Game 107: NYM vs. NYY — Strange rivals, complete with a reality TV-like feud

I cannot begin to convey to you how crazy tonight’s game was. After split results across the river in Queens, the Mets came to visit the Bronx for the final 2 games of the Subway Series. The Yankees have always had a NL city rivalry — the Giants, the Dodgers, and the Mets. But the rivalry in recent years was due to the 2001 World Series, promoted specifically as the “Subway Series”, and at the time, New York couldn’t have been a more needed place to host such an event. It brought healing to a wounded city, and it cemented the crosstown rivalry in a more recent time.

Now, while the Yankees have floundered a bit in recent years, the Mets have made a pretty decent attempt to stay at the top of their division, making it to October baseball and even the Series last year. Not that either of them are doing all that well this year.

And tonight’s game was certainly proof of that. Neither starter got off to a good start tonight. Chad Green started for the Yankees, and in less than 4 full innings, Green threw 86 pitches, gave up 8 hits, 4 walks, and 3 runs, striking out just 2 batters. A former Yankee and now Met fan favorite led-off the game with a solo home run, and then 2 singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs before a single scored one more run for the Mets. Green pitched his way out of the inning with a strikeout and a double play.

Now, the Yankees hit back in the bottom of the 1st. With 1 out, Refsnyder singled and Teixeira walked, and then they both scored on Chase Headley’s double. Then Didi Gregorius’ 2-out double scored Headley to push the Yankees ahead on the scoreboard.

But it didn’t stay that way for long at the top of the 2nd inning. Once again, with no outs — a double, an RBI single to tie the game, and a walk. All before a double play and a ground out to get out of the inning. And once again, the Yankees didn’t stay quiet in the bottom of the 2nd. With 2 outs and Ellsbury and Refsnyder on base with singles, Mark Teixeira hit a big 3-run home run to push the Yankees safely ahead of the Mets.

And then there was a whole lot of zeroes on the score board on both sides. It didn’t stop the Mets starter from (maybe) throwing at Teixeira and hitting his leg at his next time at bat in the 5th inning. Benches somewhat cleared as Teixeira (justifiably angry) made his way down to 1st. Fortunately, nothing came of it other than a warning, and Teixeira got some fun off of this later in the game (as he said in his post-game interview). But if it wasn’t intentional, it was bad timing, and if it was intentional, it was an immature move.

Anyway, with Green’s pitch count rising, he was pulled in the 4th inning for Luis Severino who just pitched extraordinarily well. Through his just over 4 innings, Severino threw just 60 pitches, gave up 1 hit, a walk, and  1 unearned run, and struck out 5 Mets batters. That lone run was in the 7th. In a weird repeat of earlier innings, he loaded up the bases with his lone allowed walk, his lone allowed single, and a bad fielding error. A strikeout gave the Yankees hope, and a ground out scored just 1 run before another strikeout got him out of the inning.

And once again, the Yankees responded at the bottom of that inning. The Mets starter now out of the game, the Yankee pressed in and hit hard. Sanchez singled and ended up on 3rd with Hicks’ double before Rob Refsnyder’s 1-out sacrifice fly scored Sanchez. Then the reliever walked both Teixeira and Headley to load the bases. Starlin Castro’s single kept the bases loaded and scored Hicks.

That was enough for the Mets, as that reliever walked off the field chirping back at Teixeira over at 3rd after spending most of Teixeira’s time at 2nd staring him down. Apparently, the reliever thought Teixeira was stealing signs. I mean, it’s not like Teixeira, the second slowest guy on the team, is going to steal a base or something. (Coverage of the whole feud here; it’s better than anything you’ll find on one of those basic cable reality TV shows.)

So the Mets turned to a new reliever who promptly walked Gregorius in 4 pitches and scored Teixeira. A new reliever got the final out of the inning. And Yankees’ reliever Tyler Clippard came on for the 9th inning, and despite a 1-out solo home run (which the Yankees’ hefty lead gave him a bit of a leeway to do so), he closed out the game in just 16 pitches.

Final score: 9-5 Yankees.

Scranton Shuttle: Before the game, the Yankees optioned Ben Gamel back to AAA Scranton and recalled Gary Sanchez. Sanchez then hit his first major league hit, scored his first run, and contributed from the DH position tonight to the Yankees. The Yankees consider Sanchez one of their best players of the minor league, and with all the trades and roster shuffling, it became easy enough to bring up Sanchez as he was ready for the chance to prove himself in pinstripes. He did just that tonight.

Go Yankees!

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