The New York Mets were defeated by the Florida Marlins 2-1, as it came down to a wild pitch scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning. Fernando Nieve lost his second game of the season.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Initial Reaction:

It was a battle of aces as Johan Santana faced off against Josh Johnson in the opener of the four-game series. Both pitchers brought their “A-game” going seven dominant innings for their respective teams. Unfortunately, it came down to the bullpen and the Mets were the weakest link tonight.

They always say that walks can kill, especially in a walk-off situation, and Cody Ross justified this statement when he scored from third on a wild pitch thrown by Fernando Nieve. NieveĀ is a strong asset coming out of the bullpen, but Manuel has definitely overworked him. He can’t be thrown out there every night and be on top of his game–its next to impossible. Hopefully the Mets staff will begin to notice this and fix this flaw before the bullpen is completely worn out.

Positives From The Game:

The Ace: Johan Santana came up big in today’s game, pitching seven strong innings, yielding no earned runs, while striking out five. He came into the game with a 4.54 ERA and left with a more acceptable 3.88 ERA. Even with concerns for his pitch speeds, he was topping out at 91 mph at times and was able to keep hitters off balance with his change-up.

Negatives From The Game:

Mets Offense: No one in the starting lineup has a batting average above .300. The offense continued to struggle tonight, as there were only four hits, and none for extra bases. With Santana on the mound its not too crucial, but they have to at least score more than one run. I’ll give some credit to Josh Johnson though–he had terrific stuff.

“French Dip”: Jeff Francoeur is only 5 for 39 at the plate in his last 10 starts. He hasn’t had a multi-hit game since April 16th! Jerry should swap him and Rod Barajas in the lineup until his luck starts to turn.

Interesting Facts:

22: The number of games Fernando Nieve has appeared in this season. It leads all major league pitching.

10: The last 10 games the Mets have played have been decided by two runs or less.

33: The number of errors the Florida Marlins have committed thus far this season.

21: The number of errors the New York Mets have committed thus far this season.

What’s Next?: The Mets and Oliver Perez look to turn things around against the Marlins in game two Friday night at Sun Life Stadium. Game Time 7:10 PM.

NYM Oliver Perez (0-2) 4.50 ERA vs. FLA Anibal Sanchez (1-2) 4.08 ERA