Mets manager Mickey Callaway is off to the start he wanted, as his team took the Opening Day win over the Cardinals, 9-4, at Citi Field on Thursday.
"I think that is big," Callaway told the media after the game. "Obviously you want to get all of the firsts out of the way and getting on base, getting a hit, a good walk, I mean we did kind of all of that today. So I am sure the guys are going to go home happy tonight and enjoy the off day and be ready to go the next day."
Callaway sent RHP Noah Syndergaard to the mound for his second consecutive Opening Day start, and he took home the win after six innings of work. He may have been shaking off some more rust with two homers allowed -- a two-run shot off the foul pole in left to C Yadier Molina in the second, and a solo jack by 1B Jose Martinez in the sixth.
But, overall, Callaway was happy with his outing, and thought Syndergaard's stuff was on point.
"He looked really good," Callaway said. "I thought it was a pretty good pitch to [Yadier] Molina. He kind of pulled his hands in and let Noah supply the power. But he was tremendous. That Martinez kid kind of had his number, but other than that he looked really good.
"He was nice and relaxed. Not overthrowing at all and made pitches, a good breaking ball there at the end too. He started mixing his curve ball in. A really good job."
The Mets' lineup was potent in its first regular season appearance, especially in a five-run fifth inning that was sparked by an RBI double from Adrian Gonzalez.
Callaway's lineup construction was a main area of emphasis in the postgame presser, and he admitted it took awhile to get the Opening Day lineup configured.
"Yeah, I mean, it took all of spring training to try to figure that one out," Callaway noted. "I don't have that much time on the next one, but, you know, I just wanted to make sure that guys were in a good position to succeed. And we wanted to just make sure that we had thought everything out when we set that lineup. And we'll try to do that every single time."
Though his mind was on the win prior to the game, Callaway couldn't help but to step out onto the field before the opening ceremonies to drink in the Citi Field aura.
"What a ballpark!" Callaway said emphatically. "I mean, all of us coaches were sitting there going, 'Man, this is something special. This is a different place than most.' You know, to sit out there -- I was out there about an hour before the game kind of in and out of the dug out -- and it came alive, and it was really, really fun to see. I enjoyed it."
Picking up his first managerial win made the game that much more enjoyable for the 42-year-old.
"It feels great. Anytime you win a game, that feels really good," he said. "You know, we get to have the day off tomorrow, prep a little bit for the next game and go from there."
The Mickey Callaway Era has officially kicked off in grand fashion.