New York Yankees salvage 'Subway series' split with 1-0 win
A recap of Thursday’s finale is followed by notes highlighting the first three games of the 2014 Subway Series.
In scoring 21 runs in two wins at Yankee Stadium earlier in the week, the Mets looked more like the Bronx Bombers than the Yankees. How quickly things can change.
The Yankees (21-19) blanked the Mets (19-21) for all 18 innings in Flushing to earn a split of the 2014 Subway Series. The Bombers took Thursday’s contest by 1-0.
The 1-0 final could be considered surprising because both starting pitchers were making their major league debuts. RHP Jacob deGrom went for the Mets in place of RHP Dillon Gee, while RHP Chase Whitley took LHP CC Sabathia’s place in the Yankees’ rotation. Gee is on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle; Sabathia has inflammation in his right knee.
deGrom (0-1; 1.29 ERA) more or less cruised into the seventh inning, where he made the only major mistake of the game. With two outs and C Brian McCann at first base, RF Alfonso Soriano brought home the game’s lone run with a double into the left centerfield gap. Featuring a mid-90s mph fastball, a changeup, and several breaking pitches, deGrom surrendered that one run on four hits and two walks over seven innings.
Whitley kept the Mets scoreless with a low-90s mph fastball and a solid changeup. He tired in the fifth inning, however, walking a pair in the frame, and was replaced by RHP Dellin Betances with runners at second and third and two outs.
In addition to their solid pitching, both starters secured their first major league hits. deGrom’s third-inning single, which was the first hit in 65 at bats by Mets’ hurlers this season, put runners at the corners with one out. Whitley escaped unscathed, though, by inducing a shallow fly out from LF Eric Young Jr. and striking out 2B Daniel Murphy.
Betances (2-0; 1.61 ERA) highlighted a dominant performance by the Yankees’ bullpen. He escaped the fifth inning on a groundout by Young Jr. and proceeded to strike out the next six Mets’ batters through the seventh inning.
The Mets advanced the tying run to third base with two outs in the eighth against RHP Adam Warren, but RHP David Robertson converted a perfect four-out save, his seventh save in as many attempts this season, to end the game.
1) The Yankees placed RF/DH Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list with a bone spur in his right elbow. Beltran could miss up to 12 weeks if he elects to undergo surgery.
2) The Mets placed C Travis d’Arnaud on the seven-day concussion disabled list and called up C Juan Centeno from AAA to replace him on the roster.
3) Thursday’s contest marked the first 1-0 finish in Subway Series history.
4) The 0-64 streak by Mets’ pitchers prior to deGrom’s hit was the longest ever string of such futility by any major league staff at the start of a season.
Monday (At Yankee Stadium): Mets 9 Yankees 7
1) The win was the fifth straight for the Mets versus the Yankees dating back to last season, when the Mets swept four games from the Yankees.
Previously, the Mets hadn’t won more than three consecutive contests against the Bombers since the start of interleague play in 1997; the Mets won three straight games against the Yankees in 1999, 2004, 2008, and 2010.
2) The Mets used four homeruns to rally from two separate three-run deficits. d’Arnaud hit a solo dinger to cut the Mets’ deficit to 4-2 in the fifth, and RF Curtis Granderson tied the game, 4-4, with a two-run shot in the sixth. Then, after the Yankees took a 7-4 lead, Young Jr. launched his first dinger of the season to cut the visitors’ deficit to 7-6 in the seventh. CF Chris Young culminated the power blast with a two-run eighth-inning homer, which provided the winning runs.
3) Both teams made some sparkling defensive plays. Mets’ SS Ruben Tejada made a couple of nice stops in the early innings, including one on a hotshot by Soriano to end the third. More importantly, 1B Lucas Duda picked a hard smash and commenced a 3-5-3 double play on McCann to end the game.
For the Yankees, CF Jacoby Ellsbury made a sliding catch in the left-centerfield gap to record the final out of the fourth inning.
4) Both teams also made some costly gaffes in the field. With the Mets trailing, 6-4, in the sixth, d’Arnaud allowed the Yankees’ final run to score when, with runners at the corners, he airmailed a throw into centerfield.
Although not scored an error, the Mets’ winning rally began when 3B Yangervis Solarte failed to corral a hot shot by PH Eric Campbell with one out in the eighth inning. Campbell hustled for a double after the ball bounced into left field.
5) The starting pitching was mediocre, at best, for both clubs. Mets’ RHP Bartolo Colon allowed seven runs on 11 hits over 5.2 innings, while RHP Hiroki Kuroda surrendered four runs on seven hits over six frames for the Yankees.
6) In his first game out of the bullpen this season, RHP Jenrry Mejia fired 1.1 scoreless frames. The Mets announced prior to the game that Mejia (4-0; 4.89 ERA) would be replaced in the starting rotation by RHP Rafael Montero, who was called up from AAA.
7) Injuries hampered the Yankees in the loss. Beltran departed the game in the seventh inning with a hyperextended elbow, and 1B Mark Teixeira didn’t start because of leg fatigue. Teixeira did record a pinch hit single in the ninth inning, but he could barely run; he had to stop at first base on a ball hit off the right field wall.
8) LF Brett Gardner belted his second career grand slam in the second inning to afford the Yankees a 4-1 lead. Gardner’s only previous grand slam came against Blue Jays’ LHP Ricky Romero in an 11-3 New York win on July 3, 2010.
Tuesday (At Yankee Stadium): Mets 12 Yankees 7
1) The 12 runs were the most scored in any game by the Mets since July 5 of last season, when they also scored 12 times in a 12-5 win at Milwaukee.
2) The Mets won a road series against the Yankees for the fourth time since interleague play began in 1997. They also accomplished this feat in 2005, 2008, and 2013.
3) Both starting pitchers were ineffective. Yankees’ LHP Vidal Nuno (3.1 IP; 4 H; 7 R; 5 ER; 4 BB; K) and Mets’ RHP Zack Wheeler (4.1 IP; 7 H; 5 ER; 6 BB; 2 K) worked slowly, were wild, and had numerous pitches fouled off. Nuno (1-1; 6.43 ERA) threw 37 pitches in the first inning, while Wheeler labored to a career-high 118 pitches.
RHP Alfredo Aceves fared little better than Nuno for the Bombers. Aceves threw 31 pitches as the Mets blew the game open with a four-run fifth inning.
4) Solarte collected a pair of hits, including a dinger, in four at bats to raise his season average to an impressive .336, which was tied for the best in the American League with Detroit Tigers’ DH Victor Martinez.
Unfortunately for the home team, Solarte’s defense wasn’t as stellar. With the Yankees down, 5-3, in the fourth, Solarte threw a double play grounder into right field to set up a golden scoring chance for the Mets. The visitors capitalized with a two-run frame.
5) Granderson improved his average to .205 with two hits in three at bats. Granderson’s average hadn’t been at or above .200 since the start of play on April 6. The right fielder’s biggest knock came in the first inning, when he lined a three-run homerun for a 4-0 Mets’ lead.
6) McCann enjoyed a solid offensive night, collecting three hits in four at bats to up his average to .230. McCann’s two-run first-inning homerun brought the Bombers to within 4-3.
7) Teixeira served as the Yankees’ designated hitter and managed one hit, a RBI single, in five at bats.
8) Yankees’ Manager Joe Girardi was ejected prior to the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Girardi contested a strike call on 1B Kelly Johnson.
9) RHP Shawn Kelley, the Yankees’ primary eighth-inning reliever, was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the contest with a lower-back injury. OF Zoilo Almonte, who batted .236 in 34 games for the Bombers last season, was called up to replace Kelley on the roster.
Wednesday (At Citi Field): Yankees 4 Mets 0
1) With his team reeling, RHP Masahiro Tanaka stepped up, firing a complete game four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. This gem by Tanaka (6-0; 2.17 ERA) was the second ever shutout thrown by a Yankee pitcher versus the Mets. Previously, LHP Andy Pettitte accomplished the feat in an 8-0 win for the Bombers on June 30, 2002.
2) Tanaka also demonstrated his offensive prowess by collecting a hit in the ninth inning. His one knock eclipsed the cumulative total of zero managed by Mets’ pitchers in 64 at bats through the game.
3) Montero (0-1; 4.50 ERA) was competent in his first major league start. Primarily featuring a mid-90s mph fastball, he surrendered three runs on five hits over six frames.
4) Solarte starred again offensively. With two outs and nobody on in the second inning, he drew a walk and scored the game’s first run on a triple by 2B Brian Roberts. Solarte then doubled the visitors’ lead with a solo homerun in the fourth inning.
5) Roberts earned the first two-triple game of his career. He had previously scattered 36 triples over 1,360 contests dating back to 2001. It was also the first multi-triple game by a Yankee since Granderson legged out a pair of three-baggers in a 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on April 15, 2010.
The Yankees will host the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend, while the Mets will visit the Washington Nationals.