Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yanks Fall To Mets 5-3 After Leaving a Small Villiage On the Bases

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

N.Y. Yankees0000010203110
N.Y. Mets «20100110x5120
WP: M. Pelfrey (6-1) LP: P. Hughes (5-1)
SV: F. Rodriguez (7)

What a disaster of a game that was. It wasn't a blow out as the Mets evened up the Subway Series last night with a 5-3 with over the Yanks last night, but it was a game the Yankees easily could have won, and to me those are the worst games to lose. I'd rather get blown out 14-2 than see the Yanks give a game away like they did yesterday. While game 1 was all about starting pitching, the story of last night's game was missed opportunities by the Yankees offense.

That "mighty" Yankees lineup left a season-high 13 men on base and went just 3-for-14 with RISP. Two of those hits were by Francisco Cervelli, while the other was hit by Nick Swisher. So besides those two, guys like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, and the rest of that $200 million lineup, went 0-for-11. More on this later.

Mike Pelfrey pitched very well for the Mets and didn't give the Yankees too many opportunities to score. In the first, the Yankees had runners on first and second with two out after a walk to A-Rod and a single by Teixeira, but Cano flew out to end the inning and the Yanks wouldn't see another good scoring chance until the sixth.

While Pelfrey was holding the Yankees offense in check, Phil Hughes once again struggled with his location and handed the Mets a 3-0 lead. The Mets scored two in the first on RBI singles by David Wright and Angel Pagan. Then extended that lead to three with a run in the third on another RBI single by Wright.

With the score still 3-0 Mets in the top of the sixth, the Yankees were finally able to push a run across with a two-out rally. Cano singled, Swisher doubled, and then Cervelli drove in the run with an RBI single. Randy Winn was next and ended the inning with a ground out.

Winn's poor play would hurt them again, this time in the bottom half of the inning when he misplayed a ball hit by Pagan and turned an easy out into a leadoff double. The official scorer gave Pagan a hit, but it should have been ruled an error on Winn.

An inning earlier Hughes got out of a 2nd and 3rd with one out jam by striking out Ike Davis and David Wright. Now, he was faced with another tough spot thanks to his defense. He got two-thirds of the way there, getting Rod Barajas to ground out, and then striking out Jeff Francoeur for out number two. But after getting ahead of Alex Cora 1-and-2, Cora hit a slow grounder through the hole between first and second and the Mets had regained their three-run lead and knocked Hughes out of the ballgame.

In the end Hughes' line wasn't too impressive: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. His main problem last night was that he left too many balls over the plate, especially with two outs, and the Mets didn't miss too many of them. But like his start against the Red Sox he did enough with limited stuff to keep the Yankees in the game. Also, he would have only given up three runs if Winn wasn't doing his best Marcus Thames impression in left.

Winn seems like a decent guy, but really, what is the point of having him on this team? Not hitting is one thing, but at the very least he's got to play good defense. If he can't do that he probably shouldn't be on this roster.

Down three again, now with Pelfrey out of the game, the Yankees would have to come back against the Mets bullpen, and at the start of the seventh, it looked like they would do just that. Kevin Russo, who has been very impressive this series, started the inning against 20-year-old reliever Jenrry Mejia with a single, Jeter followed with a walk, and Brett Gardner then moved the runners over with a ground out to first. So the Yanks had two runners in scoring position with one out for Tex and A-Rod, not a bad situation, or at least I didn't think it was. After working the count full, Teixeira struck out swinging at ball four low and away. A-Rod then grounded out to third to end the inning.

After Chan Ho Park allowed another Mets run in the bottom of the 7th, the Yankees put together another rally in the eighth when they loaded the bases with nobody out. But thanks to some more poor situational hitting they were only able to score two runs on a walk to Russo and on a force out by Jeter. Two key at-bats that shortened the Yankees rally were Juan Miranda's strikeout with the bases loaded and nobody out, and then Gardner's inning-ending ground out with 1st and 3rd.

They had another chance in the ninth off Mets closer Fracisco Rodriguez. A-Rod hit a one-out single, then with two out, Swisher singled to put the tying run on base, but after coming through twice with RISP earlier, Cervelli struck out swinging on a nasty changeup to end the game.

It was a terribly frustrating game to watch as a Yankees fan because we all know this team is better than this. I don't know what it's going to take for the big names on this team to wake up and start playing like they can and like they're supposed to, but with the way the Rays are playing if it doesn't happen quick the Yankees may look up one of these days a see that they're ten games out of first.

It will be a battle of veteran southpaws in Queens on Sunday, as CC Sabathia faces off against Johan Santana. First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. and the game will be on ESPN.

Derek Jeter, SS4001101.267
Brett Gardner, CF5000023.304
Mark Teixeira, 1B4000132.204
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5020022.298
Robinson Cano, 2B5220002.337
Nick Swisher, RF4130000.304
Francisco Cervelli, C5021013.346
Randy Winn, LF2010102.213
Chan Ho Park, P0000000.000
a- Marcus Thames, PH0000000.357
b- Juan Miranda, PH1000013.227
Sergio Mitre, P0000000.000
Phil Hughes, P1000001.000
Kevin Russo, LF1011100.500

a-announced for Park in the 8th
b-struck out for Thames in the 8th
2B - Nick Swisher (6, Pelfrey)
SH - Phil Hughes (1)
RBI - Derek Jeter (26), Francisco Cervelli (18), Kevin Russo (3)
2-OUT RBI - Francisco Cervelli (11)
Team RISP: 3-for-14. (D Jeter 0-2, M Teixeira 0-1, F Cervelli 2-3, R Winn 0-1, B Gardner 0-3, A Rodriguez 0-1, J Miranda 0-1, R Cano 0-1, N Swisher 1-1)
Team LOB - 13
Outfield Assists - Brett Gardner 1, Randy Winn 1

Phil Hughes (L,5-1)5.28443702.72
Chan Ho Park1.13110007.20
Sergio Mitre11000103.15
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 117-88, Chan Ho Park 22-13, Sergio Mitre 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 3-6, Chan Ho Park 1-3
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 27, Chan Ho Park 7, Sergio Mitre 3

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mike Pelfrey (W, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Bay (4-for-4, 2B, 3 R)

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