Game 148: NYY vs. NYM — When the Bat’s away, the Bronx Bombers will play…

I’m positive someone who covers the Mets is obsessed with comic books, applying some creative license to their starting pitchers. First, “Thor” last night, and then the “Dark Knight” tonight. Don’t get me wrong here, the Mets’ “Dark Knight” is on my personal list of non-Yankee pitchers that I think are really good. And tonight was absolutely no exception.

Yes, in tonight’s finale against the Mets, the Yankees were up against a very good pitcher that kept the Yankees from doing much in his short time on the mound. Honestly, removing him from the game was probably the worst choice the Mets made tonight, and this was in regards to a team that earned 4 fielding errors tonight. But since it fell in the Yankees’ favor, I’m certainly not going to complain all that much.

CC Sabathia got the start for tonight’s weekend series finale at Citi Field, and with his usual exception of a single inning, Sabathia was definitely something to watch today. He threw 111 pitches threw 6 full innings, giving up 5 hits, 3 walks, and just 1 run, and struck out 7 batters. His lead-off batter doubled and then scored on the next batter’s double. Then after 2 nice strikeouts, he loaded the bases with 2 consecutive walks but got out of the inning with a quick pop out. And then he settled into a rather CC-esque pattern of just shutting them down and getting batters to chase silly pitches.

Nick Rumbelow came on to keep the Mets down in the 7th and got 2 more strikeouts. Chris Capuano threw 13 pitches in the 8th inning.  A lead-off double scored on an RBI single before a strikeout and a fabulous double play ended the inning. Nick Goody came on to close out the Mets in the 9th inning (even getting a ground out to go the Yankees way on a challenge and replay).

But like I said, the Yankees couldn’t do much against Batman tonight, but Batman returned to the Batcave a little early allowing the Yankees to run Gotham City their way tonight. In the 6th, Ellsbury led off with a single ending up at 2nd on an error. He ended up at 3rd when Gardner reached on a fielder’s choice and another error was made. Carlos Beltran’s double then scored both runners to push the Yankees up and over the Mets. After 1 out, Beltran got to 3rd on a wild pitch, and Bird walked. Dustin Ackley smacked a solid 3-run home run into the Mets’ bullpen to clear the bases. (Fun fact: Ackley’s dad was at the game tonight, up from North Carolina with his college baseball coach from UNC, so they saw him hit that great shot into the bullpen.)

The Yankees then tacked on another run in the 7th and then a few more in the 8th. With the bases loaded in the 7th, a new Mets’ reliever just walked in a run with Chase Headley’s walk. Then in the 8th, pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez walked, and then Rico Noel came in to pinch-run for him. Noel promptly stole 2nd base and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single. Now, with 2 outs and Ellsbury and Beltran on base with a single and a walk, Brian McCann’s single scored Ellsbury easily and moved Beltran to 3rd on (yet another) error. And that set up Greg Bird for his big 3-run home run to push the Yankees into double-digit runs.

Final score from Queens: 11-2 Yankees, Yankees take the series 2-1. (The Empire State Building was lit up in pinstripes, blue and white, in honor of the Yankees’ series victory. I love when they do this!)

With Toronto’s loss to Boston today, this puts the Yankees just 2.5 games behind Toronto. This makes this upcoming series in Toronto so crucial. Whoever wins this series will most likely go on to win the division and the other will be the first wild card.

And bad news in the pitching front: Masahiro Tanaka pulled his hamstring running to 1st base on Friday. Now, diagnosed with a grade 1 strain, he’ll be sitting out his scheduled start this Wednesday in Toronto. Ivan Nova will take his place.

Go Yankees!

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