Saturday, April 18, 2015


On the Start of Something... Something

Citi Field
Not Shea Stadium, 2015
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Florida Marlins vs New York Metropolitans
Not Shea Stadium
MLB, National League
Queens, NY
7:10 PM

Outside the Game: 
So, it was "Opening Weekend" again, except that the first game this weekend was an evening game. All this meant was that I was able to get all my normal Saturday morning chores of laundry and running out to the supermarket done before I headed out to the game in the early afternoon.

I walked down to the PATH station and then was able to get a rather uneventful ride to the city and then the subway transfers that got me to the stadium right as the gates were primed to open.

Flee to the trains

After the game, and in a considerably better mood than I expected, the jovial crowd plunged themselves into 7 cars that got less and less crowded as the stops wore on. I was back home in a decent amount of time and got back to the apartment easily enough to crash for the evening.

The Stadium & Fans: 
Home to center, Citi Field
Home plate to center field, Not Shea Stadium

Not Shea had some updates in the off-season, some more horrible than others. Before you ever enter the hallowed halls, there were now fixed-in-place metal detectors at all the entrances, just to make the experience feel a little more like prison. The left-center field wall also came in a bit to try and pretend that the field wasn’t cavernous when it was opened. The team store was also renovated pretty extensively, moving around the checkouts and re-orienting the whole store. Some new auxiliary video screens had also been put in to handle the poor view lines in some places.

Professor profile

On a more positive note, there was a new Rao’s concession on the club level and a new billboard outside the park paid for by “Mets Fans” read, “FRED, JEFF & SAUL, Ya gotta leave.” I can’t really agree any more than that.

Couldn't agree more

As it was a home-opening-weekend night game, the stadium was packed and actually had something to cheer about, which is rare enough as it is. Although completely ready to consign a blown game by the bullpen after a masterful performance by a starting pitcher, the entire crowd was pleasantly surprised by the lack of a full collapse by the team.

At the Game with Oogie: 
First Shack of the year

I got to the game in late afternoon just as the gates were opening. Once inside, I did the ritual sprint back to Shake Shack to get my first double-shack and fries of the year, watch a little BP, and then hit the museum and the store, which they redesigned this year. 

Ice cream in a helmet

I wandered around to look for anything new and changed before hitting the Caesar's Club to find they had a new Rao's concession in the fancy area, where I got myself a chicken picatta sandwich for dinner. At another new stand on the club area, I also grabbed ice cream in a helmet before heading back down for my first quality time with Mr. Met for the year. 

Mr. Met
You are next

At a half hour to game time, it was AIS o'clock, so I went back to the club level and settled into my seat, which was in the last row of the club level behind third base. Seeing the main scoreboard was a bit of a problem with the overhang, but I managed. There were on a couple families in my immediate area, as I guess the season ticket holders here had better things to do this night.

The Game:
More like "deAwesome," am I right?

The Metropolitans spent their "Opening Day Weekend" facing off against their NL East "rivals," the woeful Florida... sorry, Miami Marlins. And, in their usual fashion, the Metropolitans managed to win by the skin of their teeth.

The game started with a bunt single that immediately prompted the Metropolitans to use one of the new challenges, which was overturned. However, the Marlins still managed to go down in order thanks to an odd strike-‘em-out-throw-‘em-out double play. New York fared little better, with just a two-out double to show for their half of the first. Miami went in order in the second again, while the Metropolitans put together a run with two singles and a stolen base, giving them a 1-0 lead. In the third, the Marlins got a runner to third after a single, a sacrifice bunt, and another single (originally ruled out but overturned on appeal), but he was stranded there. New York got another run in their half off a one-out homer to left by D'Arnaud, extending their lead to 2-0.

Miami went in order again in the fourth, while New York managed to get the bases loaded but score no runs due to a 1-2-3 DP, because of course the Metropolitans would do that. Both sides went in order in the fifth, while the Marlins stranded a couple of singles in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, the Metropolitans remembered how to score again--get the guys across the plate, boys!--thanks a leadoff double, a single, and a Flores homer to deep left field, putting them up 5-0 after two-thirds of a game.

Miami just had a single in the top of the seventh, and New York went in order. deGrom exited the game in the eighth, and the Marlins scored nearly immediately, with a walk and a double, cutting the lead to 5-1. New York got a guy to third on two fielder's choices and a wild pitch, but a reach on error was overturned to a putout, and no more scoring happened. Torres (C) came in at the top of the ninth and promptly gave up a leadoff homer and three singles that brought in two more runs, cutting the lead to 5-4 before Torres (A) came in to get the last strikeout, securely, barely, the Metropolitan victory.

The Scorecard: 
Marlins vs. Metropolitans, 04-18-15. Metropolitans win, 5-4.Marlins vs. Metropolitans, 04-18-15. Metropolitans win, 5-4.
Marlins vs. Metropolitans, 04/18/15. Metropolitans win, 5-4.

As I had been here before and the Metropolitan scorecards tend to suck, I scored the game in the BBWAA scorebook with just two colors.

The very first thing I had to deal with was review appeals. I came up with the symbol of an "R" in a circle, and a number afterwards if there were multiple in the game, with an accompanying note. Perhaps not surprisingly, all the reviews went against New York, with their one appeal on a safe call on the first batter of the game upheld the call on the field, and the two Marlins' reviews in the top of the third (to overturn a 6-3 putout to a single) and the bottom of the eighth (to overturn an E2 call to a 2-3 putout) were both reversed in their favor. Ah, Mets...

There were also two bizarre, or at least rare, double plays in the game. In the top of the first, there was a DP K-2-4 CS as the runner went on the third strike and was then gunned down trying to steal second. In the bottom of the fourth, there was the super-rare DP 1-2-3, as a based-loaded ground came back to the pitcher, who threw home, and the catcher threw to first to get the two forces and kill the rally.

The only other play of note was literally the last swing of the game, when the final Metropolitans reliever finally recorded the last out of the game with a strikeout, and the Marlins' left fielder promptly threw his bat into the stands. Because, why not?

Also, a sad note was Ichiro came in to pinch hit in the ninth and was struck out looking. I wanted to win the game, sure, but I don't ever want to cheer for that particular outcome.

And finally, deGrom's line was seven innings pitched with no runs and eight strikeouts. Daddy like.

The Accommodations: 
Jersey City, sweet Jersey City

2015 Stand-Alone Trip