Sunday, June 24, 2012

N.Y. Mets ~ Bombers' Bullpen Slams Door on Game Two

From the desks of:   HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET  and  BLAME CARLOS MAY

Roosevelt Avenue Showdown


I  -  NYM 6; NYY 4
II  -  NYY 4; NYM 3
III  -  Sunday Evening

NEW YORK METS:  Bomber Subs Dump On Chris Young's Effort.  Mets Strand Too Many Runners as Yankees' Bullpen Slams Door on Game Two.

Mike Pelfrey's replacement pitched scoreless baseball through five innings.  The Mets staked Chris Young to a two run lead.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered in the third inning off Ivan Nova, and Josh Thole's fielder's choice brought home Scott Hairston in the fourth.

In the sixth, Chris Young faced Alex Rodriguez with one out and Curtis Granderson on first.  Young induced a pop-up to short.  Granderson went on to steal second base.  Then Robinson Cano followed with an inning ending pop-up, this time to David Wright at third.  The Yankees remained scoreless.

In the home sixth, Daniel Murphy led off by lacing a double to left-center.  Scott Hairston did a great job laying off some nasty breaking balls, but struck out on an Ivan Nova fastball right down the middle.  Omar Quintanilla moved Murphy to third on a topper to Derek Jeter at short.  The Yankees then intentionally walked Josh Thole so as to face the pitcher, Chris Young, with two outs.  Coach Terry let his starter bat.  And the Mets' starter rewarded his manager by promptly serving Ivan Nova's first pitch; a fastball; very cleanly to right field, scoring Murphy from third.

With Chris Young helping his own cause, the Mets picked up their much needed insurance run and chased Ivan Nova from the game.  In came Clay Rapada from the Yankees' bullpen to face Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  Rapada got Nieuwenhuis swinging to end the Mets' threat, and hold the Mets to a 3-0 lead.

Out came Chris Young for the seventh inning.  He issued his third walk of the evening to Mark Teixiera leading off.  Nick Swisher then served a liner to right which Lucas Duda misplayed, but was backed up by Nieuwenhuis to keep runners at first and third.  With no move to the bullpen, Raul Ibanez then stepped up and hooked Chris Young's first pitch just inside the right field foul pole for a three run home run, and a tie game.

With Chris Young's night finished, Jon Rauch entered the game to face Russell Martin.  Rauch caught Martin looking.  Pinch hitting for Clay Rapada, Eric Chavez then drove a high fastball just inside the left field foul pole this time, for a go ahead home run.

Cody Eppley came in from the Yankees' pen to face the Mets in the home seventh.  Jodany Valdespin led off with a floater to left, where Raul Ibanez couldn't make a catch.  The ball got away some, and Valdespin made it safely to second.  David Wright moved Valdespin to third on a grounder to Cano.
Joe Girardi then opted to bring Boone Logan into the game to face Lucas Duda.  Lucas swung at a breaking ball, looked at a breaking ball, then swung at another breaking ball, before making his way back to the dugout.  Daniel Murphy followed, and struck out on three pitches as well.

Still leading 4-3 in the eighth, the Yankees turned the ball over to David Robertson.  After striking out Hairston, he walked Omar Quintanilla, and Josh Thole.  With one out, Justin Turner stepped in and looked at strike three on the inside corner.  With two on, Kirk Nieuwenhuis took his turn with two outs.  After Robertson blew a couple of fastballs by him, the teams headed into the ninth.

Jeremy Hefner pitched a scoreless frame, setting up the Mets' last licks against Rafael Soriano in the home ninth.  Jodany Valdespin swung through a strike three fastball for out number one.  David Wright finally punched through with a single; his first hit of the game.  Lucas Duda then stepped in with one out and struck out on a series of nasty breaking balls.  Daniel Murphy came up and lofted a long, hopeful fly to the right field corner.  But it wasn't enough.  Nick Swisher made the catch, and whooped it up in the corner with a Yankee fan.  Game over.  Thuuugh Yankees win.

Ponderous!  There is nothing to be happy about when you lose to Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez.  The largest crowd in Citi Field's brief history watched the Mets knock Ivan Nova out of the box, then let one get away.  And what a shame Chris Young's effort went down the toilet.  He was cruising along until the 7-train got derailed with four runs in the seventh.  Overall, the Mets left eleven men on base, and batted 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position. So it's not like the Mets weren't without chances. They had plenty.

On the other side, what a job the Yankees' bullpen turned in.  In 3.1 innings, five relivers combined to allow two hits, no runs, they walked two, and struck out eight Mets.  It was quite a formidible display.

The Mets suffered their first loss in their last five games.  The Yankees snapped their three game losing streak.  Sunday night will be the Roosevelt Avenue showdown everyone has been waiting for; C.C. Sabathia versus R.A. Dickey in the rubber game.


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