42,117 came to Turner Field to see Bobby Valentines Mets take on Bobby Cox's Braves.
The Mets 2001 Opening Day line up:
Benny Agbayani LF
Edgardo Alfonzo 2B
Robin Ventura 3B
Mike Piazza C
Todd Zeile 1B
Jay Payton CF
Darryl Hamilton RF
Rey Ordonez SS
Al Leiter P
In the top of the 1st, Benny Agbayani walked & was thrown out at second. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled & then Robin Ventura struck out. Mike Piazza then hit his first HR of the year, coming off the Braves ace Tom Glavine. The Braves answered with a run on base hits by Rafael Furcal, Andru Jones & the Mets nemesis; Chipper Jones. Glavine put out the Mets in order in the next five innings, Leiter allowed just two hits himself going to the 7th inning. Then catcher; Javier Lopez tied the game with a solo HR.
In the top of the 8th, Glavine walked Agbayani, Tsuyoshi Shinjo came in to pinch run & John Rocker came in to relieve Glavine. Robin Ventura shut Rocker up, with a two run HR putting the Mets ahead 4-2.
But in the 8th John Franco came on & blew the lead. Dave Martinez singled and was brought in by Rafael Furcal's double. Franco then hit Quilvio Veras with a pitch, and Bobby Valentine replaced him with Turk Wendell. He recorded the next two batters but gave up a base hit to Brian Jordan, scoring Furcal with the tying run.
The game went to extra innings, with Dennis Cook on the mound for New York & Kerry Ligtenberg for Atlanta.
In the 10th, Robin Ventura hit his second HR of the day, a two run shot following Shinjo's base hit. It was the winning run, as Armando Benitez saved it in the 9th, Cook was the winner.
The Mets would finish up 82-80 in third place, six games behind the Braves. It was disappointing after they had made the playoffs the past two years.