Tale of 2 pitchers favors Mets over Yanks
Saturday was a tale of two pitchers at Yankee Stadium. There was just too much Matt Harvey for the Yankees and not enough CC Sabathia.
Harvey, who grew up in Connecticut as a Yankees fan, pitched as if he had lifted the entire Mets team on his shoulders. He came within one out of a complete game and paid the Yankees back for ending his team’s 11-game winning streak Friday night. The 8-2 victory improved Harvey’s record to 4-0 and dropped Sabathia’s to 0-4.
“I didn’t give us a chance at all,” Sabathia said. “I was missing spots. Everything was up. I couldn’t keep the cutter down. I couldn’t find a rhythm.”
CC beat himself up almost as much as the Mets did. One start after a strong, complete-game outing at Detroit albeit a loss, Sabathia was rocked for seven runs and nine hits in five-plus innings as his ERA skyrocketed to 5.96. As he walked off the mound in the sixth inning, the 6-foot-7 lefthander was targeted by boo birds, which did not surprise him.
“You pitch bad, you get booed,” he said. “I gave up a lot of two-strike hits. I couldn’t finish hitters off.”
The killer two-strike hit was probably a single by Wilmer Flores that followed a triple by Juan Lagares in the fourth inning. It was a two-out, two-strike hit that made a 2-1 game 3-1 and saved an at-bat for rookie catcher Kevin Plawecki, who got his first major-league home run to make it 5-1.
That spread seemed enormous considering the way Harvey was pitching. Showing no ill effects in coming back from Tommy John surgery, the Mets ace looked like a young Roger Clemens.
The first Yankees’ run scored as Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play in the third inning. Harvey walked Brett Gardner after that and then retired 10 batters in a row before Mark Teixeira smacked his eighth home run of the season and third of this series which concludes Sunday night on ESPN with the Yanks’ Nathan Eovaldi against the Mets’ Jon Niese.
Sabathia has been successful in keeping the ball in the yard in his first three starts. He had given up only one home run in 20 2/3 innings. Yet he was stung for three long balls Saturday. Lucas Duda started the parade with a solo shot in the first inning. The two-run blow by Plawecki climaxed a four-run fourth for the Mets, and Eric Campbell went yard to start the sixth.
“CC struggled with location,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He made mistakes up in the zone. I’m not going to make too much of one start. All starters are going to have clunkers. We’ll get him back to work and get him right.”
The Mets do not have to do that with Harvey. He was at 91 pitches at the start of the ninth inning and got two outs quickly. Teixeira then hit a ground single to right field through the shift. Harvey lost a chance for the complete game when he walked Brian McCann. Mets manager Terry Collins felt that at 107 pitches his stud was done for the day.
It was an unseemly sight for Yankees fans as Mets fans drowned them out at the Stadium. That hurt more than the boos.