Bleacher Creatures Aren’t Just In New York

wrigley field

What is with all these night games, Cubbies? I thought it was an actual city ordinance that you can only have a certain amount of them in a week. Are the extra bleachers corralling the sound and not letting it escape into those Chicago neighborhoods?

Old Kauffman Stadium, before the 200+ million dollar renovation, had no seats in the outfield between the foul poles. It made visiting outfielders comfortable. True, Wrigley had the seats already, but there were other things to make the outfielders uncomfortable without even more faithful blue and white clad landscaping West Addison. Namely, a home-run-ball-catching basket, live-ball-entangling ivy, and a brick facade that made the outfielders say, “Go ahead. Keep it” with their arms raised. For a stadium that made few, if any, adjustments for several decades, it must seem like (forgive the pun) a whole ‘nother ballpark for not only the players, but the attendance-number-boosting patrons as well.

Cubs’ TV broadcaster Len Kasper told me it takes even Cub players a year or so to adjust to playing the angles, the walls, the “wells” and the ivy of Wrigley, so let’s take it a little easy on our Mets players if it takes them until game three in a four-game set to get situated, especially in a more arena-like environment.

I’m thinking the bleachers will add to the hitters’ woes because it’ll take twice as long for that Chicago wind to find its way out once it’s found its way in. Score one for the pitchers.

The Mets have lost five straight games at Wrigley Field dating to June 3, 2014. It’s the fifth-longest losing streak at the famed ballpark in team history and longest streak in over ten years. The 1983-1984 Mets lost a club-record nine consecutive games at Wrigley.

The good news for the Mets is “old reliable” takes the mound tonight, and by “old,” I don’t mean Bartolo Colon, who is both “old” and “reliable.” I’m referring to Matt Harvey, who, at 5-1, needs to take that open outfield persona of Citi, and, just for the day, mold it into the inner-city-squished centenarian ballpark that will be his venue this evening.

Matt Harvey has made three starts this year following a Mets loss and the righthander is 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA in those contests.

Look for a spark tonight at Wrigley to help the Mets get back into this 4-game series. We wouldn’t want brandished brooms to be cluttering the aisles tomorrow when the Cubs go back to obeying their game-time curfew and play that ever so common matinee to close out what could be a preview of October baseball for this surprising 2015 season.

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About Kirk McKnight 15 Articles

Kirk McKnight is an American author specializing in interview based sports books. McKnight’s book, The Voices of Baseball: The Game’s Greatest Broadcasters Reflect on America’s Pastime, is being published by Rowman & Littlefield. The book showcases material from interviews with baseball’s biggest broadcasters, including Vin Scully, Marty Brennaman, Jon Miller, and Howie Rose.