“The feeling never goes away,” Torey Lovullo said. “That’s why it seems like it was yesterday because it hurt and stung. I remember watching on television. I couldn’t believe it was happening here in America. Those memories are burned into my space. The rest of America feels the same way. Year by year, I’m glad we stop and honor those that are missing and the families that were affected.”
While not directly impacted by that tragic day eighteen years ago, nothing will ever allow me to shake that feeling as Torey was quoted above. My significant other was a teenager living in New Jersey on September 11th, 2001. Earlier this year, we went back to visit her childhood neighborhood, and I was surprised to learn that the home she grew up in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey had a direct view across the Lower New York Bay of the entire skyline. Her father worked in the World Trade Center complex and took the ferry to work each morning. She didn’t hear from him that day until late in the afternoon when he called to say he was on the last ferry to return across the bay. They waited for him after nightfall as he stepped off the boat still covered in ash from the aftermath. Her uncle didn’t return home that day. Although he did not work in the WTC, he was at the Windows of the World restaurant for a conference. If you pay attention to the stories, many discuss how the most insignificant decisions or events that day either cost or saved a life. I can feel the hurt from her family as they tell me the only item of his that was recovered was his wedding ring.
An insignificant fact of note, tonight was the only time that the Arizona Diamondbacks have played in New York on 9/11 in the history of the franchise. Of course, they spent plenty of time in the area in the immediate aftermath in perhaps the most thrilling and important World Series of all time against the New York Yankees in 2001. That seven game series provided the country a distraction during tragedy. Bob Brenly commented on the broadcast that spending 9/11 in New York has a different feeling. I felt the same when we were in New Jersey earlier this year, and when I’m around my girlfriend’s family. It impacted people in that area directly in different ways than the rest of this country and still does to this day.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets honored first responders before beginning play tonight. Arizona would not be as fortunate tonight against a New York team as they were in that 2001 World Series. The Mets immediately put this contest out of reach which is why you’ll read more anecdote tonight than recap. Robbie Ray made the start this evening having not had to miss time from a blister on his throwing hand which pulled him early from his last outing. It may very well have been bothering him tonight as he experienced the shortest outing of his career. Torey Lovullo removed him from the game having recorded only two outs in the first. It appeared that he may have been able to escape the first having allowed only one run when he got Wilson Ramos to ground out for the second out. However, a single, two home runs, and a double later allowed New York to jump out to a quick 5-0 lead as they went through their entire lineup in the first inning.
Arizona had the opportunity to get back in the game right away in the top of the second but spoiled a bases loaded with no outs opportunity. Wilmer Flores, Adam Jones, and Nick Ahmed drew consecutive walks against Mets starter Steven Matz to begin the second. From there, Matz settled down to strike out Carson Kelly. Kevin Cron came to the plate to pinch hit for Matt Andriese who had recorded the final out of the first, only to ground into an inning ending double play. From bases loaded no outs to no runs at all it was going to be that kind of night.
New York did not relent for the rest of the game. Jeff McNeil hit the first of his two home runs on the evening in the bottom of the second off Taylor Clarke pushing the score 6-0 in favor of New York. Todd Frazier followed with his second homer of the evening in the bottom of the third having already homered off of Ray in the first. Meanwhile, Steven Matz would go on to retire eleven of thirteen after loading the bases in the bottom of the second through the fifth inning. McNeil’s second home run of the game came off of Yoshihisa Hirano in the bottom of the sixth resulting in the eventual final score of 9-0.
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