Monday, September 21, 2015
Yankees Take Season Series With Mutts, Bring On Those Pesky Blue Jays!
Met fans, in their endless stupidity, were confident last night. After all, one of their "superheroes" was on the mound: Matt Harvey, whom they've christened with the nickname "The Dark Knight," one of Batman's nicknames.
Yeah, well, we beat Noah Syndergaard, a.k.a. "Thor," so we ain't gonna be afraid of Batman. In fact, continuing with the Batman theme, it looks like those two-faced Met fans have a Harvey dent!
The Yankees don't need superheroes, because they have several pitchers who would be the ace on the Mets' staff. Yes, even the clearly-in-decline CC Sabathia, who started last night.
The 1st 2 batters that CC faced were Ruben Tejada and David Wright, who both doubled, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. After that, in 6 innings, he issued just 3 hits and 3 walks, and no runs.
Harvey allowed no runs, just 1 hit and 1 walk, through 5 innings. He had thrown 77 pitches.
But the Mets, intimidated by Scott Boras' self-imposed innings limit on Harvey, panicked, and pulled him for Hansel Robles.
Hansel? No Gretel? Apparently, the Mets can't find their way back to being New York's best (or most popular) baseball team even if they left a trail of bread crumbs!
If the Mets do indeed choke again, and miss the Playoffs completely, the decision to pull Harvey here -- or, dare I say it, to Yank him -- will be remembered as the exact moment it all fell apart. Here is what the Yankees did against Robles in the top of the 6th inning:
* Jacoby Ellsbury led off with an infield single.
* Brett Gardner reached on an error that should have been a double play. An error by the 3rd baseman. David Wright. The man Met fans were claiming, in the wake of Derek Jeter's retirement, was the new "face of New York baseball."
* Carlos Beltran, the man Met fans chose as their all-time center fielder in a 50th Anniversary poll in 2012, but they booed in this series for his season-ending strikeout in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS (still the last postseason pitch the Mets have ever had), doubled up the gap in right-center, making it 2-1 Yankees.
* Brian McCann struck out, and Met fans began to sigh with relief, thinking that this wouldn't be so bad.
* Robles threw a wild pitch, moving Beltran to 3rd.
* Greg Bird drew a walk.
* Chase Headley struck out. Again, Met fans were thinking this wouldn't be so bad.
* Dustin Ackley crushed a home run to right field. (His 8th dinger of the season.) 5-1 Yankees.
A 4-run deficit shouldn't be particularly intimidating, but the Mets were finished. Yogi Berra, who will forever remain the only man ever to manage both of these teams to Pennants, would have said, "It ain't over 'til it's over, but this one is over."
The Yankees made it 6-1 when Headley drew a bases-loaded walk in the 7th. They added 5 more in the 8th, capped by a homer by Bird, his 8th of the season.
Funny how many people say the Yanks' slump began when 1st baseman Mark Teixeira got hurt (he's out for the season), and yet Bird has filled in very well. It's not the 1st base slot that's been the problem for the Yankees.
The Mets got a run back in the bottom of the 8th, but what was small consolation. Yankees 11, Mets 2. WP: Sabathia (5-9). No save. LP: Robles (4-3).
Thus did the Yankees take the season series with the Mutts, 4 games to 2. 2 of 3 in The Bronx, 2 of 3 in Queens. On aggregate (not that this matters in baseball), the Yankees scored 30 runs to the Mets' 20. (Before Harvey was pulled, it was 19-19.) A comprehensive result.
The New York Yankees are, beyond a reasonable doubt, the best baseball team in New York City.
With the result, and the other results from yesterday, with 2 weeks left in the regular season...
* The Yankees are 2 1/2 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Eastern Division, 2 in the loss column, and are now in Toronto for the last head-to-head series of the season.
* The Yankees still have a 4-game cushion in the Wild Card race, but I still don't want to see Joe Girardi playing musical chairs with the pitching staff in a win-or-go-home game. We gotta win the AL East.
* The Mets are 6 games ahead of the Washington Nationals in the National League East, and whichever doesn't win probably would not get a Wild Card berth.
And if you think the Mets can't blow a 6-game lead with 13 games to play, let me remind you that they blew a 7-game lead with 17 to play in 2007 (not that long ago), and missed the Playoffs completely. In 1964, the Philadelphia Phillies had a 6 1/2-game lead with 12 to play, and blew it. In 1987, the Blue Jays were up by 3 1/2 with 7 to go, and lost all 7, including the last 3 to the team chasing them, the Detroit Tigers. And who do the Mets play in their last 3 games? The Nats.
True, the Mets have handled the Nats pretty well so far. But what are they going to do when the pressure is really on, as it hasn't been all season? And they can't use Harvey?
I wonder: In the years to come, whose name will Met fans curse? Harvey's? Scott Boras'? Terry Collins'? Sandy Alderson's? Fred Wilpon's? Jeff Wilpon's? Bernie Madoff's?
Because you know they're never going to admit that the Nationals were simply better.
After all, they never admit that the Yankees are better.
And the Yankees are better.
At any rate, here's the pitching matchups for the showdown series at the SkyDump, with all 3 games set for a 7:07 PM first pitch:
* Tonight: Adam Warren (filling in for the injured Nathan Eovaldi, who, I sure hope, will be back for the Playoffs) vs. David Price (who beat the Yanks in his last outing against them, but has had trouble against us before).
* Tomorrow night: Luis Severino vs. Marco Estrada.
* Wednesday night: Ivan Nova (filling in for Masahiro Tanaka, who's having hopefully only 1 start skipped because of a hamstring issue) vs. Marcus Stroman.
Come on you Bombers!
And by the way? (As Mike Lupica would say.)
What was up with the Mets wearing those stupid blue jerseys last night?