Daniel Murphy's line drive up the middle scored the game-winning run in the 8th inning and Bobby Parnell shut the door on the Yankees for a 2-1 Mets win in the opener of this year's Subway Series.
The Good Stuff:
- Down 1-0 in the bottom of the 7th, David Wright started the scoring by taking Phil Hughes deep (and I mean waaaaay deep). Wright's monstrous solo home run not only tied the game, it would have left the stadium had it not clunked off the wing of an airplane destined for LaGuardia and settled in the first deck.
- With one out in the bottom of the 8th, Mike Baxter laced a ground-rule double to start a rally. Jordany Valdespin walked, then the both of them advanced a base when Yankee catcher Chris Stewart couldn't handle a rare strike from David Robertson. Baxter was thrown out at home on Ruben Tejada's ground ball, but that left one out for Daniel Murphy, who was looking for some revenge after his two-run homer in the 6th was stolen at the wall by Brett Gardner. Consider him avenged: Murph ripped a line drive up the middle to score Valdespin for what would be the deciding run.
- With the lead in his pocket, Bobby Parnell continued to establish himself as a legitimate major-league closer, striking out two Bronx Bombers on the way to a hitless 9th and his eighth save of the season, surpassing his total for all of last season.
- Like last night, the Mets' runs came late for their outstanding starter. This time it was Jonathon Niese who was stuck with a tough-luck no-decision. Niese's final line was one of his best of the season: 7 innings, 8 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts on 107 pitches. He also went 2-2 at the plate to bring his average up to .250 (more than that of half the Mets' regulars).
- The NL New Yorkers turned three more double plays to kill AL New Yorker rallies in the 2nd, 6th, and 8th frames.
- Ike Davis regressed against Hughes and Robertson, striking out in all three of his at-bats.
- Ruben Tejada also went hitless in his four at-bats in his first game back in the leadoff slot.
I've been happy to admit I was wrong before, and I'm happy to do it again: Bobby Parnell is a major-league closer. Maybe he picked up a different mindset over the offseason, maybe it's the new knuckle curve (thanks, R.A.); whatever it is, the New York Mets seem to have a legitimate stopper for the first time since Francisco Rodriguez in his first season with the club. The Mets may not be able to give him many leads (he's only had 10 save opportunities in the first two months), but the team can finally rest easy knowing any lead that goes into the 9th has a better chance of staying put than not.
Daniel Murphy continues to hit the cover off the ball, and David Wright may have busted his slump with a two-hit night (the other was a 1st-inning triple). All-in-all, a great way to start the season's only Subway Series. And tomorrow night Matt Harvey looks to keep the party going on national TV.