From the desks of:
HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET and BLAME CARLOS MAY
YANKEES WIN SUBWAY SERIES - I
Old School Mural ~ Williamsburg
YANKEES WIN SERIES 3-0
I - NYY 9; NYM 1
II - NYY 4; NYM 3
III - NYY 5; NYM 4
Mets Suffer A Bronx Beat-Down
"The Yankees draw Johan Santana tonight in his first game since tossing a no-hitter at Citi Field. Johan has now tossed two consecutive complete game victories. After tossing 134 pitches during his no-no, tonight we'll see the effects of him either over extending himself last time out, or whether giving Johan extra time off between starts was beneficial, or leaves him flat." - That's what I said Friday prior to Game One.
If I didn't come right out and say it, I certainly sensed it. Johan Santana's start was going to be a bomb. We all know what happened FRIDAY. I'm not saying I'm smart. I'm just saying, that's Baseball. That's the way pitchers go in the modern age. There is a very fine line to walk between managing muscle recovery, and foiling muscle memory. The Mets toyed with both, but are not to be blamed. Throwing no-hittters are an exception to the rule of traditional in-game management. Post game management, in this case, the decision to give Johan extra rest, was probably necessary, but it's also called biting the bullet for such occasions as Johan's 134 pitch gem. In Game One, he only walked one, and struck out five Yankees. So control wasn't the issue. He was flat, and hittable, as evidenced by six hits, but four home runs allowed, in five innings. Three of those came back, to back, to back. As Mets fans, it is just a game we have to ignore.
What I'm not OK with, was the offensive rigamortis that set in against Hiroki Kuroda. Thank you Omar Quintanilla for breaking up a potential no-hitter in the sixth. Kuroda struck out seven Mets in the process. Only Lucas Duda continued his steady hitting, finally connecting for a double in the ninth to score Quintanilla, and ruining the Yankees' shut-out. But that's all the Mets would get; two hits and one run.
The other point of contention would be the performance of Elvin Ramirez. All three of his appearances so far, have gone very wrong since his call-up from Buffalo. He dazzled in eight appearances in Binghampton, and then ten more with the Bisons this season before Sandy Alderson summoned him up to the big club. Since arriving, the twenty-four year old has fizzled miserably.
SATURDAY'S GAME was lost on two pitches. Dillon Gee served-up a home run pitch to Mark Teixeira; a little payback for getting plunked by Gee in the first; and Bobby Parnell issued one to Curtis Grandrson. As number four starters go, Gee and Phil Hughes actually engaged in a nice pitching duel through the first five innings. But Hughes had a better sixth inning. And well, there ya go. Game Two went to the Yankees again.
The Mets actually out-hit the Yankees eight to six. And David Wright and Omar Quintanilla both homered for the Amazins. But when you cancel out the four combined home runs hit in this game, Alex Rodriguez' RBI single to drive in Derek Jeter was the difference. It gave the Yankees a first inning lead that had strong enough legs to allow the Bomber's bullpen a chance at finishing off the Mets over the final 2.2 innings.
Saturday's was a decent start for Dillon Gee, and as with several of his other previous starts, he certainly could have used more help.
SUNDAY, the Mets set about trying to gain victory in the final game of this series by scoring early off Andy Pettitte. Vinny Rottino had an RBI single, and Jordany Valdespin doubled home two more, for a three run second inning. The Mets left the bases loaded however, as Andy struck out Jason Bay and David Wright consecutively, to end the Amazin's threat.
Jon Niese cruised through the first five innings. In the sixth he got into trouble. Derek Jeter led off by beating out an infield hit, and Granderson followed with a single. Teixeira then grounded into a fielder's choice, on a nice play by Valdespin at short. With runners now on first and third, and one out, up came Alex Rodriguez to face Jon Niese. The Mets' starter escaped the inning when he got A-Rod to ground into an inning ending double play.
Andy Pettitte fielded a come-backer in the sixth with his bare pitching hand, but stayed in and completed the frame. However, he did not return to the mound for the seventh. Andy was clearly feeling discomfort in his hand, and gave way to Pinstripe neophyte, Clay Rapada.
Jon Niese came out for his half of the seventh, and immediately gave up a lead-off single to Robinson Cano. The Mets then went around the horn on Nick Swisher's grounder to Wright, and turned their second double-play in two innings for a quick two outs. An E-5 allowed Andrew Jones to reach first when Vinny Rottino, playing first base for Ike Davis, couldn't dig a ball out of the dirt. So naturally, with two outs, Russell Martin lined a short Yankee-Porch home run to right to bring the Yankees within a run.
After getting the third out, Jon Niese's afternoon was through. He pitched seven full innings, gave up seven hits and one walk. He allowed two runs, but both were unearned. Jon struck out six and threw exactly 100 pitches.
In came Bobby Parnell for the eighth. His first batter was Derek Jeter, who topped a bouncer to short. Quintanilla misplayed the hop, and Derek Jeter advanced to second as the ball dribbled away. Curtis Granderson singled to left and Jeter got held up at third. Up came Teixeira, who singled in Jeter to tie the game at three. And there went Jon Niese's start.
Alex Rodriguez took his turn against Parnell and popped a ball up that fell between Ike Davis (in as a defensive replacement), Jordany Valdespin from second base, and Scott Hairston coming from right. Granderson scored. There went the Mets' lead, and off went Bobby Parnell to the showers, without so much as retiring a batter.
Tim Byrdak was summoned, and set down the next two Yankees in order. Then Coach Collins made another move for Jon Rauch, who struck out Raul Ibanez to end the inning.
In the Mets' ninth, they faced de-facto closer, Rafael Soriano. Lucas Duda led off, and unleashed a laser to center and over Granderson's head for a double. Then up came Ike Davis for the first time in the game, and promptly mashed a double to right center, delivering Duda for a tie game. Quintanilla hit a grounder to short, that Ike Davis tried advancing to third on, and was thrown out.
Daniel Murphy batted with Quintanilla on first. On a 3-2 pitch, Murphy pulled a pitch between first and second, putting Quintanilla on third, which spelled the end of Rafael Soriano's day. Joe Girardi then called upon his fourth reliever of the afternoon, Boone Logan to put a stop to the Mets' rally. He'd face Josh Thole, who was sent up as a pinch-hitter with one out, and the go ahead runner at third. In a little catcher-on-catcher crime, Josh fouled one off Russell Martin's mask, then got JOBBED on a called strike three a few pitches later! Rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis then stepped up and grounded out to Cano for the third out.
In the bottom of the ninth, lead-off batter, Russell Martin, launched a Jon Rauch slider deep, about eight rows back into the left field seats, for his second home run of the afternoon, a walk-off win, and a Yankees' sweep of the Mets in the Bronx.
Thuugh Mets lose. Thuu-uugh, Mets Lose. Why you ask? An E-5 and an E-6 will go down as the Mets' ruin in Game Three.
The Mets lost this series in a near no-hitter/slash/blow-out, two ill-fated pitches in Game Two, and two killer errors. Everything else is academic. All except the prodigious number of home runs the Yankees hit, compared to the Mets, that is. For every home run the Mets hit this series, the Yankees hit four. More about that..., later.
Drive safely. Pay attention to the signs on your way home.
*Grand St. Graffiti - Old School Mural - W'burg, B'klyn