Wednesday had to overcome a lot for it to be a net positive.
I mean, it was a beautiful day for a ballgame, and a bad day at a ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else. But I had to deal with StubHub related nonsense to finally get tickets that were not the fancy tickets that I had ordered but the seller never delivered. Then we found out that the pizza bagels we wanted, for some reason, was only available in the exclusive section of the ballpark. I mean, they’re pizza bagels! They’re elementary school treats. How much can they really be elevated?
Then we get to our seats which were crowded, and of course we sit near what is a growing phenomenon at sporting events: The frat boys who decide that they’re gonna come in hot at the first pitch and heckle everybody from the upper tank even though the batters can’t hear them. But we could. Oh, boy could we hear them. Note to frat boys: It’s a long game. Pace the f**k outta yourselves. You’ll never make it to inning nine.
Second note to frat boys: “You can’t hit, Soto” right before he hits a two run HR in the first inning is the best sign you’ll get all day to shut it the f**k down.
But then it was as the red seas parted. Those guys barely made it to inning two, our row got less crowded, and the Mets crawled back into the game. Blake Snell, who was shaky from jump just as he was in Game 2 last year, gave up a run in the second on a Brandon Nimmo double which got in between Soto and Trent Grisham and scored Tommy Pham. (Side note, I did boo Grisham every chance I got and yelled that his mustache was stupid during his first at-bat. Then before his second at-bat, a kid behind me did the same thing. So I had to apologize to the kid’s parents for sending him down a terrible path in life.) Then in the third inning, Francisco Lindor yanked a Snell pitch down the line for a solo HR to tie the game.
Then in the fifth, Pete Alonso absolutely rocked a Snell pitch to left center field to give the Mets the lead for good. As Alonso has said himself, it was an absolute moon blast. (Editor’s note, he said it in a Car Shield commercial and not about this home run, but he still said it.) Nimmo drove in another run in the 6th, and Tommy Pham continued his contributions with an RBI single through the hole to make it 5-2.
Through all of the offense, Tylor Megill pitched five innings and held the Padres scoreless after the Soto homer, giving up three hits and walking three for his day. The bullpen took it from there, as Buck Showalter went to Brooks Raley in the 6th to pitch to the lefties at the top of the order, He got two outs, Drew Smith got the next three, David Robertson got the next four, and Adam Ottavino finished it off to the soundtrack of something other than Narco, after all of the frat boys had long gone to one of the private clubs (or home, who knows.) At the end, the Mets found themselves at 7-6 after a series victory against San Diego, which in itself is a good feat against a good team after a shaky start. But the most important aspect of this series is that they got three very good starting pitching performances, albeit on the short side. That’s 12 out of 13 decisions earned by starting pitchers this year.
There are also some Citi Field aspects to discuss, seeing as if it was my first game of the season. As previously mentioned, we couldn’t find the pizza bagels. So we went with the chopped cheese hero by the Amazin’ Deli (not actually a deli) on the third base side. Very tasty, and it comes with lettuce and tomatoes so it’s health food. I’m sure people will question the authenticity of it, but I’m a fan. The one thing I would say is that the line for this should never be as long as it was because they serve, literally, one thing. Keep it movin’.
Also had the cheeseburger empanadas at the Mama’s Empanada stand in the Jim Beam Highball Club behind the plate on the promenade level. (I think it’s actually called the Hudson Whiskey Club now, or some nonsense.) They were good, but more cheese than burger.
Last food note: The Shepherd’s Pie rice ball at Arancini Bros. And the mac n’ cheese at Sunny’s. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
Now, to the massive scoreboard. Oh, it’s massive. Finally we have something in a New York ballpark that might be bigger than the George Steinbrenner mural in the Bronx that you can see from space. But, hilariously, there were some issues.
I’m picturing a nervous I.T. guy furiously hitting buttons while Steve Cohen, who spent eight billion dollars on this, is calling down to the booth wondering what the hell was going on.
They got it down to a small box later in the game.
This was cool because it made it look like Starling Marte posed for these pitcures in spring training with earrings that read “F**k Jeff Wilpon” or something like that. Like Jimmy Kimmel’s “Unnecessary Censorship”. I know that Starling wouldn’t wear a profane earring, but maybe someone coming to Citi Field for the first time wouldn’t necessarily understand that.
But then …
Billion dollar scoreboard running on Windows Vista. Shame. It’s enough to age you prematurely.
The hell did I miss, besides seven and a half years?
Today’s Hate List
All I did was note that the Guardians were beating the Yankees 3-0 in the third inning. I really don’t think I smirked or chortled or anything! Yet when the Yankees came back and won, my wife said that’s what I get because I had hate in my heart.
I mean, have I become that predictable?
Also, Trea Turner.