More from Citi Field on Getaway Day

So a few hours after we left Citi Field, after a Mets rain delayed and 13- inning win over the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday night into Thursday morning, it was back to normal. Another rain delay that moved the first pitch from the scheduled 1:10pm start to 3:25pm. Do the math right and that is a two-hour and 15-minute delay for everyone at the ballpark. They have to wait and wait.

Because of the interleague schedule, it is difficult to reschedule games. Teams try to avoid the old fashioned doubleheader, but it is getaway day and the Mets are headed to Texas immediately after the game. Oakland with the short hike to Philadelphia, and we heard the contingency plan, had the game been scrapped, Oakland returns to New York next month and again in August for scheduled games with the Yankees in the Bronx. So the A’s could have made a one game trip to Citi Field. Of course, that was all subject to approval…

With another good crowd assembling, advanced tickets and a walk-up the Mets awarded fans for their patience. Tickets from the Thursday game can be redeemed for complimentary tickets to the Mets August 11, Thursday afternoon Matinee game against the San Diego Padres. It includes paid, complimentary and tickets marked “No rain Check.”

One of the great parts of a rain delay is to catch up with some of your friends in the business. Mets radio broadcaster Wayne Hagin has been in the game for 26 years. Prior to the Mets he was with Oakland, San Francisco, Colorado and the St. Louis Cardinals. So he knows a little more or something about the game and a rain delay.

As the grounds grew took the tarp off the infield, Hagin observed the continued delay as the rain seemed to stop. The drying agent was put on the infield. No announcement has been made as to when the game would begin. So Hagin gave the answer looking towards the outfield bullpen areas.

“Look out there,” he said. “Do you see a pitcher warming up?” Meaning that the go-ahead for starting pitchers Graham Godfrey of the A’s, and Chris Capuano of the Mets to throw in the pen indicates that a first pitch would be thrown in a matter of a half hour or less. Hagin was right on the money. But he was more concerned about Mets travel plans to Arlington Texas. Rain delays on getaway day play with the travel schedule.

Said Hagin, “Takes a long time to move a team to the next city. Fans would be surprised.” That would mean rearranging the departure time, security checks at the airport, and making sure that the hotel rooms are booked for the team and personnel.  The team Traveling director and equipment managers have a more difficult job to make sure everything is in place.

Hagin and those traveling get an extensive itinerary that informs departure times to and from the airports, hotels, and ballparks. But once Hagin is up in the air, after a long day he sits back with some of his on air colleagues. “I have a glass of wine and fall asleep,” he says…

The Justin Turner walk-off winning run of Wednesday, attributed to be hitting by a pitch from losing pitcher Brad Ziegler apparently was something that had the Athletics talking until they reached the ballpark Thursday morning Turner was hit in the same spot, in the left thigh, by Godfrey in the first inning. There were no warnings issued by the umpires, Turner and Mets manager Terry Collins downplayed any talk about it being a retaliation pitch…

Angel Pagan is struggling again batting .242, looking like he was before he went on the disabled list on April 22nd.  He struck out, was retired on a fielder’s choice and flied out to right field…As for Jason Bay, after an 0-for-5 evening before and batting in the cleanup spot, he was dropped to the sixth hole, going 1-for-4…

David Wright on the disabled list since 18 with a stress fracture in his lower back has, been cleared to resume baseball activities. In other words the Mets could see their third baseman back in the lineup within three or four weeks. General Manager Sandy Alderson said the rehabilitation will be a “several week process.”

The CT scan Thursday gave Wright clearance and he will report to the Mets team complex in Port St. Lucie Florida to begin the process of returning to the lineup. That was good news because Wednesday it was reported Ike Davis, out with a left ankle sprain and bone bruise will need three more weeks to recover, and if Davis can’t do it,  there is every consideration the first baseman will opt for season ending surgery,,

Until the second installment of the Subway Series with the Yankees, next Friday evening, Citi Field will be ready. By the way, there are tickets still available.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Afternoon Matinee, August 11, Contingency Plan, Drying Agent, Game Trip, Games Teams, Getaway, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Outfield, Radio Broadcaster, Rain Check, Rich Mancuso, San Diego Padres, St Louis Cardinals, Tarp, Thursday Morning, Top Story, Wayne Hagin

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on June 24, 2011

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Mets Sweep D-backs and Complete Successful Homestand

New York- So much for talk that the New York Mets could not hit the home run at Citi Field, or win many ballgames in their home park. After their 8-4   win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Easter Sunday, taking a three-game sweep, the Mets have won four consecutive games after taking the final game of the three- game series that started the stand earlier this week against the Houston Astros.

And this season high winning streak, the longest since last September 13-16 of last season, was done with good pitching and timely hitting. Plenty of two out hits and getting Jason Bay back in the lineup seemed to propel the offense. Jonathon Niese (1-3) pitched seven solid innings, snapping a six-game losing streak in the series sweep Sunday, and Mets starting pitching in the six games went 6-0 innings or more.

Plus the Mets offense produced three more home runs Sunday, two by David Wright and one from Jason Pridie. It was the first Major League round tripper for Pridie. The 27-year old center fielder was called up from Triple-A Buffalo Friday when Angel Pagan went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle.

So what has transpired in the past few days? Good pitching and hitting will win ballgames, and all of a sudden Citi Field has become home run friendly for the Mets. It has the team riding with optimism as they head for a six game trip to Washington and Philadelphia on Tuesday. And their most effective starter in the young season, Chris Young comes off the disabled list and will open game one of the series against the Nationals.

“It’s really good,” said Mets manager Terry Collins. When the Mets were 5-13 earlier in the week, and with the worst record in baseball, Collins was frustrated and concerned but said, “I promise you it will get better.” It certainly has improved because David Wright has also come around at the plate. Carlos Beltran went 9-for-23 with a home run and three RBI in six games, Ike Davis reached base four times Sunday and had three home runs, two doubles and six RBI in the six games.

In the streak New York scored 27 runs and outscored the opposition 27-10. “I think the brightest sign has been our starting pitching,” added Collins. “It’s really stepped up here and gotten us to where we need to get to. I think you see a difference in the bullpen where they can just pitch to certain guys. I think it makes everyone more comfortable.”

The pen found itself a bit when Collins used the combination of rookie Pedro Beato, the veteran Jason Isringhausen and closer Frankie Rodriguez to close the door when the Mets had the lead in three of the six games. Sunday, Collins went with D.J. Carrasco who gave up a run in the eighth, Tim Byrdak and Ryota Igarashi. He credited the use of starters Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey out of the pen in Atlanta on the last road trip as to a reason why starters Capuano and Dickey had success this week.

“We got some really big hits, two-out hits and that makes a difference,” he said. His team scored five two-out runs in the series finale with Arizona, and the day before had six two-out runs. And Wright has been a major catalyst of the resurged offense. His second home run Sunday, fifth of the season, came with two outs and no runners in in the fourth inning that gave the Mets an 8-1 lead.

New York scored two runs off Arizona starter Armando Galarraga (3-1) in the first and four more runs off him in the third. In the past four games, Wright has home runs and he credits the starting pitching for the 4-2 homestand. “We’ll go as far as our starting pitching carries us,” he said.

His home run in the fourth was high and got over the fence on the left field line and right of the pole. “He’s tireless and when you hit the ball hard things are going to happen,” explained Collins regarding how Wright came around in the six games. “Even though I wasn’t getting good results I was getting good at bats,’ said Wright who also had a multi –home run game against the Diamondbacks last season on July 30th.

Niese retired the first six Arizona hitters in the lineup and had good command with the fastball. He gave up six hits and three runs, of which two were earned. Collins and pitching Coach Dan Warthen said he was rushing his pitches in three previous starts. “Rushing is probably a good word to describe the problems,” said Niese. “I thought I’d take my time today.”

New York also hit two more doubles.one by Beltran and at least one in 21 of their 22 games, fourth in the majors. So of the ball is not going over the fence at Citi Field, there are the extra base hits that led to runs on the homestand. The Beltran double, on his 34th birthday would lead to one of the four runs in the fourth inning and he started all six games.

Four guys can cause damage in the lineup. Collins said Beltran. Wright, Davis and Bay are capable of doing that every game and also Jose Reyes is the catalyst leading off. It has led to optimism this week. But as Collins said, “There is a long way to go. Washington plays well and the Phillies are the Phillies.”

Yes, Collins looks forward to Tuesday. Now the determination is, can the Mets continue the momentum as they leave their sudden friendly confines of Citi Field?

Notes: After the game GM Sandy Alderson said the team optioned Carrasco to Buffalo to make room for Young to make his start Tuesday….Alderson also said that for the moment Dillon Gee, who got the win Saturday in game two versus Arizona, would not be sent down, though it is not determined if he will be in the rotation with the return of Young….

And Alderson said, catcher Ronnie Paulino will stay on the disabled list as he is still sustaining problems with an oblique muscle pull while rehabbing down in Florida.

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Posted under Arizona Diamondbacks, Ballgames, Carlos Beltran, Center Fielder, Consecutive Games, David Wright, Final Game, Game Losing Streak, Game One, Game Series, Game Sweep, Game Trip, Houston Astros, Jason Bay, Left Oblique Muscle, New York Mets, Niese, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on April 26, 2011

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