Jon Niese pitched well, but didn't factor into the decision
The New York Yankees swept the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon by the score of 5-4 as the Yankees walked-off on the Mets in the bottom of the ninth to sweep the opening edition of the 2012 Subway Series, it was their first sweep of the Mets at “Yankee Stadium” (albeit a different building) since 2003.
The Mets sent out an interesting lineup today as they face off against Andy Pettitte…who is back! OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS! Sorry I had to, anyways the Mets threw a lefty of their own as Jon Niese took the mound for the first time since last Sunday when he had a career-high 10 strikeouts against the Cardinals last week.
Both pitchers set down the side in order during the first inning, but in the bottom of the second Scott Hairston led off with a double and two batters later, Vinny Rottino drove him in with a single up the middle to put the Mets up 1-0. Omar Quintanilla walked and Mike Nickeas reached on an error by Robinson Cano to load the bases.
With the bases chucked Jordany Valdespin came up and doubled to right field to chase around Rottino and Quintanilla to put the Mets up by a field goal, Andres Torres walked to load the bases again but the Mets 2 and 3 hitters, Jason Bay and David Wright both struck out with the bases loaded.
Niese walked Alex Rodriguez and allowed a single to Cano, but Nick Swisher who tried to advance the runners with a bunt but bunted too hard and Niese threw out Rodriguez at third base. Niese avoided any other damage by striking out both Andruw Jones and Russell Martin to end the inning.
Hairston led off the third with a single but was picked off by Pettitte’s fantastic pick-off move, and then Pettitte retired the next two. Niese allowed the first runner to reach as well but got Derek Jeter to ground into a double play followed by Curtis Granderson flying out. Both pitchers allowed nothing much in the fourth and fifth innings, as was the case with Pettitte in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth the first two men reached for the Yankees as Jeter singled as did Granderson, Teixeira grounded into a fielder’s choice to take Granderson off the bases. Valdespin was out of position when Rodriguez was up, the coaching staff moved him more towards the center of the diamond where Rodriguez hit it to on the next pitch to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to kill the threat.
Where Martin's first "home run" ended up
Clay Rapada came on in the top of the seventh inning to replace Pettitte and retired the side in order. Cano led off the bottom of the seventh with another hit off of a left-hander in the series, but Cano was erased on a double play off the bat of Swisher. Jones reached on an error from Wright that handcuffed Rottino at first base, followed by Martin hitting a fly ball to right field…and guess what? cleared the shortest fence in the Major Leagues as the Yankees pulled within one at 3-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, Bobby Parnell came on and Jeter sent a ground ball towards Quintanilla that squirted under his glove for what should have been called a two-base error but the official scorer ruled a single and an error as Jeter hustled to second. Granderson singled to left field to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Teixeira singled up the middle to bring home Jeter and tie the game at three, followed by Rodriguez blooping a ball into no-man’s land between Hairston, Valdespin and Ike Davis to score Granderson and chase Parnell from the game.
Tim Byrdak was the next man out of the bullpen who retired Cano and Swisher to bring on Jon Rauch to face Andruw Jones. Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi countered by sending up Raul Ibanez who struck out swinging on five pitches to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth Lucas Duda laced a pitch over the head of the shallow-playing Granderson in centerfield, followed by Davis smacking a double deep into the right centerfield gap to tie the game at four. Quintanilla slapped a ball to shortstop as Jayson Nix threw to Rodriguez at third who applied the tag on Davis to catch the lead runner. Daniel Murphy came through as a pinch hitter on a hit-and-run single to put runners at the corners with one down chasing Yankee closer Rafael Soriano from the game.
Boone Logan came on next as Josh Thole was announced as a pinch hitter, and struck out followed by Nieuwenhuis grounding out to send it to the bottom of the ninth. The first man to face Rauch was Martin who homered down the left field to give the Yankees the walk-off 5-4 victory.
Game Ball: Jon Niese pitched seven innings, and allowed two runs, both unearned after Wright’s error and Martin’s fly out….uh I mean home run. Niese struck out six and walked one as he heads into his next start on Saturday against Cincinnati.
Up Next: The Mets fly down South to Florida to play in the last standing domed stadium as they take on the Tampa Bay Rays who are on a hot streak after sweeping the Miami Marlins earlier today. Chris Young will pitch for the Mets and the Rays will counter with Alex Cobb.