FLUSHING, N.Y. — It was a bit surreal at first glance. An empty stadium (save for a few dozen cardboard cutout fans). YES Network broadcasters Michael Kay and David Cone at Yankee Stadium, Meredith Marakovits, and Paul O’Neill at home, not at Citi Field. More of a golf atmosphere than baseball.
Yet, by the time all was said and done, the New York Yankees soundly defeated the New York Mets, 9-3. Yeah, that felt normal.
Personally, my emotions went from, should we really be doing this, too, damn it felt good to see some baseball and have somewhat of a break or escape from the COVID-19 pandemic, if only for a few hours.
The Yankees depth truly shined against the Mets. Mike Tauchman had himself a night with three hits, an RBI and two runs scored. Gleyber Torres proved why your best hitter slots in the two-hole with a pair of base knocks and an RBI. Miguel Andujar added a pair of knocks as well.
Gio Urshela took a nut shot before the game and was still picking it at third base and shortstop on a shift. Thairo Estrada carried over his intra-squad heroics with a hit and an RBI. Erik Kratz thought he was back in the International League championship for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a two-run knock against the Syracuse Mets.
Perhaps the biggest exclamation point on the night was Clint Frazier placing a muzzle on his critics. Frazier launched a big blast into the second deck of left field in the fourth frame off Rick Porcello. Yes, if you can mash with a mask, you can wear one to Walmart or the bar.
Across the diamond, it was odd seeing Dellin Betances and Melky Cabrera joining Robinson Cano in the orange and blue. Not so odd was seeing the Mets make four errors.
Yes, it was different but kind of the same. Kind of like when New York had three baseball teams, which I guess technically we do again, with the Toronto Blue Jays playing in Buffalo. Welcome back baseball.