|Sam Citron Outside the Rotunda at Citi Field|
When they announced the players in the special pre game introductions I saw Gio from a distance. When they went back into the dugout, I yelled out to him. He acknowledged me by giving me a thumbs up before he headed into the clubhouse. It wasn't the same as getting a handshake but he did see me wearing the personalized jersey he gave me in the same spot back on 9/11 when the Nationals were in town last September.
|Opening Day at Citi Field|
|Remembering Ralph Kiner 1922-2014|
Since the game was getting ready to start, I decided to watch the top of the first inning on the field level before I headed up to the royal court in section 516. When I finally got upstairs I got to see the usual people we know that go to see baseball games on a regular basis. They included Vincent Ascanio, Rich Wolber, Michael Abrams as well as some Mets season ticket holders who were back for another season.
As for the game we saw, the Mets started the season with a bang right off the bat after starter Dillon Gee retired the Nationals in the top of the first after allowing a single. The Mets got a clutch two out three run homer from left fielder Andrew Brown to take an early 3-0 lead against Nationals' ace pitcher, Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals responded as first baseman Adam LaRoche hit a two run homer to slice the Mets' lead to one at 3-2 in the second inning. The Mets tacked on another run as Eric Young Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2 after two innings. Stephen Strasburg settled down as he didn't give up any more runs. He left after going six innings while striking ten in the process. The Nationals got him off the hook when they scored twice in the seventh inning to tie the game at four. The Mets regained the lead, 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning when center fielder Juan Lagares lead off with a home run off former Yankee farmhand Tyler Clippard. The Nationals showed resiliency as they tied the game again at five as Denard Span drove a run with a two out double off Mets' closer Bobby Parnell. The game went into extra innings. The Nationals got a sacrifice fly from shortstop Ian Desmond to go back ahead, 6-5 in the top of the tenth inning. They got some insurance runs thanks to a three run homer by Anthony Rendon who made it, 9-5. The Mets made a comeback in the bottom of the tenth as they got a two out walk that was followed by a two run homer by David Wright to pull the Mets within two at 9-7 but reliever Jerry Blevins got Curtis Granderson to strike out looking to end the game. The Nationals picked up where they left off the second half of last season as they fought hard to earn the 9-7 victory.
After the game, the King, Vincent Ascanio & I took the subway to the World Trade Center where we got the Path train to go out to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. We saw the Devils take on the Florida Panthers that night.
As for the game we saw, the Devils like the Mets got off to a fast start. They score three unanswered goals in the first half of the first period. The Panthers scored late to cut the lead to 3-1. In the second period, the Panthers made it 3-2. The Devils regained their two goal cushion as they found the net to go up, 4-2 but the Panthers came back to get within one again at 4-3 after two periods. Early in the third period, the Devils got a shorthanded goal to go up 5-3. Then they finally put the game away with another goal midway through the third period as they held off the persistent Panthers by a score of 6-3.
Stay tuned for a special post that I'm going to do about my pal Gio Gonzalez who started game two of the new baseball season.
Thank you for reading & following along.