Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Padres-Mets: Padres Have List of Firsts in Win Over Mets

The San Diego Padres were the first visiting team in the New York Mets' new stadium, Citi Field, on Monday night and they wasted no time introducing themselves to the new park.

The first batter of the night, Padres' outfielder Jody Gerut, sent the third pitch he saw over the right field fence for a solo home run. It marked the first time a lead off batter had ever hit a home run in a new ballpark in Major Leage history. “Very cool,” Gerut said. “Maybe at the end of the season when I look back on this, I’ll have a greater sense of what happened here. But at the time, all I’m thinking is that it put us ahead.”

The Padres jumped all over Mets' starter Mike Pelfrey, putting up five runs on eight hits through just five innings and just when it looked like the Padres were going to get an easy win in the first game ever at Citi Field, back came the Mets.

With two men on in the home half of the fifth inning, Daniel Murphy would single to right bringing Gary Sheffield around to score to make it a 5-2 game. Then David Wright would tie the ball game with one swing of the bat, sending a deep shot to left field for a game-tying 3-run home run off Padres' starter Walter Silva.

The Padres would re-take the lead in the top half of the sixth thanks to a 3-base error, allowing Padres' shortstop Luis Rodriguez to advance to third and then a balk by pitcher Pedro Feliciano would bring Rodriguez home to give the Padres a 6-5 lead.

That's all the room the Padres' bullpen would need. Relievers Edwin Moreno, Duaner Sanchez and closer Heath Bell would allow just two hits over four shutout innings to give the Padres the first win ever at Citi Field 6-5.

Former Mets' reliever, and current Padres closer, Heath Bell probably got the most joy out of not only a Padres' victory but also getting the first ever save at Citi Field. The Mets traded Bell to the Padres in November of 2006, telling him that he'd never be a Major League closer. Well, Bell got to prove the Mets wrong last night, closing out the Padres 6-5 win with a 1-2-3 9th inning for his 4th save of the 2009 season.

The two teams will have an off day today before playing games 2 & 3 on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The Mets will have Oliver Perez on Wednesday night and John Maine on Thursday while the Padres will counter with Kevin Correia and ace Jake Peavy.

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