Gone were Mike Cameron, Braden Looper, Kris & Anna Benson, as one of the greatest all time Mets players; Mike Piazza.
Piazza was aging & nearing the end of his career. The Mets were certainly heading into a new direction & many people were already picking them to win the NL pennant.
54,371 excited Mets fans came to a cloudy, rainy Shea to welcome in a new season. Willie Randolph's Mets, took on Frank Robinson's Washington Nationals. The Nationals sent Livan Hernandez to the mound against Tom Glavine.
|Washington Nationals||New York Mets|
|1||Brandon Watson||CF||1||Jose Reyes||SS|
|2||Jose Vidro||2B||2||Paul Lo Duca||C|
|3||Jose Guillen||RF||3||Carlos Beltran||CF|
|4||Nick Johnson||1B||4||Carlos Delgado||1B|
|5||Alfonso Soriano||LF||5||David Wright||3B|
|6||Ryan Zimmerman||3B||6||Cliff Floyd||LF|
|7||Royce Clayton||SS||7||Xavier Nady||RF|
|8||Brian Schneider||C||8||Anderson Hernandez||2B|
|9||Livan Hernandez||P||9||Tom Glavine||P|
In the bottom of the 3rd, Xavier Nady led off with a base hit & advanced to second on a ground out. Tom Glavine then singled to right field putting runners on the corners. After Jose Reyes lined out, for the second out, Paul Loduca drove a single up the middle bringing in the first run, 1-0 Mets.
In the top of the 4th, a Royce Clayton sac fly brought in Nick Johnson to tie the game.
In the home 4th, Cliff Floyd drew a two out walk. Then, Xavier Nady lined a shot to left field, that got by Alfonso Soriano. The hit scored Floyd giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. David Wright added a solo HR off Hernandez in the 6th inning making it 3-1.
The Nationals added a run in the 7th, after three straight singles off Aaron Heilman. Heilman had relieved Glavine after 6 innings, allowing a run on 6 hits with 5 strike outs & 3 walks. Heilman would allow the one run in two innings & Billy Wagner came on for his first Mets save.
Xavier Nady had a great debut, collecting four hits with an RBI. David Wright, Tom Glavine & Paul Loduca all had two hits each. In 75 games with the Mets in 2006, Nady would hit 14 HRs with 40 RBIs, batting .264.
On July 31st he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez was needed after Duaner Sanchez went down for the year after getting injured in a Miami car accident.
The Mets would go on to win the NL East winning 97 games (97-65). It was their first playoff appearance since 2000, six seasons prior. They would sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS but lose to the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven game NLCS.