Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Yankees Come Back To Take First Game Of Subway Series From Mets


Giancarlo Stanton connecting on his first-inning home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees, who got home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu, took the first game of the Subway Series, 7-6, over the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field, as they stormed back from a 5-1 deficit.

Stanton, who was hitting second in the Yankees lineup in this one, started it off with a bang against Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer. He crushed one to deep left, practically a line drive, for a solo home run to give the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead. It was his sixth of the season.

Just as quickly, Brandon Nimmo, on the second pitch he would see from Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino, blasted one into the Yankees' bullpen for a solo shot of his own, which was also his sixth homer of the year.

That was just the start of a long inning for Severino, as he walked Francisco Alvarez and Francisco Lindor before Brett Baty for a two-out RBI single to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

The Mets kept it going in the second, as Mark Canha, who was hitting ninth, laced a double and Nimmo was hit by a pitch. With Alvarez up, Severino committed a balk, which moved Canha and Nimmo up to second and third base.

That forced the Yankees to bring their infield in, and Alvarez bounced one to shortstop Anthony Volpe for the second out. 

Francisco Alvarez grounding out to Anthony Volpe. Photo by Jason Schott.

Jeff McNeil was up next, and he cashed in with a two-run single to open up a 4-1 lead for the Mets.

With McNeil at first, Severino committed another balk, which moved him to second, but Lindor could not take advantage as he flew out to left field.

Then, in the bottom of the third, Starling Marte opened it up with a single, followed by a Baty walk. After Tommy Pham struck out, Luis Guillorme hit a possible double play ball to second base, but Gleyber Torres made an error, so the Mets had the bases loaded.

Canha then bounced into a groundout to bring in Marte to make it 5-1. The run was unearned, but Canha was still credited with an RBI.

Meanwhile, Scherzer sailed through the second and third innings, with the one blemish hitting Stanton with a pitch in his elbow in the third.

Anthony Rizzo led off the fourth with a single, and DJ LeMahieu followed with a shot to left, nearly where Stanton hit his back in the lower deck, for a two-run shot and the Yankees were within, 5-3.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled, and then after Billy McKinney struck out, Kyle Higashioka singled. Volpe then doubled home Kiner-Falefa and that made it 5-4 Mets.

The lineup turned over, and Jake Bauers was up with the Mets infield in. He took advantage by dunking one into right field to bring in two runs and just like that, it was 6-5 Yankees.

That chased Scherzer from the game to a chorus of boos from the Mets portion of the crowd, as the ace, once again, failed to deliver in a massive moment. 

Dominic Leone struck out Stanton to end the fifth, which made Scherzer's final line: 3 1/3 innings pitched, 7 hits, 6 runs, 6 earned run, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts.

Mets Manager Buck Showalter said of what he saw different from Scherzer in this one, "Some pitches ahead in the count he doesn't normally make. You know, I think the level of command that he's shown throughout, you know, wasn't there. He got some pitches in places and counts that he normally doesn't get them, and you know, paid a price for it. Couple of flares, but some hard-hit balls, obviously, too, but it was frustrating for him because sometimes you'll see that early with quality pitchers like him, and they kind of find their way, just couldn't quite find his step with his  command, and sometimes the depth of the slider and where it's finishing, just wasn't as good as last time out, obviously."

With a new lease on life, Severino retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth.

Luis Severino pitching to Starling Marte in the fifth. Photo by Jason Schott.

That would change in the fifth, as Baty would get a one-out base hit after a ten-pitch at-bat. Tommy Pham then grounded out, moving Baty to second base. 

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone then went out to take to Severino as Guillorme was about to come up. After about a minute of discussion, Boone elected to leave his starter in.

That decision would backfire, as Guillorme got an RBI single to tie the game at 6, and that would end Severino's night.

Rob Marinaccio came on, and he got Canha to fly out to left field to end the frame, and that completed Severino's line: 4 2/3 innings pitched, 7 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts.

After Leone retired the Yankees 1-2-3 in the fifth, the Mets turned to left-hander Josh Walker in the sixth. McKinney opened the frame with a single, and then Volpe hit one that Nimmo was a half-step too late for, and he ended up with a double.

Josh Donaldson was then announced as the pinch-hitter for Bauers, and the Mets responded by calling in Jeff Brigham.

Donaldson did his job, as he hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in McKinney and make it 7-6 Yankees. Stanton then hit one to right as a result of an inside-out swing to end the inning.

Marinaccio stayed on for the sixth, and he got Nimmo to fly out to the warning track in left field and Alvarez to take one to the track in right for the second out. McNeil singled and Lindor walked, and in came Jimmy Cordero for Marte, and he struck him out.

The Mets were set to bring in Drew Smith for the seventh inning, but as he approached the infield, the umpires checked his glove and hands for foreign substances, and he was immediately ejected.

Showalter was asked what explanation he got from the umpires, and he said, "His hands were too sticky, you know. There was a few other things said and everything, I think, but I'm not going there. Obviously, they thought his hands were too sticky."

Smith will face a likely 10-game suspension, just what Scherzer faced when he was ejected for the same violation in April.

The scene when Drew Smith was ejected, as Mets Manager Buck Showalter talks to the umpire (at right). Photo by Jason Schott.

John Curtiss wound up coming in for the Mets, and he retired the Yankees in order. Tommy Kahnle came on for the Yankees in the bottom half, and responded in kind.

Curtiss kept the Yankees off the board in the top of the eighth, and Wandy Peralta came on to pitch the bottom of the frame.

Canha led off with a walk, Nimmo singled, and Alvarez ground into a force out. McNeil was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and that was all for Peralta.

The Yankees turned to their closer Clay Holmes, and he struck out Lindor on a full count, after he missed two punch-outs on the inside corner, and Marte to end the massive threat.

Michael King came on for the bottom of the ninth, and he retired the Mets in order - Baty grounded out, Pham struck out, and Guillorme lined out to center - to end it. 

Marinaccio wound up with the win, as he improved to 3-3 on the season, and King earned his fourth save of the year, while Walker took the loss for the Mets, his first decision of the season.

The Yankees improved to 39-29, while the Mets fell to 31-36, having now lost nine of their last ten games.

Boone said afterwards of the comeback win and a big night for the Yankees' offense, "It was great, you know, a little big of everyone. Big G getting us going with the big homer, Rizzo getting off the schneid to get the big inning started, DJ really sticking one there.  We some bottom-of-the-order contribution, a big pinch-hit at-bat to grab us the lead again by JD (Donaldson), I mean just little contributions up and down the lineup, so good to see everyone kind of had a hand in it."

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