Thursday, August 04, 2016

Subway Series: Mediocrity Running Wild

From the desks of:  

Yankees lead series 2-1
I - NYY 6; NYM 5*
II - NYM 7; NYY 1
III - NYY 9; NYM 5
*10 innings

New York Mets
New York Yankees
Yankee Stadium
River Avenue, Bronx

Game One Final
NYY  6
10 innings

The Yankees extended their win streak to three games on Monday with an extra inning 6-5 victory over the hosting Mets.

Logan Verrett did well in his head-to-head match-up against C.C. Sabathia.  Logan allowed three earned runs on four hits and three walks, with four strikeouts through five full innings of work, but left on the losing side of a (then) 3-2 game.

It wasn't till the sixth inning that Mets fortunes, and C.C. Sabathia's for that matter, changed when   frequent call-up Matt Reynolds connected on a three run home run, making it a 5-3 Mets lead.

Sabathia then walked pinch hitter Steven Matz (Game Three's starting pitcher) earning him Joe Girardi's hook.  All told, C.C. was tagged for five runs on eight hits, walked three, and fanned five over 5.2 innings pitched.

Luck, however, was fickle this evening, tapping Mets relievers Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed on the shoulder.  Both each allowed a run during a Yankees two-run eighth inning, tying the game at five.

Seth Lugo earned the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning.

After hitting seven home runs in July, Wilmer Flores hit his first home run of August in the second inning off Sabathia.

Game Two Final
NYY  1

Tuesday's start was a test of sorts for Jacob deGrom, who passed with flying colors.  He battled lat issues early in the season, and now believes he's conquered some mechanical issues.

Against the Yankees, deGrom tossed seven shutout innings, while limiting the Yankees to just four hits and a walk.   He threw 103 pitches, with 69 going for strikes, and fanned eight batters.  

Jacob improved his record to 7-5, and sports a stellar 2.41 ERA.

The game marked Jay Bruce's first in a Mets uniform.  Acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for second base prospect Dilson Hererra, Bruce went 0 for 4 in his Mets debut.  He saw a total of 13 pitches and fanned twice.

With the exception of 2014, Bruce has hit at least 20 home runs in each of his nine MLB seasons.   He's presently leading the National League with 80 RBI, and is believed he'll provide the Mets a formidable one-two punch from each side of the plate when combined with Yoenis Cespedes.

Game Three Final
NYY  9

Ugly is as ugly does.

In truth, both teams played terribly, but I only root for one of them...

Was Steven Matz' 20th start of the season an omen?  Apocalyptic nightmare?  Not quite, but allowing six runs on six hits and a walk, with six strikeouts through six innings pitched was eerily unsettling.

The newly assembled one-two punch of Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce lasted one game.  Yoenis is heading to the disabled list (with the other guys...) after "tweaking" his ailing quadriceps during his last at-bat in the ninth inning.  

It can be argued the Mets were foolish for devising this play/rest plan of DH'ing him against the Yankees and Tigers in the first place.  While the greater baseball establishment agrees total rest is the only effective remedy for quad strains, once again the Mets opt for playing injury roulette.  They have now exacerbated the situation, and prolonged their agony.  Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes' habitual golf playing requires an entirely different conversation.

The Mets offense otherwise continually shot themselves in the foot Wednesday night, essentially letting Yankees starter Chad Green repeatedly escape disaster by rolling over pitches and grounding into numerous double plays through the early innings of play.
Then there's Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who defeated the Mets in more ways than one.   His three run home off Steven Matz in the second inning would ultimately prove the decisive blow of the game, but he also created some drama, and added a little comic relief into the fray.

With the very first pitch in Tex's very next at-bat, Steven Matz hit him in the leg with a pitch, of which Teixeira took exception, and very emphatically exhibited his displeasure.  Both benches and bullpens emptied, but cooler New York City heads prevailed.

The foolishness, however, didn't stop there.  The Yankees loaded the bases in the seventh inning with Hansel Robles on the mound and Teixeira the base runner on second.  In short, Robles thought Tex was stealing signs, and completely let Teixeira screw with his concentration.

Southpaw reliever Josh Edgin is back, making his first appearance for the Mets since undergoing Tommy John surgery.  He walked the lone batter he faced.

No one is complaining, but Jay Bruce is now 0 for 8 with a walk and three strikeouts though his first two games with the Mets.

NEW YORK METS           55-52

Extra Innings: Baseball's Most Prolific Bench Warmer


The Yankees were home, facing a lefty, yet Alex Rodriguez didn't even get his cleats dirty.  I question whether the Yankees front office think his skills are that badly diminished, whether they are holding a grudge against him, or if they are purposely preventing him from hitting home run number 700 of his career.  He would be the fourth player in history to do so, joining Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Barry Bonds.  Yet, the lack of attention is deafening.  Hell, the club may very well even be trying to frustrate him into retiring.

The Mets will start Bartolo Colon in Thursday's series finale against whom Alex Rodriguez has enjoyed great success throughout his career.  It will be interesting to see if Alex is thrown a bone.

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