Friday, May 20, 2011

Game #44: Mets 2, Yankees 1

Ruben Tejada, one of four Mets in the starting lineup who began the season in the minors, retired Derek Jeter as part of a double play in the first inning. (
Fransisco Rodriguez launched one final 83 mile-an-hour changeup to Nick Swisher, and all of a sudden the Mets were back to .500 in the sweetest fashion.

R.A. Dickey had his best outing in a month and a half and the Amazin' offense did just enough to get the 2-1 win over the New York Yankees.

The Good Stuff:
  • The knuckler was sure as heck dancing today. R.A. Dickey picked up his first win since Opening Weekend in Florida, going 6 innings and holding the Bronx Bombers to 4 hits, walking 3 and striking out 6. His lone run was a cheap one: a Mark Teixeira lazy fly-ball that just cleared the right field fence. In any other ball park that would have been an easy out, but not so in Yankee Stadium. I think we can excuse R.A. for that one; take an inch off that ball and the Mets get their 3rd straight shutout.
  • Once Dickey left, the boys from Queens turned it over to a bullpen that sports a May ERA of just over 1.00. They did not disappoint. Mike O'Connor, Jason Isringhausen, and Frankie Rodriguez combined for three innings of perfect relief, fanning 5 of the 9 Yankees they faced. K-Rod converted his 15th straight save opportunity and now has an 0.76 ERA and a scoreless streak 19 innings long.
  • On the offensive side of things, Justin Turner continued his amazing week, going 3-4 with 2 doubles and driving in the Mets' first run in the 4th. He would have had another in the 6th, but ran into some bad luck: with a runner on first, he knocked a ball that landed just out of reach of Nick Swisher's mit but bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double, freezing runners on 2nd and 3rd. Mr. Turner's RBI streak is now up to 6 games in a row, which ties Ron Swoboda's rookie record.
    • On a side note, I got home from college today and watched this game with my dad, a lifelong Mets fan, and commented to him, "Man, if Turner keeps this up he could be the next Wally Backman!" He got faux-excited and enthusiastically retorted, "Yeah! And if he really tries hard he can even be the next Ron Hunt! Or Ken Boswell!! Or Doug Flynn!!!" Okay, so Wally was great, but hopefully Turner's got a higher ceiling than that. Edgardo Alfonzo, anyone??
  • The Yankees may have stolen a run on a cheap flyball, but in the 6th the Mets stole it right back. Daniel Murphy used the short porch to his advantage and launched a solo line drive into the corner to give the orange and blue the lead for good. Murph's been in a slump lately; maybe a nice weekend in the most left-hander-friendly ballpark in America will help him break out of it.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Only thing that bugs me is that pesky RISP problem. The Mets went 1-5, and Josh Thole stranded two runners from there in the 6th. In the end we didn't need them, but at the time I thought to myself, "Oy, we're gonna need those runs." Thankfully, this time I was wrong. But tonight's performance in that category doesn't seem so bad when you look at how the other side did: the high-scoring Yankees were held 1-10 with RISP. That'll do.
Final Analysis:
R.A. reminded us why we fell in love with him last year, K-Rod and the bullpen continued their May mastery, Turner's fire stayed a-blazin', and the New York Mets are back at .500. Oh yeah, and we got their by beating those Damned Yankees. What a great night.

We've caught these guys at just the right time, and we've got two more games to make the best of the Subway Series. It's gonna be an Amazin' weekend.


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