God this team is frustrating to watch right now. Last night's Subway Series rubber game looked a lot like Saturday's middle game, except this time the Yankees got zero starting pitching from CC Sabathia and their pen wasn't too bad. Offensively, it was more of the same as the Yankees wasted scoring chances after scoring chance on their way to a 6-4 loss.
The Mets lit up the Yankees ace for six runs--five earned--on ten hits in five innings pitched, but if you ask me the entire game for CC turned on one pitch, an 0-2 fastball to Alex Cora that on most nights is called a strike. The Mets had runners on second and third (gameday below had the runners screwed up), and after giving up a leadoff double in the inning CC was one pitch away from getting out of the jam, and I thought he made that pitch. There's no excuse for how poorly CC pitched after that pitch, but I really would like to know how this game would have played out had that pitch (pictured below) was called a strike.
As you can see, Cora eventually battled through a seven-pitch at-bat to hit a two-run single and give the Mets a 2-0 lead. The next batter was Jason Bay and he launched his first of two home runs on the night against CC and the Mets led 4-0.
Meanwhile, the Yankees spent the first three innings stranding runners. They got lead off singled in the first and second only to have those runners remain at first as the next three batters went down in order. Then in the third, the Yankees got their first two men on, but Brett Gardner banged into a double play and Mark Teixeira grounded out to third.
At that point Johan Santana had settled in and was in the process of retiring 13 straight Yankees. He wasn't the Johan of old, but he had his changeup working and was pretty dominant.
As the Yankees were going down without much of a fight the Mets would push across two more runs in the fifth, one on Bay's second homer and another on a David Wright double. After the game CC said he failed to stick with the game plan for Bay, which to me is unacceptable. With all the scouting tools these teams have the least a player can do is use them and stick with the game plan. If you don't you probably deserve to get hammered.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the seventh, but it didn't come without another mistake on the Yankees end. With two out and a runner on first Francisco Cervelli hit a long fly ball down the left field line. The ball bounced off the top of the wall and back in play, Nick Swisher scored from first, but Cervelli was standing on first base after failing to run hard out of the box. It didn't end up hurting the Yanks and after the game Cervelli admitted his mistake, but like CC failing to stick with the game plan, these sorts of things are unacceptable.
As the game rolled into the later innings it was once again time for the Yankees offense to wast opportunities. In the eighth they loaded the bases with two out against Santana, but Pedro Feliciano came into the game and got Robinson Cano to pop out to first to end the threat.
In the ninth, the Yankees did push across three runs against Met reliever Ryota Igarashi. Swisher walked and Cervelli singled to put the first two men on. Then. after a Kevin Russo force out, Juan Miranda drove in a run with a single and knocked Igarashi out of the game. Jerry Manuel called on closer Francisco Rodriguez, and he was greeted by Derek Jeter who concluded an eight-pitch at-bat with an RBI double to left to cut the Mets lead to 6-3. Brett Gardner drove in another with a ground out and it was 6-4, with Mark Teixeira now representing the tying run. He made things even more interesting when he chopped a ball off home plate and reached with an infield single. This put runners on the corners and set up a matchup between K-Rod and A-Rod.
After getting ahead in the count 3-1, A-Rod fouled off three straight pitches to run the count full. But on the eighth and final pitch of the at-bat, A-Rod swung threw a hanging changeup and the Mets had the game and the series. It seems like all week the Yankees were either an out away from getting out of a jam or a hit away from taking a lead, and each time, whether on offense or defense, they fell short.
With their 3-for-9 with RSIP last night that brings their series total to 7-for-31. They also left another nine men on base. Like I said at the beginning, watching this team has become terribly frustrating, which is why I'm very happy today is an off-day.
They head to Minnesota to take on the Twins in a three-game series at the brand new Target Field. A.J. Burnett will face Scott Baker in the opener. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. and the game will be on YES.