Extra-base hits aplenty in Subway Series finale
Despite the Mets’ hot start, Curtis Granderson had not hit a home run for them over their first 18 games. All it took was a little dose of Yankee Stadium to get him going.
Granderson hit 61 home runs at the Stadium in his time in the American League. Thanks in large part to the right field porch at the Stadium, Granderson topped the 40-homer mark twice during his tenure with the Yankees. So it was a familiar sight to see him cut on a fastball from Nathan Eovaldi and drive it over the fence in right-center for his first home run of the season and the 29th of his career leading off a game.
It was part of a wicked first inning for Eovaldi, who was in his first Subway Series but was no stranger to the Mets. He made seven starts against them while with the Marlins and was 1-3 with a 4.62 ERA. The Mets scorched some balls, and it took a splendid play in center field by Chris Young to keep the inning from unraveling entirely.
After Juan Lagares, who had four hits Saturday, smoked a hard grounder off first baseman Mark Teixeira’s glove for a single, Lucas Duda hit a drive directly over Young’s head in dead center field. With the same turn-and-burn approach teammate Jacoby Ellsbury employed the day before, Young put on the jets and caught up with the ball for a back-handed catch in front of the warning track. Lagares was practically at the shortstop position and had to bust it hard to get back to first base.
Third baseman Chase Headley was next to come to Eovaldi’s aid with a diving stop of hard grounder by Michael Cuddyer. But there was nothing Teixeira could do to stop an absolute smoking shot by Daniel Murphy that became a an RBI double.
Eovaldi’s defense helped keep hiom close, and the Yankees’ offense fought back with a vengeance to take the lead away from Mets lefthander Jonathan Niese. It started in the first inning when Alex Rodriguez drove a 2-2 hanger to right field for his fifth home run of the season and career No. 659.
The second inning was when the Yankees jumped all over Niese and also took advantage of a throwing error by Cuddyer in left field to form a four-run rally. Doubles by John Ryan Murphy, Gregorio Petit and Brett Gardner thrust the Yankees into the lead. Young got another run home with an opposite-field single against the shift. On a double to left by Rodriguez, Cuddyer made an awful relay to the infield that allowed Young to score before A-Rod was tagged out trying to advance to third base.
Eovaldi seemed to settle down and retired six batters in a row — four by strikeouts — before the Mets fought back to make the score 5-4 with two outs in the third on a single by Duda and doubles by Cuddyer and Daniel Murphy. With balls searing all over the yard in the early going, this had all the looks of a barnburner.