After last night's meltdown by the Red Sox in Kansas City, I made a decision not to come home and rant about it on my blog, and to give all of you a break. The Sox picked a really bad time to go into a funk, with important series with Detroit and New York looming on the horizon. Let's just hope the ship can get righted by Curt Schilling and the boys tonight, the end of this miserable road trip.
I did spend a rather enjoyable day out at Shea Stadium today, and it was my first time out there this season. It was "Nun's Day" out at Shea, and my Aunt Kitty is a nun and teacher at a Catholic School in Queens, and is a big-time Mets fan. Last month she invited me to go, as she had a number of tickets courtesy of the Mets. And after last night's debacle, the Mets-San Diego Padres game could not have come at a better time.
I got there just as the first pitch was thrown. I was sitting with my aunt, some of her friends, my brother-in-law, my nephew and some of his friends in the mezzanine section out in right field. There was a good crowd at Shea today, at least 30,000. I did see a few Red Sox hats and a few Red Sox shirts in the crowd, and I even saw a couple of Mike Piazza Padres shirts as well.
The Padres jumped out early on a two-run homer by Adrian Gonzalez off Orlando Hernandez in the first. But the Mets got the lead in the second, aided by a two-run triple by Jose Reyes. He is simply something to behold on the base paths. He's the fastest player the Mets have had since Mookie Wilson. The Padres tied it on a pair of doubles in the seventh, but the Mets scored four in the bottom of the inning to put the game on ice, 7-3, and complete a sweep over the Padres.
Mike Piazza was rested by Bruce Bochy, as he had played the two previous nights. The Mets fans warmly greeted him both nights, and when he hit a solo homer (and then another) off Pedro Martinez, the Shea faithful gave him a standing ovation as he rounded the bases. Piazza said later he was very touched by all the affection the Mets fans showed him. It's shame he didn't get into today's game, not even as a pinch-hitter. In the seventh inning, Piazza was shown on the big scoreboard in the Padres dugout and got a nice ovation. When he realized it, he tipped his cap to the crowd. In the ninth inning of today's game, the crowd was calling for him to bat, with chants of "We Want Mike," and "Pi-az-za!" When Josh Bard, and then Geoff Blum, came up to hit, they were both roundly booed.
I was really proud of the fans the way they showed so much affection for Mike Piazza. He really deserved all of it.
I was also glad to see some old friends in the game for the Padres today. Dave Roberts was in the starting lineup, Mark Bellhorn pinched hit, and Alan Embree came in to relieve in the seventh. Three of the 25 were in the house today, along with former Sox players Josh Bard, Scott Williamson and Todd Walker (Bard and Walker both started and Williamson came in in the seventh inning to pitch). The Padres even recently brought Cla Meredith up, but he saw no action today.