The Mets finally ended the "sweep or get swept" pattern in their schedule with a win over the Yankees on Friday night. It was the Yankees, of course, who swept the Mets four series ago before the Mets went on to sweep the Rays, get swept by the Reds, and sweep the Orioles.
For the grand majority of the game, the Mets ran away with the series opener. Jon Niese, who had a good start overall, pitched a scoreless top of the first, and the Mets broke the game open in the bottom of the inning.
Andres Torres worked a walk to lead off the inning, and Ronny Cedeno singled. David Wright grounded into a fielder's choice force out at third base, but Scott Hairston walked to load the bases. Andy Pettitte got Lucas Duda to fly out to center field, but the Mets were just getting started. Justin Turner hit a single to bring home two runs, and Ike Davis hit a home run on a ball that deflected off of Nick Swisher's glove before ultimately clearing the fence in right field. The Mets were up 5-0, and they would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
Niese went 6.1 innings, striking out five and walking just one. On the downside, he allowed a pair of solo home runs to Alex Rodriguez and Andruw Jones in the sixth and seventh inning, respectively. Niese has looked better this year, but his walks and home runs allowed have been slight weaknesses for him.
The Jones home run was followed by an out and a pinch-hit single by Jayson Nix, the latter of which chased Niese from the game. Bobby Parnell came in and retired Derek Jeter on a ground out and struck out Curtis Granderson to end the inning.
But the Mets' victory would not be easy. After a David Wright double gave the Mets an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, Miguel Batista took the mound to start the eighth. The Mets' bullpen has been quite bad this year, but Batista does not belong as the team's primary setup man.
Batista allowed a bomb of a home run to Robinson Cano with a runner on base, and the Yankees had suddenly cut the Mets' lead to two runs. He escaped without further hindering the Mets' chance of winning, but Frank Francisco picked up right where Batista left off. He put two runners on base with just one out before striking out Granderson and getting Teixeira to pop up to Omar Quintanilla, who had entered the game late for Ronny Cedeno, to end the game.
Catching that pop-up was a routine play, but Luis Castillo forever ruined the game-ending pop-up in Subway Series games. The second game of the series takes place on Saturday night at 7:15 pm with Chris Young scheduled to pitch for the Mets and Ivan Nova scheduled to pitch for the Yankees.
Big winners: Justin Turner, +16.9% WPA, Ike Davis, +15.2% WPA
Big losers: Lucas Duda, -8.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ike Davis’ three-run home run in the first, +16.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Derek Jeter’s one-out single in the ninth, -7.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +18.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +31.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Ike Davis