Far from Amazin': The Wacky Opener at Citi Field

Josh McMullenCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

The Mets opened up Citi Field (or, as I like to call it, The House That Bailouts Built) last night against the San Diego Padres.

The night started out promising, with Hall of Famer Tom Seaver throwing a good first pitch (better than the one he threw to close Shea Stadium) to future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. Seaver even said he warmed up before the game, so as not to duplicate the bouncer of last September.

However, between the pre-game and post-game festivities, somebody brought in the 1962 Mets instead of the 2009 edition. Here’s just some of the craziness:

•On only the third pitch of the night, Mike Pelfrey gave Jody Gerut a very big honor. Gerut became the first player to christen a new ballpark with a home run.

•Then, in the second inning, feeling that he wasn’t humiliated enough, Pelfrey fell flat on his face trying to deliver a pitch. He claimed that his cleat got caught, but the only one who will know for sure what happened is Pelfrey.

•Ryan Church dropped a Luis Rodriguez fly ball in the sixth inning that might have saved the game for the Mets, and instead went down as a triple on an error.

•Reliever Pedro Feliciano had an unfortunate knee twitch that same inning, which allowed Rodriguez to come home on a balk. That would turn out to be the game-winning run.

If that wasn’t enough, someone had a good enough memory to drop a cat on the field, harkening back to 1969, when someone else dropped a black cat onto the Shea Stadium field during a game against the Cubs. (Whether or not this caused the collapse of the then-first place Cubs, we may never know.) Fortunately, this cat was calico, not black, so we’ll have to wait and see how this affects the Amazin's.

Needless to say, the Mets lost the game 6-5. They made the game interesting in the fifth, when they came back from three runs down to tie the game. Then the insanity of the sixth happened, and the rest, as they say, is history. They opened the new stadium as they closed the old one: with a loss.

But this 2009 edition of the Mets is one thing about Citi Field that won’t need a bailout.