|The Mets mob Starling Marte after his game-winning hit. Photo by Jason Schott.
The Mets beat the Yankees, 3-2, on a walk-off RBI single by Starling Marte in the bottom of the night, to sweep the two-game Subway Series in front of a sellout crowd of 43,693 fans at Citi Field, the tenth-largest attendance in the ballpark's history.
This came after the Yankees tied it in the eighth on a two-run home run from Gleyber Torres off Mets reliever David Peterson, but Seth Lugo held it right there, and in the ninth, with Wandy Peralta in for the Yankees, Eduardo Escobar led off with a double and scored on the Marte single.
Mets starter Max Scherzer took the no-decision even though he was superb, and gave them an outing the Amazin's dreamed of when they signed him in the offseason. He threw seven shutout innings, scattering five hits and two walks, while striking out six, to lower his ERA (earned run average) to 2.09. He took the no-decision in this one, after the Yankees tied just after he left the game in the eighth on a Gleyber Torres two-run home run.
The Mets improve to 61-37, and they increased their lead to three games in the National League East race after the Atlanta Braves lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-2, on Wednesday afternoon to fall to 59-41.
The Yankees fall to 66-33, and while they still have an 11 1/2 game lead in the American League East over the Toronto Blue Jays (54-44, they are now tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers (65-32) for the best overall record in Major League Baseball.
|Mets pitcher Max Scherzer pitching to Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the seventh inning. Photo by Jason Schott.
This game started a bit differently than Tuesday night's, as Scherzer retired the Yankees in order in the first, and Yankees starter Domingo German also retired the Mets three up, three down.
Scherzer retired the Yankees in order again in the second, and the Mets struck in the bottom half of the frame.
Pete Alonso led off the bottom of the second and he launched a blast to left field for a solo home run, his 26th of the season, to make it 1-0 Mets.
In the third, Scherzer faced his first big situation, as Aaron Hicks dunked one into center field, and then after he got Isiah Kiner-Falefa to fly out to center and Kyle Higashioka to right field, DJ LeMahieu singled to keep the inning alive.
That brought Aaron Judge to the plate with two on, and to paraphrase the "All Rise" catchphrase he has, the crowd stood up for this at-bat between one of the best hitters and pitchers in baseball. Scherzer won the battle, as he struck out Judge on a slider that he chased down and away to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Mets catcher Tomas Nido led off with a double, and then after Brandon Nimmo popped out to third base and Starling Marte struck out, Francisco Lindor singled home Nido to make it 2-0. Alonso popped up to first to end the inning.
Scherzer retired the Yankees in order in the top of the fourth, and the Mets had a golden opportunity to add to it in the bottom half, as Daniel Vogelbach and Mark Canha led off with singles, but German got Jeff McNeil to fly out to left field and then Eduardo Escobar and Nido struck out to end the threat.
The Yankees kept threatening, as Josh Donaldson led off the fifth with a double, and then after strikeouts of Hicks and Kiner-Falefa, Scherzer walked Higashioka to keep the inning alive for LeMahieu, but he lined one to shortstop to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, German was lifted after a two-out walk to Lindor, and the final line for his second start of the season was: 4 2/3 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks, 7 strikeouts.
Lucas Luetge was first out of the Yankees bullpen, and he walked Alonso to give the Mets two on base with two outs for Vogelbach, but he grounded out to first. The left-hander would pitch two innings, as he allowed just a hit and walk, and struck out two.
The Yankees got a couple more runners on in the sixth, as Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch and Matt Carpenter, who has probably seen Sdcherzer a ton more than any of his teammates since he played in St. Louis, lined one over Alonso's head for a two-out single, with Rizzo racing to third. Donaldson was up next, and he swung at the first pitch, hitting a dribbler up the first base line that Scherzer fielded for the third out.
In the seventh, Isiah Kiner-Fslefa doubled, and then with two outs, LeMahieu walked to set up another Scherzer-Judge battle, and it went just as it did in the third, as Judge struck out chasing a slider. That was the Yankees center fielder's third strikeout of the night.
That closed Scherzer's night, and left-hander David Peterson came on for the Mets to pitch the eighth, as two of the first three Yankees hitters (Rizzo and Carpenter) were left-handed. Peterson walked Rizzo on four pitches, and then Gleyber Torres hit a bomb to right field for a two-run homer to tie it at 2. He then struck out Carpenter to complete his three batters. Seth Lugo finished the eighth with strikeouts of Donaldson and Hicks.
The Yankees, showing the import of this game, turned to their closer, Clay Holmes, for the eighth, and he worked around a walk to Daniel Vogelbach.
Lugo stayed on for the Mets in the ninth, and after he got the first two outs easily, once again LeMahieu got on with a single to bring up Judge, and he grounded out to shortstop to end the inning and make him 0-for-5 on the night (how many teams can say they did that?).
Holmes, who threw 21 pitches in the eighth, did not come back for the ninth, so as has become custom how the Yanks manage their bullpen, they went to left-hander Wandy Peralta to face 8-9-1 in the Mets' order. He gave up a double to
Escobar laced a double to deep left that skipped past Aaron Hicks to go to the fence to open the inning, and Nido bunted to move him over to third. Nimmo then hit a dribbler back to Peralta, who had trouble corralling it, but he still made a solid throw to first that Nimmo beat out to give the Mets first and third and one out.
Marte, one of the Mets' best hitters who has a .300 average but was 1-for-4 with three strikeouts on the night, was up next. After taking a ball, he hit a rocket to left field for a game-winning single to bring in Nido and give the Mets the wild 3-2 win.
YANKEES ACQUIRE BENINTENDI: About an hour after the game, the Yankees made a move that’s been anticipated for awhile, as they acquired left fielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals for three prospects - right-handed pitcher Chandler Champlain, left-handed pitcher T.J. Sikkema, and right-handed pitcher Beck Way.
Benintendi, who was a member of the 2018 World Champion Boston Red Sox, whom he played for from 2016-20 before joining the Royals last season, is hitting .320 with 3 home runs and 39 RBI, and a .387 on-base percentage and .398 slugging percentage, in 97 games this season.
This move addresses the one glaring weakness the Yankees have had this season, left field, as Joey Gallo (.161, 12 HR, 24 RBI) and Aaron Hicks (.243, 6 HR, 30 RBI) have not played close to what was expected of them.