Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nieuwenhuis hits milestone homerun at citi field


Kirk Nieuwenhuis set a new milestone at Citi Field Last Night. The 24-year-old rookie became the Mets' first left-handed hitter to clear the left-field fence at Citi Field, made two impressive catches and nearly slid home with the winning run Friday night. But he was tagged out at the plate in the ninth inning and New York went on to lose to the San Francisco Giants 4-3 in 10 innings.

"We all knew he had a lot of talent," Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese said. "It's good to see him now showing it". Nieuwenhuis hit the opposite-field drive to left-center off lefty Barry Zito in the fifth inning, pulling the Mets to 3-2. It took four seasons, 250 games and reconfigured dimensions for a New York lefty to clear the fence — formerly known as The Great Wall of Flushing.

The shot cleared the new 8-foot fence by about 2 feet and landed in the Party City Deck. It was well short of the old 16-foot wall, which is about 10 feet deeper. "I think it was a curveball," Nieuwenhuis said. "I saw it right out of his hand." It was the fourth home run in seven games this season that cleared the new fence but would not have gone over the old wall. And it came in the 4,155th at-bat for a Mets left-handed hitter at Citi Field, according to STATS LLC.
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