2006_03_smetslogo.jpgLast week, in his first career start, Brian Bannister saw his effort go to waste as the Mets bullpen blew his win against the Washington Nationals at Shea Stadium. Yesterday afternoon, Bannister was in cruise control against the Nationals as the Mets spoiled the Nationals home opener, 7-1. Bannister pitched seven impressive innings and allowed only three hits - one of which was Alfonso Soriano's solo home run in the 7th. The most impressive aspect of the rookie's performance was that he faced the Nationals less than a week ago.

Offensively, the Mets knocked Ramon Ortiz around for 8 hits and 4 runs in his 6 innings. Paul Lo Duca had three hits and Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Bannister each contributed two hits in the victory. Beltran had a two-run home run in the 9th to add to the Mets lead.

The opening pitch for the game was thrown by Vice President Dick Cheney, who was given a mixed reception and came up short on his throw to home (insert political joke here). The two teams face each other again tonight in what could be a heated game. Pedro Martinez, who plunked three Nationals batters in last week's Mets win faces them again in D.C. Could Frank Robinson have retaliation on the mind?