I went to see the Mets on opening day, the first time all of the rivals came to Citi Field, and I was fortunate enough to see the team finish the season with a 10-7 record at my games.
One of my friends is a huge Yankees fan, and so I agreed to attend a few Yankee games, as I normally do anyway.
My first trip to the new Stadium was the rainout back on May 3 against the Angels, which was made up in September (a Yankee victory, no less), however, that was the least of my “horrors” at that stadium this season.
I use the word “horrors” because although I am not one of those Yankee-hater Mets fans, it was painful to see some of the wins I saw there this season.
So the first game I saw this season at the new Yankee Stadium was a game against the Minnesota Twins, in which Francisco Liriano pitched effectively, Mauer and Morneau both went deep, and the Twinkies actually had a lead heading into the ninth.
Well I’m sure you all remember the streak of walk-off victories for the Yankees, which was started by a Melky Cabrera walk-off against Joe Nathan and the Twins, and of course, this is the game I am referring to as my first game in that stadium this season.
So ok, you know it was a great game, so I really had no problem with it.
My next game at the Stadium was the Castillo dropped pop-up game.
Enough said. It brings up too many painful memories.
So after that devastating loss for the Mets at the Stadium, I thought I was going to see a Yankee loss at the hands of the Angels in this make-up game. At the very least, I did not want to see another walk-off Yankee win.
So of course, the Yankees won that game, and although not via the walk-off, they scored the go ahead runs in the bottom of the eighth inning so that’s pretty damn close.
Needless to say, I was pretty sick of going to that stadium.
However, as the Brooklyn Cyclones' season ended, followed by the Mets’, I felt the desire to see playoff baseball.
Now the last playoff game I attended was the Yankee Tiger series back in 2006. That game featured the young Justin Verlander facing off against Mike Mussina. The Tigers ended up winning the game to even the series at one game a piece.
So let’s jump to this past Sunday when I found out that the Yankees would be selling playoff tickets for the division series that Monday morning at 10:00 at face value.
Of course I had to jump on that, and was able to buy two standing room tickets for the second game. Needless to say I was happy to be able to see playoff baseball once again in New York.
When the Twins beat the Tigers in the play-in game, I was a little upset since I would not get to see Verlander in game two, however the Twins were on a roll, and who knows, maybe they could pull this huge upset out.
Well, this game was without doubt one of the most exciting games I’ve been to all season. Although I must say I was disappointed with the overall performance of the Yankee crowd, which was much weaker in terms of sound from the game in 2006.
Nick Blackburn had come into the Stadium and was throwing no-hit baseball and A.J. Burnett was pitching well.
The Twins finally scored a run off A.J. in the top of the sixth, and the Twins gave it right back in the bottom of the half of the inning. When the Twins then scored two runs in the top of the eighth, I chuckled to myself, thinking maybe, just maybe my first-ever Yankee loss in the stadium would be the most important game there thus far.
Of course, Joe Nathan had other ideas.
To be perfectly honest, even though Nathan had blown the save in my first game earlier this season, I thought when Mariano Rivera let that inherited runner score to give the Twins the two-run lead; I thought that meant it was the Twins’ night.
I can understand the Nathan was timid to the deal with A-Rod as the tying run in this game, in this stadium, with his rather lackluster career performance against the Yankees.
What I don’t understand, is that why not either just go right after him and say here you go Alex, see if you can hit it, or just outright walk him.
Obviously, the latter doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to do, but we’ve all seen how much the mentality of a closer plays in their performance (Brad Lidge, for example).
But enough of that: it was very exciting to be a Yankee fan at that moment, and the place finally erupted into the applause and cheers I had expected from the first pitch on.
Now I’m not going to get into the discussion about Cuzzi’s blown call that kept Mauer from a leadoff double, the fact of the matter is that when the Twins could not score that inning with the bases loaded, you knew the Yankees were walking off in the bottom half of the inning.
I even said to my friend, the only thing that matters now is whether Mark or Alex wanted to do the honors.
Personally, I would’ve thought A-Rod would’ve told Mark to just get on so he could do the honors and really get Yankee fans to love him the way they should, but Tex sent the ball into the stands for the walk-off win, and my season was officially over.
This was a fantastic game to be at. I’m not denying that or trying to downplay it at all. I can’t say I’m happy for Yankee fans because I’m still a Mets fan, and I still hope the Red Sox rally past the Angels and beat the Yankees in the ALCS since I really think the Yankees would actually beat the Angels.
So after four games I’ve seen at Yankee Stadium this season, the Yankees are 4-0, and have walked off three of the four games.
Especially since one of those walk-off wins was against the Mets, I’m just at the breaking point. This game summed up everything that went wrong for me as a Mets fan this season.
Again, this was a fantastic game to have been at, and I really have no regrets about going…
But if any Yankee fan wants me to go to another game there again, they better be paying for me or I ain’t going.
***I know the picture isn't the best quality, I had to bend down and zoom through people to get the video board in the view. Anyone who's interested in more pics from the game, just send me a message!***