Citi Field Hosts “Celebrate Israel Night” - The Jewish Voice
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Citi Field Hosts “Celebrate Israel Night”

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A NY Mets yarmulke was distributed to fans at “Celebrate Israel Night” at Citi Field in Flushing
A NY Mets yarmulke was distributed to fans at “Celebrate Israel Night” at Citi Field in Flushing
The Mets sent a strong sense of excitement to all New Yorkers when they hosted “Celebrate Israel Night at Citi Field on Wednesday June 11, against the Milwaukee Brewers. Many synagogues, Jewish organizations and programs bolted to Flushing for the special event. Dedicated T-shirts for the event were handed out and the crowd was treated to several Israeli musical performances throughout the game.

As for the game, it wasn’t too much fun for the Mets who fell to the Brewers 3-1. Bobby Abreu’s bat shattered as he hit the final pitch of the game, lining the ball directly into diving first baseman Mark Reynolds’ glove. Abreu’s head sank — one final slice of frustration on a maddening night for the Mets.

In many ways, Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Brewers was similar to so many that came before it. The Mets received adequate pitching but virtually no offense at Citi Field, keeping the game close but never quite taking advantage of that. Yet as the losses pile up and the frustration is mounting. Manager Terry Collins was ejected from this one, the most tangible evidence of an exasperating night. Were the Mets regularly putting crooked numbers on scoreboards across the country, Collins’ unsuccessful replay challenge in the fifth inning might not have seemed so significant. But the Mets have not been doing that all season; Taylor Teagarden’s grand slam in an uplifting victory Tuesday was the exception, not the rule.

A day later, the Mets reverted back to their same old struggles. Wily Peralta shut them down over most of his 6 1/3 innings and Milwaukee’s bullpen did the rest. The loss moved rookie starter Jacob deGrom to 0-3 in his career despite a 3.44 ERA through six starts. What vexed Collins most, however, was the play that earned him an ejection. Trailing by two runs heading into the fifth, the Mets received an apparent spark when Teagarden hit a roller to the right side of the infield that Reynolds could not easily convert into an out. The first baseman flipped to Peralta, who gloved the ball at around the same instant that Teagarden touched the base.

The Mets felt it, too. When first-base umpire Angel Hernandez called Teagarden out, Collins came flying out of the dugout to argue. Within seconds, bench coach Bob Geren flashed a thumbs up from the bench, the sign that New York’s video team believed this a winnable challenge. So umpires went to receive word from their brethren in New York, while Citi Field’s scoreboard showed the replay — eliciting a roar from a crowd of 20,170 who mostly all thought the same thing.

A second argument earned Collins an ejection, which did little to infuse his team’s bats with thunder. Instead, the Mets went quietly against Peralta and a quartet of Milwaukee relievers, including Mets-turned-Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez. Peralta was particularly sharp, allowing his only run on Lucas Duda’s sacrifice fly in the second inning. The Mets tallied just four hits and a walk off the right-hander, who threw 92 pitches over 6 1/3 innings.

Once again, the defeat was hardly the fault of deGrom, who struck out four and walked one over 5 2/3 innings. The Brewers did rap out nine hits off the rookie, but many of them were softly-hit balls struck to just the right places. In the third inning, for example, Scooter Gennett doubled on a ball that Curtis Granderson misplayed in left field, turning a would-be out or single into a run-scoring opportunity. The Brewers converted it two batters later on Jonathan Lucroy’s RBI groundout. An inning later, another leadoff double came back to haunt deGrom when Jean Segura singled home the run. And in the fifth, a leadoff walk became deGrom’s undoing on Carlos Gomez’s RBI infield single. No one knows when the bleeding will stop.

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