To say this loss was a tough one is a huge understatement, this picture says it all.
The day started off with such promise, I got to the ballpark in the Bronx almost three and a half hours before the game, was the first one into the stadium at Gate 6, and was able to sit in the most comfortable seats in right field (for batting practice at least).
My friend (although a Yankees fan), caught one of two balls thrown up by the Ryan Church before security kicked everyone out who didn't have seats on field level.
I was able to go into Monument Park for the first time ever (I had never been in the old one across the street) and saw plaques of the only Yankees players that I can honestly say I like.
I was going to see two pitchers in Livan Hernandez and Joba Chamberlain that I had never seen pitch live before.
Then the game started.
After not allowing a hit to the first four batters, Robinson Cano hit a long homerun to right field, 1-0. It was homerun No. 6 that I have seen at the New Yankee Stadium (through 11 innings at that point).
Ok, so we're down one run, going in not expecting to win, I could deal with a one run deficit.
Then, there was hope.
Chamberlain forgot where the plate was, and the Mets scored 2 runs in the top of the third without getting a hit.
How short lived that lead was.
The very next half inning, Mark Teixeira destroyed the offering from Livan for a long 2-run homerun to right field (Number 7).
The fourth inning had no scoring by either side, one of only two full innings of no scoring by either team.
Down 3-2, ok, we can deal with that, we're in it.
Then the fifth, what better way to get the maybe 10,000 Mets fans rocking, then a homerun by the ex-Yankee Gary Sheffield. The Mets added two more runs in the inning, knocking out Brett Tomko along the way.
6-3, could we pull this off? Can the Mets use their anger over losing two straight to the Phillies and overtake the Yankees?
Not if the Yankee Captain had anything to say about it.
Bottom 5, Jeter went yard (No. 9) with one out to pull the Yankees within two.
And then the Mets wripped our hearts out again, with help from Jon Switzer, a 30-year-old lefty that could not get the job done as Hideki Matsui, on his 35th birthday, went deep for a three run jack (No. 10), and those damn Yankees regained the lead at 7-6.
Good G-d, who the hell is this guy?
A former Tampa Bay Ray, Switzer is a lifetime 2-4 with an ERA of over 6 in 67 innings pitched.
However, Jon got two outs in the inning, and we went to the seventh inning.
Sheff led off the seventh inning with a double, and then Daniel Murphy (who was left in the game to play first and made two beautiful diving stops) singled putting runners on the corners with nobody out.
Now we're cooking.
Faint chants of Let's Go Mets began to pop up throughout the stadium, as every Mets fan was trying to will this team to tie the game.
And who better to do it, then Fernando Tatis, pinch hitting for Brian Schneider.
Well, he got the job done, sort of at least, grounding into a double play, Sheffield scoring the tying run but two outs now in the inning. Castillo grounded out to the end the inning.
TIE BALL GAME BABY!!!
Then Jerry tried to give us all heart attacks.
Now pitching for the New York Mets, No. 50, Sean Green...
ARE YOU F$&**% KIDDING ME??? With Jeter coming up, Sean Green?
Well Jeter grounded out, ok, one out. Then Swisher and Teixeira walk, holy crap... this is not happening, not happening, we tie the game and Sean Green is going to give up an A-Bomb to A-Rod.
Well apparently the G-ds were on the Mets' side for that inning, because Green struck out A-Rod, and got Cano to ground out.
Ok, deep breaths, game's still tied, top of the order coming up.
Well just as expected, Cora and Fernando Martinez each were retired for the first two outs, and then...
That deafening music that Mets fans do not want to hear at Yankee Stadium, Enter the Sandman, Mariano Rivera.
That's it, we're done.
Then Beltran walks, a little hope? Can David Wright pull off this big hit?
DAMN WRIGHT HE CAN!!!!
David Doubles of Rivera, Carlos scores and the METS TAKE THE LEAD!!!!!! The House is rockin, but not by Yankee fans, but those outnumbered Mets fans.
Then Green came out to start the bottom of the 8th. He got Posada to ground out, one down. Coming into this inning, there was only one thing on my mind, get the first two outs, do NOT let Melky Cabrera have a shot at hitting a go ahead homerun.
So in comes No. 25, Pedro Feliciano to face the birthday boy Matsui. Is there enough left to get out one big lefty?
I guess so because Pedro got Matsui to fly out to left.
Alright, now we're cooking, Melky can not beat us. And he didn't. Melky grounded out to Murphy, and we're heading to the ninth, winning by one.
Sheffield struck out looking, upset at all the called strikes inside throughout the game. Daniel Murphy grounded out, and Omir flied out to Swisher.
Bottom of the ninth coming up.
Now pitching for the Mets, No. 75, Francisco Rodriquez.
Now, we know that K-Rod likes to make saves interesting, so after getting Gardner out, why not give up a single to Derek Jeter?
Ok, it's alright, we can do this. Pinch hitting for Nick Swisher, Johnny Damon.
Oh crap, forgot he didn't start this game.
Well K-Rod got em, strikeout, but Jeter advanced to second.
One more out, please, one more out.
Mark Teixeira, the guy who hit a mammoth two-run homerun is up, with the tying run on second base. So K-Rod walks him after falling behind 3-0.
Ok, so two on, two out, and A-Rod's at the plate.
Can we get anymore reason to have a heart attack? Standing in section 415, row 9, seat 21, I stood, holding my hat in my hands, praying we get this final out.
Come on, A-Rod never comes through in these situations.
Ball One. Ok, that's alright.
Ball two. Oh for crying out loud, come on K-Rod!!
Ball three. Holy s*#t K-Rod, please throw a strike.
Strike one. Alright, now we have to be careful hear.
At this point, everyone one of the 47,900 in attendance were on their feet, some rooting for the homerun, others like me, asking for a ground ball.
Fastball and Popped Up!!! Holding my hands in the air to point for someone to get under it, I said "PLEASE CASTILLO CATCH THE F#$*@& BALL!!!"
And then it happened.
I saw the ball bounce off the glove, and fall to the ground, and stood there, with my hand still in the air, as I saw Mark Teixeira score to give the Yankees a win.
What the hell happened?
I don't know, I just stood there, and that music came on, New York New York, and the Yankees fans celebrated, and many of us Mets fans stood there, in absolute disbelief for what just happened.
The game was over, we won, A-Rod popped up to Castillo, a three time Gold Glove winner, K-Rod did his job, how didn't we win?
That game will sit in my mind for a while, as much as I'm trying to get it out of my mind.
This is what makes baseball great, but didn't my team win? They won, they had to.
It was an extremely long train ride home back to Oceanside Long Island, just trying to think of a rational explanation for how this happened.
This is baseball, errors happen, sometimes at the worst possible times, this could have still ended, Jeter or Teixeira could have come out of the baseline, but of course they ran like they were supposed to.
K-Rod did what he was supposed to, everything was working the way it was supposed to, but Castillo dropped the ball.
If you are a Mets fan and are still reading this article, I give you credit.
Enough of this talk, now what I want to focus on, is the insanity of Yankee Stadium.
I have seen two games at the new Yankee Stadium, I have seen Francisco Liriano, Phil Hughes, Livan Hernandez, and Java Chamberlain start games.
I have seen two walk off wins for the Yankees, off of arguably two of the best closers in baseball in Joe Nathan and Francisco Rodriquez.
I have seen a combined 28 runs in those two games by the four teams.
I have seen TEN HOMERUNS in TWO games in this stadium, five in each game.
Now for a little comparison, I have been to 8 regular season Mets games.
I have seen Ten homeruns in those Eight games at Citi Field.
I have not seen a walkoff by the Mets in any of those games, the only game that went into extras resulted in an extra inning loss to the Atlanta Braves (thank's Martin Prado).
The amount of offense I have seen at the Stadium in these two games is ridiculous. I've seen doubles and triples and homeruns and inside the park homeruns and dropped popup errors and diving catches and have witnessed first hand how much of a wind tunnel this stadium has.
Every flyball hit to right field goes to the warning track or out. It is crazy. It makes for great baseball games but is crazy.
To my fellow Mets fans, we have to move on from this game. We can not dwell on this. As much as we want to beat the Yankees, that can not be our only goal.
Leave Castillo alone, he's going to feel like crap for a while, and if by some chance, we miss the playoffs by a game, knock on wood, he is going to feel even worse.
This was not K-Rod's fault, yes he walked Teixeira but he got A-Rod out, he got him to pop up a 3-1 fastball.
This game shows us that Yogi Berra was and has always been right,
"It Ain't Over Till It's Over."
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