By: Paul DiSclafani
The Subway Series is on, baby!
Behind a raucous, playoff atmosphere crowd at Citi Field, the Mets (84-63) move another step closer to taking over New York City as they pound the Yankees (80-66) with three home runs, in a 5-1 win in the first game of this Subway Series. Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy hit solo shots off Yankee Ace Masahiro Tanaka (L, 12-7) and Juan Uribe came off the bench for a pinch hit two-run jack off Chasen Shreve.
Pitching before the second largest crowd in Citi Field history (43,602), rookie Steven Matz (W, 4-0) earned his 4th win in five major league starts, overcoming a shaky first inning and shutting down the Yankees the rest of the way, lowering his ERA to 1.80. The Yankees had Matz on the ropes in the first inning, but managed just one run.
The win, combined with the Nationals come-back, extra inning win over the Marlins, kept the Mets lead in the NL East at 8 games and reduced the Magic Number to clinch the NL East Division Title to 8 (Gary Carter). The Yankees lost a game in the AL East standing to Toronto and are now 4.5 games back, but they maintained their 4-game lead over Houston for the Wild-card.
Trailing 1-0 after allowing a leadoff walk to Brett Gardner who scored on Chris Young’s SF, Duda got the Mets even in the second inning with a log home run just under the Pepsi Porch, his first since August 2nd. Duda had gone 19 games without a home run and the Yankee starters had pitched 21 2/3 scoreless innings at Citi Field.
Like Matz, Tanaka settled down, holding the Mets to just three hits until the six inning when Murphy launched another home run to deep right center (431 feet) to give the Mets the lead, 2-1. Tanaka finished with 2 ER in his six innings, giving up five hits and striking out four.
Lightning struck again for the Mets in the seventh as Terry Collins plucked Juan Uribe off the bench with Wilmer Flores on first and he hit a pinch-hit, two run shot to right and it was 4-1. Mets tacked on an insurance run in the 8th on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.
But the Yankees, they are like vampires, you can’t kill them. Even trailing 5-1 in the ninth, they make you work for it. A leadoff double by PH Dustin Ackley off Mets closer Jeurys Familia seemed innocuous with a four run lead, but Familia walked PH Alex Rodriguez to put two runners on with one out. Jacoby Ellsbury then grounded what would have been a game-ending double play ball, but it hit off Familia’s leg and caromed toward the Mets dugout and the bases were loaded. Suddenly, Gardner was at the plate as the tying run.
Familia got Gardner to fly out to left, but Ackley wouldn’t test the arm of Yoenis Cespedes to try to score. Familia then struck out Chase Headley to end the game.
Rookie Noah Syndergaard (8-6) gets the start Saturday Afternoon against Michael Pineda (10-8).
POSITIVES: Mets stopped Yankee home run streak at 11 games … Murphy had a triple off the glove of Gardner as he tried to make a leaping catch in deep centerfield … Wright and Duda also had two hits each … five of Mets seven hits were XBH … Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless inning in relief (2K)
NEGATIVES: Tyler Clippard wasn’t available after his back tightened up before the game. He may be available for the next game …