Subway Series subpar so far for Yankees

The Yankees have hit their first skid of the season since they began it by losing four of the first five games. They rectified that by going on a 22-9 run that shot them up the American League East standings. The Yankees need to get some of that juice back.

They have been derailed in this Subway Series. Manager Joe Girardi has said that he does not like the four-game format because he would prefer an odd number of games so that one club could be declared a winner and there can be no splits. Not a problem this year, Joe. The Mets have won the first three games, so the series is theirs for this season.

This is difficult for Yankees fans to swallow because they have to live with Mets fans the rest of the summer who will lord this over them. After all, what else do the Mets have to get their fan base excited beyond the rise of a very impressive young pitcher in Matt Harvey? Regardless of how dreadful the Mets season is likely to develop their fans will have the memory of holding the Yankees down for the better part of a week.

After winning two straight 2-1 decisions at Citi Field and beating bullpen stalwarts David Robertson and Mariano Rivera in the process, the Mets knocked Yankees starter David Phelps out of Wednesday night’s game in the first inning on a collection of well-struck hits and a very costly error by third baseman Jayson Nix to put up a five-spot. The Mets pushed their lead to 8-0 by the fourth inning on the way to a 9-4 verdict.

Phelps, who took a line drive off his pitching forearm in his previous start, was just not himself. He failed to survive the first inning for the first time in his whole career, including high school and college as well as pro ball.

“My pitches were up; everything was up,” said Phelps, who added that his forearm was not the problem. “I need to do a better job of not letting things snow-ball.”

“He just had a stinker,” Girardi said of Phelps, who was charged with five runs (four earned), four hits and two walks in one-third of an inning as his ERA bloated to 4.65. It was the second time this year that a Yankees starter failed to survive the first inning (also Phil Hughes May 15), which had happened only once prior to this season since the current Yankee Stadium opened in 2009. Phelps was the first Yankees starter to exit having recorded only one out in a non-injury situation since Alex Graman July 19, 2004 at St. Petersburg, Fla., and the first at home since Mike Witt allowed four earned runs in one-third of an inning June 1, 1993 against the Indians at the Stadium.

One night after the Yankees could not hang the first ‘L’ of the season on Harvey’s record, they let Jeremy Hefner get the first ‘W’ of his season after five losses. The Yankees did get 12 hits off three Mets pitchers but not enough were productive other than Brennan Boesch’s third home run plus a hustling, RBI single and run-scoring singles by Nix and Robinson Cano.

It was not that long ago – last Saturday, to be precise – that the Yankees were riding high. They had a come-from-behind, 11-inning victory that day at Tropicana Field in stunning fashion with game-tying and game-winning rallies that began with two outs and nobody on base. They looked invincible, but they have not won a game since as their season-high losing streak has stretched to four games.

In the meantime, the Mets have not lost since Saturday and are on a four-game winning streak. New York’s baseball clubs are traveling on subways headed in opposite directions.

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