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Game 4: Nats at Mets

Apr 9, 2010, 7:41 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Citi Field, the Mets' overly quirky new home.

NEW YORK — Good afternoon from Citi Field, now in its second year of operation. The new home of the New York Mets is a MAJOR upgrade from Shea Stadium (then again, RFK Stadium would have been an upgrade from Shea Stadium) but I've never been all that impressed with this place.

For one thing, it's incredibly confusing to navigate. One of the best things Nationals Park has going for it is that fans can walk all the way around the main concourse and never lose sight of the field. Not so here, where there are random turns and angles blocking your path every which way you go. (And don't get me started on how difficult it is to find the press box. I leave a trail of breadcrumbs every time I walk out the door.)

The playing field, too, has all kinds of quirks, and not necessarily in a good way. There's a big overhang above the right-field fence that led to a disputed homer last season when the Nats were in town. Members of the visiting pitching staff can't see the field from their bullpen because of the poor angle it faces (they have to watch on TV screens). It's almost like the Mets just wanted to create quirkiness forRead more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    Thanks Mark. Is Shea still standing?

  2. Will - Apr 9, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Anon – Shea was transformed into a parking lot just prior to Citi's opening. I'm a Rutgers grad student and had a mini-package to Citi Field last year (mostly for the 3 games vs. the Nats as well as the Subway Series) and agree with Mark on Citi's design. It's charming from the outside, but once you're in, it's a bit of a maze. I found myself wanting to show features of the park off to friends I'd bring along to each game and often struggling to find them until I'd been to my 12th or 13th game. Very steep learning curve. Will be back for Saturday afternoon's game. Hope I can find the Shake Shack. (I know, I know, it's the one place in there you can't miss.)

  3. Wally - Apr 9, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    One more thought from last night's game – while the Phillies clearly had some well hit balls off him, Stammen had a 59% groundball rate. That is a very good number. Strikeouts didn't match the spring training numbers, but his FB velocity was consistently 90-92 on the TV gun so I think that there is reason to hope that he has made an incremental step forward there. I am optimistic that he is going to perform well this year.

  4. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    I agree. Went to a game last year at Citi Field. The sight lines were horrible…if someone stood up anywhere in front of you the entire field disappeared. Having grown up in NY I missed the old decrepit Shea.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    Anyone know how long it's been since Adam Dunn hit a long fly? I know he didn't hit one during the last week or so of 2009 because he needed just two for 40 and I thought he had plenty of time to do it but it wasn't to be. And then this sping, nada. Anyone as paranoid as I am about the other face-of-franchise? I WANT MY HOMERS!

  6. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    dear 5:01, no. 162/40 = 4. That is three games between homers, on average. But average includes alot of variability. Big week with 5 or 6 homers, slump of 20 days without.

  7. Nats Not Mets - Apr 9, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Risking the jinx wrath, and invoking the Jimmy Rollins rule; Zman will achieve double digits on his hitting streak this evening

  8. Sunderland - Apr 9, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Adam Dunn's last home run, September 22, at home.Previous to that, Sept 11, in Florida.So, he has not hit a home run in 14 regular season games.And he has hit only 1 home run in his past 22 games.Citi Field would be as good a place as ever to turn things around.

  9. TBC - Apr 9, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Dunn's last home run was on Sept 22 in a 14-2 loss to the Dodgers at Nationals Park.* (Hey, I was at that game.) He went the last 11 games without going deep, and now all of spring training and three games into this season. I'd say he's due.* Thanks to baseball-reference.com for the info.

  10. Nervous Nats Fan - Apr 9, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    Mark, thanks for the link to the video. I had read about it elsewhere, but hadn't gotten a good look. Much more ridiculous than I pictured in my head!

  11. Anonymous - Apr 9, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    Can anyone here rationalize Desmond's being at the bottom of the order?

  12. Sec314 - Apr 9, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Mock is pitching like himself. He must have something on Rizzo. Meanwhile Martin pitched well last night for the Chiefs

  13. Souldrummer - Apr 9, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Can anyone here rationalize why the Mets pitched to Desmond? That would be some bad managing and Don Sutton would have got bananas if a Nats pitcher had did that. Given what Carlton Ruiz did to us that's an auspicious sign.

  14. Nats Rule! - Apr 10, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Mark: when can we expect to see you in the silver Elvis wig :-)

  15. natsone_va - Apr 10, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    I've worried about Dunn for a little while now. It started during Spring Training where he didn't hit one out either. Last year he was on point by the World Baseball Classic (maybe that's why he ran out of gas at season's end), but this year he just doesn't seem to have it down yet. I hope he snaps out of it soon. He's really worrying me.

  16. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 10, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    Nats Rule: I'll don the wig as soon as I get a game-winning hit. (Don't hold your breath.)

  17. Souldrummer - Apr 10, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    Mark: Can you get the wig from the owner of the hat if you offer game winning intel that leads to a game winning hit?

  18. Anonymous - Apr 10, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Hey Mark,Maybe this discussion on Dunn is worth a future column.My impression is if the team is up 5 runs or down down 5 runs Dunn might hit a homer. But I have few memories of him hitting one to tie or go ahead in a game. I also have the impression (not being a Saber guy) that a high percentage of his K's are looking, and a high percentage of these looking-K's happen with men on base.Am I right on any of this?Anonynats

  19. Mark Zuckerman - Apr 10, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    Anonynats: Your impression is accurate, particularly on your latter point. Dunn often is overly selective at the plate, taking a close pitch for strike three when there are runners on base begging to be driven in. There are times when you should look to draw a walk. And then there are times you should look to drive in some runs.

  20. ArlingtonBigFish - Apr 10, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    Watching Garrett Mock pitch (& I use that term loosely) has got to be one of the most frustrating things I have ever experienced in baseball. If he can't throw strikes, why's he in the major leagues? And if he can, but isn't, he must have a baseball IQ of about 20. He's also driving Dibble crazy. (My first post, BTW). Keep up the good work, guys.

  21. Souldrummer - Apr 10, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    Based on performance, Bergmann's the guy who ought to get sent down. But he's out of options. It would be nice if Jesse English could get a LOOGY situation where the lefty stays in there to face him instead of him getting Tatis. I'd kind of like to see Bergmann sent down, nice guy rep notwithstanding and see English stay, but I think that it will be the other way around.Which way do you think this will go, Mark?

  22. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Apr 10, 2010 at 2:50 AM

    I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Mock is just a big dumb Texan who would be pumping gas out on Route 66 if he didn't touch 93 on the radar gun now and then. Any relationship between what he does and major league pitching is purely coincidental. To paraphrase that great poet Hollywood Henderson: "He couldnt' spell cat if you spotted him and c and the t.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
*if necessary

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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