As we are approaching the end of the second month of the second season in the newly constructed Citi Field, it appears as if the Mets have finally figured out their new gem and how to use it to their advantage.
Initially the new ballpark drew concerns from about every Mets fan in the United States due to its enormous dimensions, high walls, and new for 2010, the jet streams that flow through the open concourse. Now moving into a new ballpark can be difficult for a ball club, trying to determine how to structure itself to succeed and overcome obstacles presented by the structure. As we all saw, the new ballpark also induced psychological affects on Mets players, mostly in part to the lack of home runs the Mets were hitting at home.
Well changes were made, albeit subtle ones such as chopping the center field fence height in half from 16 feet to 8 feet (near the apple) to help produce more home runs for the Home Run anemic Mets of 2009. Fortunately though, a lot of the uniqueness of the ballpark was left in tack after the modifications, for example what Howie Rose from WFAN recently named “The Great Wall of Flushing” (Left Field Fence in Citi Field).
Last night in what started out as a blowout with the Mets clobbering the Yankees 6-0 once again turned from heart-burn to most of of us clenching our bottles of Aspirin in preparation for an inevitable heart attack. But at least for last night, it seemed as if the Mets had 10 men on the field when Francisco Cervelli came to the plate for the Yankees with one man on and 2 outs. Johan Santana pitched to Cervelli who then smashed a ball to Left Field striking the orange home run line on the padded wall just below and to the right of the foul pole. Nick Swisher (A Gamer) was running on the pitch and kept running scoring from first base, but Cervelli who ran hard out of the box pulled up to admire his shot and what he believed to be a home run. The play was reviewed and it was concluded that the ball did not leave the yard and was only a hit. More importantly was the fact that because Cervelli went into his home run trot prematurely, and because Jason Bay played the rebound off the wall perfectly, Cervelli was left with only hitting a really long single and a RBI.
I must say, watching the replay of the home run in question, it amazed me as the ball struck the top of that padded wall, pushing the padding back toward the bleachers only for Citi Field to say “Nope, I don’t Think So” and then to see the padding fling that ball pack into play was a joy for my eyes.
Obviously there are many more instance where Citi Field has been there for this team and I would expect there to be many more to come. Citi Field proved that the big bats of Yankees were no match for it’s fences, lets hope Citi Field can step up and shut the Phillies big bats down as well, possibly with some swirling gale force winds, or a hot dog wrapper flying in front of a Phillies batter during a pitch.
Lets Go Mets!