By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Monday, May 27th, 2013
New York Yankees vs. New York Mets
Final Score: Yankees: 1 Mets: 2
The Subway Series got off to a start not many people expected with the Mets taking the first of the four game series 2-1. The Mets were able to pull the game out tonight with some late inning heroics and stellar pitching performances to stay in the winning column for the second day in a row, the first time winning back-to-back games since May 16th-17th. The win improved the Mets record to 19-29, 10 ½ games behind the Washington Nationals and fourth place in the National League East while the Yankees drop to 30-20 and second place in the American League East, ½ game behind the Boston Red Sox.
The Mets got an outstanding effort tonight from Jon Niese not only on the mound but from the plate as well, as Niese recorded two of the four hits off of Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes. Niese did not get the win, but this was arguably his best start of the season as he looks as he has turned things around, as he has given up only three earned runs in his last three starts, spanning 20.1 innings. Niese was able to work his way out of a bases loaded situation in the second inning as well, inducing a Chris Stewart double play after surrendering singles to David Adams, Ichiro Suzuki and walking Lyle Overbay.
The only blemish for Niese came in the sixth inning, when Brett Gardner led off with a triple after Lucas Duda’s diving attempt came up empty and ball went all the way to the wall. He was driven in on a soft single by Jayson Nix right after as the Yankees took a 1-0 lead.
Niese finished the night with a strong line of seven innings pitched, surrendering eight hits, one run and one walk while striking out four on 107 pitches. The performance tonight dropped Niese’s ERA to 4.40 on the season.
Gardner hurt the Mets not only at the plate but in the field also, as he flashed some leather in robbing Daniel Murphy of a two-run homerun in the sixth inning, jumping at the wall and bringing in the ball.
Murphy extracted some revenge later in the game though, knocking in the go-ahead and winning run in the eighth inning on a single, knocking in Jordany Valdespin, who walked pinch-hitting for reliever Brandon Lyon. All the damage was done off Yankee’s reliever David Robertson, who was unable to hold the 1-1 tie he came into.
It was a tough luck no decision for Phil Hughes as well, who entered the game with a 5.51 ERA but blew through the Mets lineup. Hughes was able to handle everyone except Niese and Wright, the only Mets responsible for the four hits off of Hughes. Hughes finished the night with a line of seven innings pitched, four hits, one run and no walks while striking out six on 101 pitches.
David Wright got the Mets on the board first in the seventh inning though with a long shot off of Hughes, the only other Mets player to get a hit off the Yankee starter other than Niese (Wright hit a triple in the first inning after Gardner misplayed the ball in right center). Wright flashed some leather of his own at the hot corner, making a number of dazzling plays at third base including the igniting of a 5-4-3 double-play to get the Mets out of the inning.
Some Mets who were baffled throughout the night were Lucas Duda, Rick Ankiel and Ike Davis, as all three struck out multiple times. Duda watched his 10-game hit streak end as he struck out twice, Ankiel was fanned twice and Davis returned to his struggling ways en route to striking out in all three of his at-bats.
Next up for the Yankees and Mets in the Subway Series are their two best pitchers on the season facing off, as Hiroki Kuroda will take the mound for the Yankees against Matt Harvey for the Mets.