Well I had the pleasure, I guess, of going to yet another Mets Opening Day yesterday. What did I take away from the day? Some things never change.
The day started off in true Mets fashion, with a morning press release notifying fans that the lineup would not be released until 9:45 am due to “lineup complications”. These type of things seem to only happen to the Mets. The season hasn’t even officially started and the franchise was already in mid-season form with their continued misfortune. Newly acquired outfielder, Chris Young, was a late scratch due to a quad strain. As if that wasn’t enough, Daniel Murphy was also going to miss the game as his wife went into labor.
I’m not trying to say anything negative about Murphy whatsoever. This is the birth of his child, glad he was close to home when this happened and was able to be there for the special occasion. What I’m getting at is only the Mets would lose one of their best, and most popular, players for opening day for a circumstance such as this. Then to have a new face in Chris Young go down with an injury already? I mean, come on.
Nonetheless, the show must go on. Despite mixed reports going around disputing the crowd at Citi Field, it was near full capacity. Sure there were a few empty seats scattered around, but most were in the lower bowl around home plate, go figure. I would say the stadium was a good 90-95% full once everyone was seated. I’m sure the game was a sellout in terms of the box office and the actual turn out was solid, considering we had winter like conditions in the morning hours.
Dillon Gee, who was making his first ever opening day start, was good – not great. Gee allowed 4 runs over 6 2/3 innings while striking out 5. Andrew Brown, who was starting in place of the injured Chris Young, made the most of his opportunity and got the game going with a 3-run homer to put the Mets on the board. While Gee, with the help of Carlos Torres and Scott rice, faltered to hold the lead, the game was tied at 4 heading into the 8th inning.
Juan Lagares then broke the tie with a solo homerun in the bottom half of the inning, which really got the stadium rocking. Lagares is thought of as a young defensive star, his offense has remained a question mark and this could be a spark to get his bat going. It appeared the game was going to be on lock down and the Mets were on their way to a another successful opening day.
Then Bobby Parnell entered to close things out in the 9th. Parnell, as you can tell by the tone of this article, proceeded to blow the save. A walk and 2 hits did him in as the Nationals sent the game to extras. There, the combination of Familia and John Lannan allowed the Nationals to put the game out of reach as they allowed a combined 4 runs between them in the 10th.
Overall, the stadium went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. The last two innings were an emotional roller coaster which could have set the tone for the 2014 season. Despite the influx of some new faces, we witnessed the type of game we have all seen far to often in recent years as the Mets once again broke our hearts in only a way that they can.