It was a frigid Friday night when the ceremonial first pitch of the game was delivered by Bernie Williams. It is official Bernie has signed his retirement papers. Look for his number 51 to grace Monument Park in the near future.
As it turned out the combo of Michael Pineda and Mark Teixeira was all that the Yankees needed to defeat the Mets and end their 11-game winning streak. Pineda (3-0) pitched 7 1/3 masterful innings allowing just 5 hits and a run. Along the way he struck out 7 Mets and threw 78 of his 100 pitches for strikes. This marked the longest outing by a Yankee starter this year. The often injured Pineda was dominant throughout the game.
DeGrom was rocked during the first three innings giving up three homers. Teixeira hit back to back two-run home runs in the 1st and 3rd innings. His 1st homer ended deGrom’s 18 1/3 scoreless inning streak. Ellsbury contributed a solo blast in the 3rd inning. These 3 home runs were hit to right-field but were not cheap shots. Teixeira’s 2 were hit way back in the stands and landed almost in the same place. Ellsbury’s homer was a line-drive rope. After 3 inning the Yankees scored 6 of their runs and went on to win game one of the Subway Series by score of 8-2. DeGrom gave up a career high-tying 6 runs.
The starting pitchers for game 2 were CC Sabathia and Matt Harvey. Lucas Duda staked the Mets to a 1 to 0 lead by homering in the first. The Yankees tied the score in the third by scratching out a run after a Stephen Drew double. It all fell apart for CC in the fourth, With 2 out the Mets scored 4 runs highlighted by a triple by Lagares and Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki’s first major league home run, a two-run shot. CC’s fast ball topped out at 90 mph and the Met hitters hammered the ball. It could have been worse except for a great diving catch by Ellsbury.
The difference between the young Harvey and the old CC was clear. Harvey’s fastball clocked out consistently between 95 and 98 while CC’s fastball ranged between 88 and 90. As I watched the game the statistic known as well-hit balls was clearly evident. The only well-hit ball by a Yankee hitter off of Harvey was Drew’s double; whereas, the ball flew off the Mets bats. There were 3 Mets home runs and a solid triple. With 2 strikes CC no longer has an out pitch. CC was removed in the fifth inning.
Final score 8-2 Mets. The only Yankee bright spot was Teixeira’s third home run in 2 days.
The rubber game pitted Nathan Eovaldi for the Yankees against the Mets Jon Niese. After a leadoff home run by Granderson in the top of the first, A-Rod countered with his own solo home run in the bottom of the first. The Yankees came back in the second with 3 doubles and 4 runs. The last double was A-Rod’s second hit in two innings. For A-Rod it was his 659th home run leaving him one away from Willie Mays’ 660 which is fourth on the all-time list. At the end of third inning it was 5-4 Yankees. The Yankees went on to win the rubber game by a score of 6-4.
Eovaldi was hit hard and did not last 5 innings. However, the Yankee relievers were solid with Shreve, Martin, Betances, and Miller pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings. It was Miller’s 7th save in 7 attempts.
Here are my takes from this Subway Series . The Mets do have trouble defensively at second and shortstop. Matt Harvey is back and is one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball. The Yankees Betances and Miller could be the best pair in the majors at closing a game. CC is now a number 5 starter. Pineda is a true number 2 starter. Eovaldi can’t win just throwing a fastball 98 mph. A-Rod and Teixeira are both performing way above expectations. Lagares could be the best defensive centerfielder in baseball. The Mets are well on the way to the playoffs and may be joined by the Yankees.