|The scene at Citi Field during the fifth inning with the Mets' Francisco Lindor at-bat against the Yankees' Jonathan Loaisiga. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets beat the Yankees, 6-3, in an absolute thriller on Tuesday night in the opener of the Subway Series in front of a sellout crowd of 42,364 at Citi Field.
It was the Mets' 60th win of the season, as they improved to 60-37. This is the second-fastest Mets team to reach the 60-win plateau, as they did it in their 97th game. The 1986 team is the quickest to reach that mark, and they did it in 85 games.
The Mets also maintained their two-game lead in the National League East standings ahead of the Atlanta Braves, who are 59-40 after they beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-0.
The Yankees fell to 66-32, and they have now lost four of six games on this road trip, starting with being swept by the Astros in the doubleheader last Thursday, followed by winning two of three in Baltimore, and this loss to the Mets. The Yankees' lead in the American League East is now 11 1/2 games, with the surging Toronto Blue Jays (54-43), winners of nine of their last ten, in second place now. Their lead for the best overall record is now just one game over the Los Angeles Dodgers (64-32) and two over the Houston Astros (64-34).
The Yankees struck first against Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker as Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back home runs to give them a quick 2-0 lead. Judge hit his into the bullpen in right field for his league-leading 38th homer of the season, while Rizzo also went opposite field, as his just cleared the fence in left for his 23rd of the season.
The Mets went right to work against Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery, as Starling Marte hit his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot, into the left field corner, and then Francisco Lindor doubled, and came in on a Pete Alonso double to tie it at 2. Then, after Mark Canha struck out, Eduardo Escobar launched a blast to left field for a two-run shot to make it 4-2.
The home run derby calmed down in the second, as Walker allowed one-out singles to Aaron Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and then he picked Kiner-Falefa off first base and nabbed a liner hit back at him by Jose Trevino to get out of the inning.
In the third, Walker worked around a two-out single to Rizzo and a hit-by-pitch of Torres by striking out Yankees slugger Matt Carpenter (he entered this one with 14 home runs in 35 games) to end the inning.
After the Mets were retired in order in the second, the lineup turned over for the third, they went back to work. Marte led off with a double, and he came into score and make it 5-2 Mets when Lindor reached on a throwing error by Yankee third baseman Josh Donaldson. The throw hit Lindor in the left shoulder, and his momentum running through the base pushed it out to left, allowing Marte to come all the way around.
Alonso then walked, and Canha struck out again for the first out of the inning, and that was all for Montgomery, whose final line was: 2 1/3 innings, 5 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 1 walk, 3 strikeouts. It was shortest outing of the season, and the five runs he allowed was a season high.
Rob Marinaccio, who just returned after a stint on the injured list, came on and got Escobar to fly to left, and Aaron Hicks made a good throw back in, which went to Marinaccio, who fired to Donaldson and they got Lindor into a rundown and retired him to end the inning.
The Yankees rallied in the fourth, as Hicks and Kiner-Falefa singled with one out, and then Trevino bounced one to third that Escobar threw to second on, but Kiner-Falefa beat that out, so naturally Trevino was safe at first to load the bases. DJ LeMahieu then grounded one to third that brought in Hicks to make it 5-3 Mets. Judge then walked to re-load the bases, and Rizzo gave one a ride to deep center, but Nimmo had it all the way to end the threat.
Walker retired the Yankees in order in the fifth and sixth to close out what turned into a solid outing after a tough beginning to the night. His final line was: 6 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 3 strikeouts.
After Montgomery left, the Yankees' bullpen restored order, as Marinaccio went 1 2/3 innings, striking out two; Jonathan Loaisia worked around an Alonso single to pitch a scoreless fifth, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect sixth.
Adam Ottavino was first out of the Mets' bullpen for the seventh, and he started off the frame by getting LeMahieu to ground out to second base. Judge followed with a single, and Rizzo then reached on a hit-by-pitch, which came after a Yankee challenge overturned the no-call.
Then, with Gleyber Torres up, the Yankees tried a double-steal. Judge easily took third base, but Rizzo was thrown out at second. The Yankees challenged it, but this time, the call was upheld. Torres then popped out to first base to end the wild inning.
Ottavino stayed on for the eighth and he got Carpenter to fly to center and Donaldson to ground to third, making both of them 0-for-4 on the night.
Hicks then drew a walk, and when Joey Gallo was announced as the pinch-hitter for Kiner-Falefa to a smattering of boos (probably more from the Yankees fans here), the Mets brought in their closer Edwin Diaz, and he struck out Gallo.
Albert Abreu came on for the Yankees in the eighth, and he allowed singles to Lindor and Alonso to open the frame. He then struck out Daniel Vogelbach, who was pinch-hitting for Canha, and Escobar.
Just when it appeared Abreu was out of it, he bounced one off the plate for a wild pitch, so Lindor and Alonso moved up to second and third, which would prove huge as Jeff McNeil hit a liner to left to bring in Alonso and make it 6-3 Mets. Luis Guillorme, who was pinch-hitting for J.D. Davis, grounded to third to end the inning.
Diaz obviously stayed in for the ninth, and it opened with Trevino beating out a slow dribbler to third base to open the inning with a hit. The Yankees lineup turned over, and Diaz struck out LeMahieu before Judge grounded one back to Diaz, who tried to throw to second, but the ball fell out of his hand on the windup, and he was charged with an error.
The Yankees had two runners on for Rizzo, who struck out on three pitches, and then Diaz struck out Torres to end it and earn his 22nd save of the season. Walker earned the win to improve to 8-2.