April 6, 2009: Opening Day

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Date: April 6, 2009
Mets starter: Johan Santana
Mets: 2
Reds: 1
Winning pitcher: Johan Santana
Key player(s): Johan Santana, Daniel Murphy
Key play: Murphy's home run

To start the season, the Mets faced the Reds in Cincinnati. A crowd of 42,177 was on hand at the Great American Ballpark for the Queen City's traditional Opening Day. The Mets disappointed the locals with a 2-1 win.

Johan Santana and Reds' starter Aaron Harang each began the game with four scoreless innings. In the fifth, Daniel Murphy pulled a fastball from Harang into the right-center field stands for a home run. David Wright and Carlos Delgado followed with singles, as did Carlos Beltran. Wright tried to score from second base on Beltran's hit, but was thrown out at home by Reds' right fielder Jay Bruce. Against reliever Danny Herrera, the Mets made the score 2-0 when Luis Castillo came home from third on Murphy's ground out in the sixth.

The Reds began the bottom of the sixth with their second and third hits off Santana. A sacrifice fly by Brandon Phillips then scored Darnell McDonald from third base. Before the end of the inning, Santana was replaced by Mets' reliever Sean Green.

In the seventh, Green pitched a perfect inning with three ground ball outs. J.J. Putz followed up with a scoreless eighth, surrendering only a walk. Francisco Rodriguez, making his Mets' debut, then retired the Reds in order in the ninth, striking out Ramon Hernandez to end the game. The Mets started the new season with a well-pitched victory.