Yanks keep Mets silent in their house
What a difference a venue makes. Well, that and pitching. The Yankees and the Mets combined to score 35 runs in the first two games of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium but totaled only five runs in the next two games at Citi Field. After watching the Mets score 21 runs in the Bronx, the Yankees held them scoreless over the full 18 innings in Queens.
The Yanks won both games started by a pair of rookies, although Wednesday night’s winner, Masahiro Tanaka, is a first-year player only in terms of the major leagues. He pitched a gem for his first big-league complete game shutout to stop the Yankees’ four-game losing streak and six-game slide to the Mets over two seasons. That was followed by the major-league debut of Triple A call-up Chase Whitley, who also pitched scoreless ball for 4 2/3 innings and picked up his first major-league hit as well. He did not figure in the decision on his personal record but was a major part of the 1-0 victory.
The winning decision went to Dellin Betances, who put on one helluva show. After getting the final out of the fifth inning to bail out Whitley, Betances faced six more batters over the next two innings and struck out all of them. David Robertson was called on later to get a four-out save. He did not disappoint in retiring the four batters he faced, two on strikeouts.
The Mets also had a starting pitcher make his big-league debut in righthander Jacob deGrom, who earned a spot in the rotation with seven innings of one-run, four-hit, two-walk, six-strikeout pitching. He, too, also got his first hit and the first by any Mets pitcher this year in 65 at-bats. The only run might have been avoided except for a curse that comes with the in-vogue strategy of today’s game, the infield over-shift.
Brian McCann appeared to have grounded into a double play in the seventh inning when he hit a grounder to the right side with one out and one on. With the Mets over-shifting, third baseman David Wright had to make the pivot to first base from second. Not used to making that throw, Wright made a side-armed toss to first that had little muscle and went into the dirt as well. First baseman Lucas Duda could not make the scoop, and McCann was safe at first base. In defense of Duda and Wright, they teamed on a tremendous double play that ended Monday night’s game at the Stadium. They did not strike lightning twice.
That kept the inning alive for Alfonso Soriano, who got the hardest hit ball off deGrom, a double to left-center that sent the heavy-legged McCann huffing and puffing around the bases for a run that proved very precious.