It’s felt like a long time in Yankeeland since the last victory at Yankee Stadium. Well, maybe that’s because I’ve been at the past three games and the Boys from the Bronx have managed to score a measly 4 runs in 27 innings.
From a “bleacher creature” prospective, it’s been extremely difficult to keep positive unless blood alcohol level was increased above .08. Having to deal with incredibly obnoxious Phillies fans was no doubt most difficult. Although I have more respect for Mets fans, that was not exactly a walk in the park last night either. However, things would change drastically on Saturday.
Saturday afternoon promised to deliver a pitchers duel between two of New York’s finest. Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey, both 9-1, have blossomed into fantastic starters for the Yankees and Mets. Both took the mound looking to gain ground in the standings as well as bragging rights.
It certainly didn’t take long for the Mets to get on the board. On the second pitch of the game, Jose Reyes crushed an 0-1 fastball deep into the rightfield seats to give the Mets a quick 1-0 lead. “Not again” resonated throughout the minds of Yankee fans at the stadium as Mets fans applauded the efforts of Reyes.
Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher led off the bottom of the 1st with back-to-back singles to have runners on the corners for Mark Teixeira. Although Teixeira grounded into a double play, started by Alex Cora, Gardner would score to tie the game 1-1.
Henry Blanco worked a 1-out walk in the top of the 3rd to bring up Reyes. The walk would come back to bite Hughes as Reyes would once again take him yard to give the Mets a 3-1 edge. Angel Pagan would walk, only to be thrown out by Jorge Posada. Hughes then struck out David Wright to end the top half of the frame.
Gardner would lead off the bottom of the 3rd with a single up the middle. He would advance to 2nd base on a Swisher groundout and Teixeira would come to the plate. Mark sent a ridiculous “Tex Message” into the right-centerfield seats to tie the game at 3’s. This homerun ended Mike Pelfrey’s homerless streak at 31.1 innings, the 2nd longest active streak in baseball.
And as the Yankees came back up to bat in the bottom of the 4th, the damage still wasn’t done. “Leadoff walks will come back and bite you”. Yes, they will and they certainly did. Posada worked a leadoff walk and Curtis Granderson smashed a ball into the rightfield seats to put the Yankees up 5-3.
The Yankees and Mets would exchange zeroes heading into the top of the 8th inning. Pagan hit a 2-out double into rightfield off Joba to bring the tying run to the plate in David Wright. Joba Chamberlain would throw three straight curveballs to Wright to make the count 1-2. A slider in the dirt was all it took to put away Wright as a resurgent Chamberlain left the mound pumped with adrenaline.
Mariano Rivera would come to the mound in the 9th to record a one-two-three inning for his 16th save of the year and preserve a 5-3 victory in the process.
The Yankees improved to 42-26 while the Mets dropped to 39-29. Tomorrow’s game is at 1:05 pm in what will definitely be a pitchers duel between two kings of New York pitching, CC Sabathia and Johan Santana. All the action can be caught on the YES Network or WCBS 880.