Justin Turner on a ground ball to third baseman Martin Prado for an inning-ending double play. Mets’ reliever Jon Rauch set down the Braves in order in the top of the eighth. The Mets had the bases loaded with two outs against Atlanta’s Jonny Venters in the bottom half. Venters then struck out Duda for the inning’s final out.

To start the top of the ninth inning, Mets’ reliever Frank Francisco got Freddie Freeman to ground out to second baseman Ronny Cedeno. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske fouled out to catcher Thole. Francisco then struck out Heyward to end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory to begin their golden anniversary.

Notes

This was the Mets’ 33rd win of 51 season-opening games in their history.