Sunday was a dual focus day as the 2013 Mets played the Pirates in Pittsburgh, and at the same time the 2013 All Star Game events were in full force at Citi Field. On the agenda yesterday was the Futures game and a legends/”celebrity” softball game, both of which I attended. With the Futures game scheduled as a direct conflict to the Mets game, we took a picture of something I had never seen before on the Mets out-of-town scoreboard — a Mets game.
There was a lot of talent on display at the Futures game, and a few players did stand out. The ball jumped off the bat of Christian Yelich of the Marlins all day; he looked just as impressive yesterday as he did this spring. And Arismendy Alcantara of the Cubs hit a long home run up onto the Pepsi Porch. Joc Pederson of the Dodgers showed off an excellent arm on a throw home, which somehow did not nail the runner (Xander Bogaerts.) But none of those guys is in our system. Two who are were the starting pitchers, Noah Syndergaard, and Rafael Montero. For Mets fans they were the major attraction.
Both pitched a solid inning, Syndergaard hit 96 MPH on the Citi Field gun and Montero reached 95 MPH once. I had never seen Syndergaard pitch, he sure looks like a prototypical power pitcher. Montero buzzed a batter inside, which I liked even if it was an accident, which it almost had to be given the setting. But an inning is just an inning, and once you blinked they were both done for the day. Of course yesterday was more about dreaming than reality anyway. Thinking about a day when they are both at Citi Field and not in opposing dugouts, instead joining Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Gee, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, Hefner. And I know you can all count and that’s too many guys but that is part of the dream too, to have so much pitching that we have to figure out what to do with some of the excess.
Now even the most optimistic dreamers do not have the Mets juggling hitting prospects right now. Sandy’s first number one pick, Brandon Nimmo, got two at bats and hit one hard line drive to short that was caught and grounded out once. So for a day we found Nimmo at Citi Field, but given how little he has done at Low A it could be a long time before we see Nimmo II.
As for the softball game, I won’t give away too many details as it is on TV tonight. One spoiler, though, Frank Thomas kept swinging at the first pitch! There was a bet I would have lost. Frankly, as a Mets fan following a team that barely acknowledges most of their own history it was just nice to see guys such as Strawberry, Gooden, Franco, and Piazza on our field again. I enjoyed the whole thing much more than I thought I would, especially when I think about how hot it was.
Thanks to Terri Geus for shooting the pictures, we have quite a few and will get an album up on our Facebook page today or tomorrow.
The bunting looked great, hoping to see that again at Citi Field one October. In the meantime, good luck to David Wright tonight in the Home Run Derby. It will be interesting to see how players do, whoever wins isn’t going to have many cheap shots. The park won’t allow it.