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Road Worriers

You can't win by walk-off when you're playing on the road, and that's one reason that you get more one-run wins at home than you do away from home.

By my quick count at this late hour, the 2008 Mets were 6-14 in road games decided by one run.

The 2009 Mets are 1-0.

What you witnessed on Monday was not just the first one-run Opening Day road win in Mets history, but also arguably the best performance by a Mets bullpen in an Opening Day game in a long time, if not all-time (maybe I'll check into that later in the day).

3 1/3 innings of no-run, no-hit baseball, capped by a 10-pitch, eight-strike. angst-free effort from the new closer. Not too shabby.

Someone who knows the game well told me last year that the reason he really liked Francisco Rodriguez was because Rodriguez was a great road pitcher. The numbers bore that out. In 2008, Rodriguez was 36-for-39 in save chances that came on the road. That's a 92 percent closeout rate. Of those saves, 17 came in instances like that which you saw yesterday- an inning pitched without his allowing a run. Seventeen is a big improvement from six, wouldn't you say?

It's cool when you win by walk-off, but perhaps by the end of this season, we'll be making as big a deal of all the walk-off denials we witnessed, starting with the one on day one.

True Metpeners know...One good nugget left out when the day's trivia question came up. Not only did Todd Hundley hit four Opening Day homers (tied with Darryl Strawberry for most in team history)...he hit them in four consecutive seasons (1994-1997)


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