Visiting Citi Field for my 16th birthday, we had incredible seats – right behind the dugout.
Since this was my first visit to Citi Field, I was looking forward to a beautiful June Sunday. However, this was not the case, as it almost immediately started to rain, and persisted until the end. Even though the rain was not enough to cause a delay or cancellation, the Mets did not seem to take advantage of the opportunity to be able to play.
It has been a disappointing 2017 season for the Mets so far since they came in with high expectations after making the playoffs in the past two years. Heavy injuries, particularly to the pitching staff, have weighed on the club. For that reason, Tyler Pill made his first lifetime major league start. Who? Yeah, exactly. Pill gave up a run on three hard hits in the first inning and this turned out to foreshadow his day as a whole.
The initial reason for the hope that the Mets could win this game was the fact that the Pirates had Trevor Williams pitching, arguably Pittsburgh’s worst starter with an ERA over 5.00. However, the Mets’ hitters either flailed with futile swings at Williams’ pitches or when they did make solid contact, the ball would be hit right at Pittsburgh fielders. The Mets’ scratched out a run in the 2nd inning to close the gap to 2-1,
but it was a slow deterioration from there. 2-1 became 4-1 in the 3rd inning, 5-1 in the 4th inning. When a double play erased the Pirates’scoring chance in the top of the 7th, the Mets fans thought they had a chance. First, a moving rendition of “God Bless America”. Then, a raucous singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” followed by a very upbeat song that I’ve heard at weddings. So with the Mets seemingly ready to bat,
suddenly the umpires ruled that the Mets had not touched second base on the double play and the replay proved them correct. Before video replay, this was the “neighborhood play” as the second baseman or shortstop wouldn’t have to touch second base – just putting his foot over the bag was enough. Well, with video replay, that unwritten rule went away. Anyway, the crowd booed vehemently and the Pirates tacked on another run before the 7th inning ended. The good news? We got to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” a second time and I got to see myself on the Jumbotron.
That extra run seemed to deflate both the crowd and the Mets. The last runs were scored off Met reliever Josh Smoker, who was lit up and burned for the last three runs for an 11-1 final. It wasn’t the backdrop for a game on my birthday that I had imagined, but I was with friends and family so it was still “a great day for a ball game”.