It’s hard to believe, but 2018 marks the 10th season the Mets will play at Citi Field. Are we now at the point where we can’t call it a new stadium anymore?
Over the course of the first nine seasons, there have been highs and lows, to say the least. Before season 10 kicks off next Thursday, our Tim Reilly, Nick Giacone, and Alyssa Rose decided to look back on the most memorable games we experienced at Citi Field thus far:
Tim Reilly: April 19, 2013 – Mets vs. Nationals
The first three seasons at Citi Field were a bore. Shea rocked, while Citi sat sturdy as could be. It started to first show signs of swaying during an early-season Friday night match up against Stephen Strasburg that I was lucky enough to take in.
This was the night Matt Harvey officially made me a believer in the “Dark Knight” moniker. He out-pitched Strasburg and silenced a team with World Series aspirations. Harvey dazzled, as he allowed one run over seven innings and punching out seven. The Mets knocked around Strasburg and the Nationals behind Ike Davis(!) and Lucas Duda each hitting a pair of home runs.
Harvey encouraged the crowd to make noise all night, and we happily obliged. “Harvey’s better” chants echoed throughout Citi Field during a Mets’ 7-1 victory. I wasn’t around for Gooden’s heyday, but I’m told the atmosphere was reminiscent to when Doc took control on those Friday summer nights in the ‘80s.
In a bizarre twist, this was the same night that the Boston Marathon Bomber was captured. In celebration of this breaking news on the scoreboard, fans took a break from showering Harvey with cheers to chant “U-S-A." What a night.
Nick Giacone: August 1, 2015 – Mets vs. Nationals
It’s hard to feel attachment to a stadium that hasn’t hosted any meaningful games. It may be unfair, but that’s how I had felt about Citi Field before the 2015 season. It was definitely an upgrade in quality, but I still yearned for Shea’s crowd atmosphere. I’ll never forget how Citi Field rocked this night, and anyone else that was there won’t either.
The Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2 in Yoenis Céspedes’ first game suiting up in the orange-and-blue, one night after Wilmer Flores had walked off a hero. While Yo’s arrival garnered all the pre-game hype, it was Lucas Duda who played hero, hitting two solo home runs and a go-ahead RBI double to account for all the Mets’ offense. What sets this game apart was how electric the crowd was. For the first time, Citi Field had freed itself from Shea’s grasp.
While the second-largest crowd in Citi Field’s history didn’t know it yet, this game was emblematic of the Mets’ 2015 season. It foreshadowed so many magical moments of a playoff run: a gutsy performance from deGrom, a menacing Céspedes in the lineup, a clutch save from Familia, and a come-from-behind win over the division-rival Nationals.
The next night, the Mets would pull even in the NL East, and Citi Field finally felt like it had arrived.
Alyssa Rose: October 17, 2015 – Mets vs. Cubs
This may be a bit of an obvious choice, but Game 1 of the NLCS was not only one of the most memorable Citi Field experiences for me, it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
I know when I first started blogging for T7L I made a point to say you'd be getting takes from the eyes of Alyssa, the fan, not Alyssa, Howie Rose's daughter, but if you'll indulge me, this one has everything to do with my dad.
So often when you ask someone why they’re a fan of a team the answer is, "Well, my dad is a fan, so he raised me to be one, too." And I’m no different. Not only was this a big deal for my dad's career, it was a big deal for him personally. Getting to share that with him when we so rarely get to spend time together during baseball season made the day incredibly special.
There was a vibe in the ballpark that I don't think I'll ever be able to describe. I don't think many people were expecting the series to end in a sweep, but I do think everyone there thought it was our destiny to win that series. Regardless of how the next two games went, I knew we'd be back to face the AL Champions.
My cousin and I had seats in the field level, but I don't think either one of us sat in them once. We sat in the booth next to my dad's and watched him as intently as we watched the game. Daniel Murphy’s first-inning home run sparked the magic that continued all game. Matt Harvey was elite. The crowd was on top of the world.
That was the perfect night at Citi Field.
What’s your most memorable game at Citi Field?