I went to my first ever Major League Baseball game with my mom. I suppose it is appropriate, then, that for the first game of this trip, I went with my mom. Here we are by the old Home Run Apple from Shea Stadium, which sits out front of the stadium.
The Mets pay homage to the old Shea stadium in a number of places. There are plaques in the parking lot indicating the exact places where home plate, the pitcher's plate, and all the bases at Shea Stadium used to be. I took the opportunity to live out a childhood dream by pantomiming an at bat, smashing the ball over the wall, and taking a home run trot around the bases. I looked like a dork.
We arrived early and took some time to explore the stadium and get some food. I had read about an amazing pastrami sandwich located at one of the vendors in the food court behind center field. (It's New York; what's more appropriate than a pastrami sandwich?) We explored the stadium a bit on the way there, stopping for several photo ops, including one with Green M&M in front of the Shea Bridge.
We made it to the food court (one of several) but could not find the pastrami sandwich. Mom went with a hot dog and fries while I opted for the pulled pork and brisket combo platter from Blue Smoke, which was FANTASTIC!
Finished eating, we headed toward our seats, taking some more time to explore and take pictures. To get to our seats, we actually entered through the Foxwoods Club, which has some cool views looking over Queens, a full bar and seems to stay open, at least for a little while, even after the game ends. The seats were fantastic, right in front of the press boxes and announcers booth. And as we went to sit down, this fantastic aroma washed over me -- the gentleman sitting next to me had a pastrami sandwich! "Where did you get that," I asked. He points with the sandwich just over my shoulder. "In the Fowxwoods Club," he says. Yup. Right behind our seats. Oh well, I wasn't going to get one now. Maybe next time.
The game itself was enjoyable. The Mets came out strong, scoring four in the first and one in the second. San Francisco's pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, settled down and found his stuff after that, although Michael Conforto did hit a home run in the seventh. Meanwhile, Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler had a good night, giving up only a single and a solo home run, but he also threw a lot of pitches, with several walks and strikeouts, and was taken out after six. In the final innings, the Mets bullpen hit a batter, but otherwise shut down the Giants, while the Mets batters almost mounted a two out rally, loading the bases in the bottom of the eighth. Unfortunately, Conforto can't hit them all out of the park, and ended his day grounding out to second for the final Met out.
After the game, we had planned to stop in at McFadden's Bar at the back of the stadium and grab a drink while the parking lot emptied out. But when the game finished, Mom and I looked at each other, and both said, "Nope." The day was long enough. All in all, it was a fun time. I like Citi Field. Shea will forever be my home stadium, but if you remove the sentimentality, Cit is a BIG improvement and a great place to take in a game.