I know I mentioned yesterday that I love New York vs. New York games. When they played each other at Spring Training, someone (I’ll call him “Captain Obvious”) mentioned that New York was going to win that day. They did. Well, the “other New York” did. Like they did yesterday.
But today, the other other New York did. Or rather the original New York team did. (Remember: Yankees – 1901, Mets – 1962; to be fair, the other New York teams, the Dodgers and Giants, were founded in 1883 but moved to the West Coast at the beginning of the Expansion Era and thus are no longer proper “New York teams” due to their defection.)
Anyway, the right New York team won today. Well, “right” if you’re reading this blog as a Yankees fan.
Michael Pineda took the mound for the middle game of this weekend’s Subway Series and did a really great job keeping the Mets from having a repeat performance of last night’s game. His 86 pitches took him 5.1 innings, giving up 4 hits, 1 walk, and no runs, and striking out 4 batters. Justin Wilson finished the 6th inning, getting out of a 1-out bases loaded situation with fire, and then kept the Mets scoreless into 7th with 4 great strikeouts. Caleb Cotham finished off the 7th inning with his own strikeout before Dellin Betances got some work in with 2 strikeouts in his standard red-hot 8th inning. The 9th inning was split between 3 relievers for an out a piece for James Pazos, Chris Martin, and Andrew Miller.
The Yankee offense was up against a pitcher nicknamed “Thor”, due mainly to his flowing blonde mane and his rather obvious Nordic heritage. I can imagine the jokes, puns, and attempts at journalistic humor about him “bringing down the hammer” when he pitches or some combination of “lightning and thunder”. Personally, I’m just glad whatever relation to the Norse myth was simply that, a myth, today. (Admittedly, his 8 strike outs were rather impressive.)
The Yankees were able to steal Thor’s thunder in 2 different swings (had to). In the 1st inning, with Ellsbury and Gardner leading off with singles, Carlos Beltran hit a nice 3-run home run into the right field seats to get things started for the Yankees. And then in the 6th, with Beltran on base with a single, Brian McCann contributed with a deep 2-run home run to push the Yankees securely in the lead. With Thor out after the 6th, his minions, er, relievers did a better job of keeping the Yankees from furthering their lead.
But that would be more than enough.
Final score: 5-0 Yankees.
Now, collectively, the Yankees struck out 12 Mets batters, seemingly like a completely different bullpen than some other recent outings. Comments were made about the Yankees using more relievers as part of a sort of auditioning process for the postseason, which I have to admit, does make some sense. With all the trouble they’ve been having in that area lately, narrowing down the wide selection to a choice few and finding the consistency where there doesn’t seem to be any has to be a bigger job than say drawing names out of a ball cap or something.
Audition or not, the bullpen remembered what it was like to contribute to a win successfully and have it pay off. And that has to be a big boost to their morale. So boost away, and bring on the wins… October baseball is right around the corner.