Saturday, August 15, 2015

Queens

On a Damp Day in the Junkyards

Citi Field
Not Shea Stadium, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. New York Metropolitans
Not Shea Stadium
MLB, National League
Queens, NY
1:10 PM


Outside the Game: 
Given the Metropolitans’ uncharacteristic winning ways, I decided to grab a ticket online and head out to the park in mid-August. This was an early afternoon game, so after getting the ticket the night before, I had to leave bright and early for Harvey Day festivities.

I walked all the way to the Hoboken PATH terminal and got there just in time for the train to 33rd. I similarly lucked out with the orange line and the 7, which let me know that something horrible was going to happen in the game, as I had used up all my luck already. I got to the stadium with Fan Fest in full swing, and I ignored most of it to get my outside pictures and then head in when the gates opened.

The way back was significantly more damp, but it was much less crowded than normal on the subway. I had my scorecard finished before I transferred to the orange line and the PATH, with only short waits at each. The commute was metaphorically trying to make up for the loss.

Either way, I got back to Hoboken in good time and grabbed a cab to the back of town to avoid walking through the hellscape that is Hoboken on the weekend. I successfully made it home and crashed for the rest of the evening to try and avoid thinking of the disappointment.


The Stadium & Fans: 

Home to Center, Citi Field
Home plate to center field, Not Shea Stadium

There wasn’t a ton new at Not Shea since the beginning of the season, but two things did stand out. Firstly, it was a “Fan Fest” weekend, so there were a bunch of activities outside the park, including inflatable fast pitches, bouncy castles, and other skills games.
Secondly, it was also Star Wars day, which explained all those dressed up people in line to get in. There was a costume contest in the foyer by the left field entrance, attended by a troop of stormtroopers and judged by someone in a Darth Vader costume. Mr. Met was also dressed like a Jedi for the entire game. Outside of that, the only thing new were the Shea Bridge seats, which were now branded as “Citi Perks Seats,” bathed in a light blue shade usually reserved for infant clothing.
There was a decent crowd out for the game, and most of them even weathered (HA!) the rainstorm in the middle innings, but most headed for the streets after the bullpen coughed up the lead traumatically. This was nice as it made for smaller crowds on the train home.


At the Game with Oogie: 

Grub
Shack and Fries

I got in the front gate as they opened and made my immediate rounds, scooting back to get Shake Shack before the lines formed, and then eating, taking pictures, and watching batting practice before a trip to the museum and the store.
I watched the Star Wars festivities for a bit, including the costume contest, before heading out for my normal walk around and viewing of Monsieur Met. My seat was up in the Caesar Club again, this time on the first-base side, just beyond the bag. There was a solid crowd that night, but no one in the immediate area around me.
During the rain delay, I grabbed a Nathan’s jumbo dog and sat smugly under the overhang, watching the rest of the crowd retreat up to my area as refugees.


The Game: 

First pitch, Pirates vs. Metropolitans
First pitch, Pirates vs. Metropolitans

This late-season game between the Pirates and the Metropolitans found both of them mysteriously in the playoff hunt. With a diminished Harvey on the mound, there wasn’t an immediate idea of where the game would end up, but it was nowhere good.

The Pirates got a two-out double and nothing more in the first inning, while New York had a leadoff single make it to third with only one out on a fielder’s choice and a fly out but was stranded by two pop-outs to end the inning. Pittsburgh came out swinging in the second, and a homer to right-center lead off and staked them to a 1-0 lead. Uncharacteristically, the Metropolitans came back with a d'Arnaud one-out homer to left in the bottom of the frame to tie it at one. The Pirates threatened with a two-out triple to right in the third, but an out left him stranded, and New York only had a two-out walk to show for their third inning.

Pittsburgh came up with a single in the fourth inning and nothing else, while d’Arnaud’s two-out double was all the Metropolitans had in their half. Another two-out triple was the story of the Pirates fifth, while New York went in order. Pittsburgh scattered two hits in the top of the sixth, while the Metropolitans had a bit of a rally with a one-out walk and hit batsman, but then a forty-minute rain delay cooled the heat and two outs ended the soggy inning with no one across.
After the long delay, relief pitching came to the mound and immediately gave the game away, as two walks, three singles, and an error led to three runs for Pirates in the top of the seventh, giving them a 5-1 lead. New York answered by going in order. The eighth was more of the same, as Pittsburgh got three more runs on two doubles, two walks, and a single, extending their lead to 8-1. The Metropolitans again went in order. The Pirates only had a single in the top of the ninth, but punchless New York again went in order to seal the 8-1 Buccos victory.


The Scorecard: 

Pirates vs. Metropolitans, 08-15-15. Pirates win, 8-1.Pirates vs. Metropolitans, 08-15-15. Pirates win, 8-1.
Pirates vs. Metropolitans, 08/15/15. Pirates win, 8-1.

I was using the BBWA scorebook this damp evening. Beside more triples than normal, there weren’t many weird plays, but there were plays of literal note. In the bottom of the fifth, Cespedes had an infield hit to third that was challenged and overturned on appeal to a 5-3 putout that I noted. The bottom of the sixth features a forty-minute rain delay that was similarly noted. And in the top of the eighth, there was a grounder back to the pitcher that led to a seemingly late throw to first that was challenged and overturned from an E1 to a 1-3 putout.

The rain delay resulted in more-than-average player turnover, and I had to use alphabetic placeholding for both teams’ pitcher slots due to double-switches. There was nothing much else out of the ordinary. The bullpen gave it up, but that was largely expected.


The Accommodations: 
Jersey City, sweet, Jersey City



2015 Stand-Alone Trip