Teixeira bugs Mets in more ways than one
Chad Green’s audition for the rotation spot that used to belong to Ivan Nova before he was traded to the Pirates did not go that well Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Subway Series, a 9-5 Yankees victory. Fortunately for Green, his teammates picked him up by battering Mets starter Steven Matz, who lost for the seventh time in his past eight decisions.
Green was lucky just to get through the first inning. He gave up a home run leading off the game to Curtis Granderson, the former Yankees outfielder who has made a career of hitting the long ball at Yankee Stadium, and let in another run on a walk and three singles. The Mets had two runs in and the bases loaded before Green got his first out, a strikeout looking on Michael Conforto. A double-play grounder by Wilmer Flores gave Green some needed relief.
The Yankees responded with three runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run double by Chase Headley and an RBI double by Didi Gregorius. Green let the Mets tie the score in the second on a double by Kelly Johnson and a single by Rene Rivera.
In the bottom half, the Yankees struck with two out on singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Rob Refsnyder and a three-run homer by Mark Teixeira. The next time Tex batted, in the fifth, he was struck below the left knee by a pitch from Matz and was not happy about it. Teixeira shouted at the pitcher as he went to first base while the dugouts emptied but no punches were thrown.
“Steven’s a good kid, and I like him,” Teixeira said later. “But if you hit a home run and the next pitch you see doesn’t come close to the plate and hits you it looks bad. I told him I didn’t appreciate it.”
Green was gone from the game by that point. His pitch count got up to 86 with two out and two on in the fourth when manager Joe Girardi brought in Luis Severino to face Yoenis Cespedes, who struck out.
Severino kept himself in position to get his first winning decision after six losses, even in the seventh when the Mets loaded the bases with none out on a walk to Granderson, a bunt single by Neil Walker and an error by third baseman Chase Headley on a hot grounder by Cespedes. Severino got a huge strikeout of RBI leader Jay Bruce before giving up an unearned run on an infield out and then struck out Conforto.
For Granderson, the game-leading home run was his seventh of the season and 42nd of his career, including a franchise-record 18 for the Mets, breaking the tie he had with Jose Reyes, who rejoined the Mets last month and is on the 15-day disabled list. Granderson has hit 68 career home runs at Yankee Stadium. Pitching him carefully after that, the Yankees walked Granderson three times.
Teixeira, who reached base in all four of his plate appearances, found himself in a weird situation in the seventh when while on second base he kept being stared down by Hansel Robles, the reliever who stepped off the rubber several times amid the taunts from the sellout Stadium crowd of 48,339.
“I guess he thought I had their signs, but I didn’t,” Tex said. “He started yelling at me, so I yelled back, ‘If you think I have the signs, you should change them.’ ”
The Yankees caught another break in the ninth when Cespedes tweaked his troublesome right quad that has bothered him for a month in striking out and was placed on the 15-day DL. The Mets had planned to keep him off the field as a DH in this series and in the weekend, inter-league set at Detroit.