Mets once again made Yankee Stadium their home
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 14- The Mets bid a farewell to Yankee Stadium this season. And perhaps they would want to play in the Bronx more after another two-game series sweep over the Yankees. That’s four straight wins in the Bronx dating back to last season and now six straight over their cross-town rivals.
In all probability, the two teams won’t meet again in October, but for some reason, Yankee Stadium has a way of making a hitter look better. What looked like a dismal offense the past two weeks has become a distant memory and after their 12-7 win Tuesday night, you wonder if Manager Terry Collins would prefer the next two games to be played in the Bronx and not at Citi Field.
“A lot has to do with the ballpark,” commented Collins. “Guys get a descent pitch they know they can drive. For sure we have swung the bats better here.” His team scored a season high 12-runs Tuesday night and in the two games hit six home runs.
They don’t get that type of offense at Citi Field where the dimensions are different. Curtis Granderson knows. He spent enough time at Yankee Stadium, and hit 64 home runs when he wore pinstripes at the new Yankee Stadium. Add two more with long balls in the first two games of this home-and-home series.
But, Citi Field is different. Granderson can’t hit the home run to right, or over the fence in any of the other power alleys. Though the more viable explanation about Granderson is, he is not the same hitter that once was.
And 21- runs in two games for the Mets, well that was a rarity until they came to the Bronx. A lot may be attributed to the decimated Yankees pitching rotation that has manager Joe Girardi doing some patch work with three front line starters on the disabled list.
“We have to stay in rotation,” said Girardi. “These are the people we have.” Vidal Nuno got roughed up in 3 1/3 innings and it was not pretty. The night before, Hideki Kuroda allowed four runs in six innings. When the series shifts to Citi Field Wednesday night, the 5-0, Masahiro Tanaka gives some hope for the Yankees to get a win.
Oh, then there is the Thursday night series finale. The Yankees will have Chase Whitley on the mound making his major league debut.
There are concerns for the Yankees, but the Mets want to take this momentum to Citi Field. The Mets believe this is psychological and the same production coming in the Bronx can continue in their home ballpark.
“When you play here you know you can score,” said Granderson who hit his fifth home run with two on that put the Mets in front 4-0 in the first inning. “Now we have to take that to our place.”
But, Granderson and the Mets have been trying to figure it out for the first six weeks of this season. They have been trying to figure a solution to the power outage at the plate since their new ballpark opened five years ago and they know Citi Field is not Yankee Stadium.
One media member in the Mets clubhouse commented, “The architects got it wrong” when it came to the construction of Citi Field. Of course they did, because Citi Field is not a hitter’s park, though opposing hitters have never seemed to complain when they bang out hits and the home runs, again maybe attributed to a psychological issue with the Mets over the years.
Whatever it is, this Mets team comes home Wednesday evening with a psychological advantage over the Yankees. Quickly, the mighty Yankees are not as invincible as they once were.