Tonight at Citizens Bank Park begins a three game series between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. It is a matchup of the recently hot Mets and the best team in the National League. What had been a rivalry the past few years may have been reborn after a hiatus last year. The Mets at this time find themselves atop the NL east a whole 1/2 game ahead of the Phils. To the Phillies they are looking forward to some home cooking and the Mets…well they are merely an entre. The Mets are going to look towards making a statement, as early as the season is, but they need to get a barometer of where they are.
The matchups are Niese v. Kendrick tonight, Pelfrey(4-0) v. Halladay(4-1) tomorrow and Santana(3-1) v. 47 yr old Jaimie Moyer(2-2). Its too early to put any real significance on this series. But, the Mets come to Philly playing their best all around ball in a long while and dont want this roll to end. The past 10 days have given Mets fans something to believe in again. Their pitching is tops in their division at this time and the bats have woken up from their hibernation. The Phillies will fight until the end with their lineup that doesnt offer a break even without Rollins.
I expect the Phils to repeat as division champs this season but, if the Mets can keep playing solid defense and get the type of pitching they have the first month,throughout this season? They have a chance to contend for the postseason!
LETS GO METS!!!
April 10, 2010…driving in to Flushing, NY with 3 friends to watch Nats against Mets. We arrive at Citi roughly 1030 to tailgate and shoot the breeze. Enjoy some burgers and dogs along with some suds in this windy early spring morning.
I originally got these tickets in December on Stubhub, thinking the Mets would skip the 5th starters appearance and get another look at Johan Santana…after all he is maybe the only starting pitcher the Mets have worth watching. But, with a shakeup of the rotation a few days before the season began by Jerry Manuel…we get Ollie Perez…eh em…Yay.
Anyway, after filling our ever growing guts we head towards the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, aka the main entrance into the Mets homefield. En route there are fans posing for pics with the original Mets Homerun apple which is now displayed outside the main entrance. This move from the rather hidden view behind the bullpens last year and others are a way the Wilpons are trying to make Citifield more “Met friendly”. Not bad. They also included more video, large photos capturing historical moments in Met history and the addition of a New York Mets hall of Fame also round out the upgrades.
We get to our seats at the Pepsi Porch, located in the upper rightfield stands. With it brings glorious sunlight and limited wind making for a comfortable day. Mets fans donning Reyes and Wright jerseys along with some old school Darryl Strawberry jerseys scatter our locale. After starting the season 2-2 the Mets this day get 5-2/3 innings from Ollie and the Mets will lose 4-3 on a diving catch from the Nats leftfielder, Willie Harris with the tying and winning runs on base.
This has the appearance of what I have witnessed the last few years, unfortunately…the Mets losing and not getting the big hit when they needed it. Was this September 2007 ? September 2008 ? No, it was the 5th game of the 2010 season. And because of this, I have to hope things will turn out better this year.
We caught the last inning at the new bar Mcfaddens, which is a part of the stadium. It was a great experience to watch the game in this atmosphere with fellow fans as we discussed strategy. Although a Mets loss followed, this place was fun with a dj and dancing going on as well as the bartenders being 95% ladies who know how to entertain the heartbroken fans.
The highlight of this day was spending time with my friends that i have known for over 20 years and although the Mets may have a long road ahead of them with very questionable owners and management…I am a diehard fan, so of course I will be back again.
Although it will be a beautiful spring day here on Long Island, NY, I wont be at work or outside today. It will be close to 70 degrees out and I will find myself at a friends house watching Opening Day for the Mets, indoors. Yeah, its not like being there but it will definitely suffice and we’ll be attending Saturdays game anyway…Jose Reyes’ expected return to the lineup. The season doesnt have much promise with an unimproved rotation and suspect bullpen, but it is Opening Day and with it brings HOPE for a run at the playoffs. The pitching staff would have to bring some of their past successful seasons altogether for the Mets to have an opportunity to return to the playoffs which they havent stepped foot in since 2006. A repeat of John Maine and Oliver Perez from 2007 and Mike Pelfrey of 2008 along with any of Johan’s seasons would get it done. However, this will be a empire state building sized order. But, who knows? It is Opening Day and Optimism is in the air…PLAY BALL!