Into the lions' den go the Phillies this afternoon. As it is, the Mets will be commemorating their 44th and final home Opening Day at Shea Stadium,
with appropriate pomp and circumstance; as it could have been, the team would be raising a 2008 NL East division championship banner.
The pitching matchup is an interesting one. Jamie Moyer has surprisingly good career numbers against the Mets (5-3, 2.62), but in the last couple years they've battered him on occasion, and Carlos Delgado of all people has unreal career numbers against Moyer: 28 for 65 (.431), 7 HR, 31 RBI. Mets lefty Oliver Perez hasn't fared well against the Phils (1-3, 4.85, 37 BB/54 K in 42 2/3 IP), who generally can wait him out, draw walks and drive up his pitch count.
It seems odd to talk about emotion and momentum in any baseball game, let alone one in April. But after the Phils' eight straight wins against the Mets to close the 2007 season, New York should come out borderline-crazed. Given that his whole pitching approach basically amounts to ju-jitsu, perhaps this will work to Moyer's advantage.