There was plenty of excitement for Opening Day 2008, the Mets had their new ace Johan Santana taking the mound for the first time as a Met.
The Mets had blown a first place lead the previous year & failed to make the playoffs on the final day of the season. The front office made the trade for Santana hoping he was the final piece of the puzzle. Willie Randolph's Mets, opened up in front of 38,808 at Florida against Fredi Gonzalez's; Marlins.
The Mets wore a commemorative patch on their sleeve, honoring the final season at Shea Stadium1964-2008.
The 2008 Mets Opening Day line up was:
Jose Reyes SS
Luis Castillo 2B
David Wright 3B
Carlos Beltran CF
Carlos Delgado 1B
Angel Pagan LF
Ryan Church RF
Brian Scneider C
Johan Santana P
The Mets exploded in the 4th, Beltran doubled & Delgado walked. Angel Pagan then doubled brining in the first run. Ryan Church singled making it 2-0. With two outs, Jose Reyes singled home Pagan, David Wright later doubled, bringing in Reyes & Church making it 6-0.
The Marlins scored their only two runs on 4th inning, Josh Willingham HR. The Mets got another run in the 9th, when Marlon Anderson scored on a Matt Lindstrom wild pitch.
The final was 7-2, Santana went 7 innings allowing two runs on three hits, 8 strike outs & 2 walks. Matt Wise, Scott Schoenweis & Jorge Sosa all pitched the 8th inning & Aaron Heilman closed it out in the 9th.
The Mets would fire manager Willie Randolph in 2008 & make coach Jerry Manuel his replacement. It didn't help as they would finish second again in 2008 (89-73), missing the playoffs on the final day of the season.
Santana would finish his first year as a Met leading the NL in ERA (2.53) Innings pitched (234) & starts (34). He was 16-8 with 206 strike outs (2nd in the NL) & 63 walks with three shut outs & two complete games.