If this were 2014, and Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom both put up these starts, it would appear Montero would be the one with the most upside. He had one bad inning against the Yankees, whereas deGrom looked uncomfortable all night and had his worst outing in a long while against the crosstown rivals.
Of course 2014 is in the rearview mirror, and both Montero and deGrom have a body of work that speaks for itself. Hopefully this performance was just an aberration for deGrom and that he bounces back quickly. He pitched 7.1 innings, gave up 5 runs, and stuck out only four. There was alot of weak contact that dropped for hits so that bodes well for his next start.
The Yankees scored a run in third when Aaron Hicks drove in Ronald Torreyes, but the real trouble came an inning later when deGrom walked Chase Headley. Jacoby Ellsbury pounced on the next pitch to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Gary Sanchez also took the righty deep in the sixth to put the Yankees up 4-0.
With the way Sonny Gray was pitching, it seemed like those runs were more than enough. Gray made his Yankee Stadium debut and did not disappoint the home crowd. He pitched over six strong innings and struck out five. The young lineup seemed overmatched at times against Gray. The one person who finally got to Gray was Dominic Smith in the seventh inning. Wilmer Flores has been having a tough series but he worked out a walk in front of Smith. The young first baseman took Gray deep for his first major league home run and cut the lead in half.
deGrom pitched a clean seventh but Terry Collins tried to get another inning out of him in the eighth. This decision proved to be the wrong one in hindsight. Aaron Judge led off with a double and he eventually scored on a long fly ball by Gary Sanchez. Juan Lagares showed off his defensive skills tracking the ball all the way to the wall for the out. Amed Rosario also showed off his skills at short in this game, which was a nice change of pace for a team that has been defensively-challenged all season.
The Yankees bullpen has become a strength for this team and both Tommy Kahnle and Dellin Betances kept the Mets off the board in their appearances. Betances got into a little bit of trouble in the eighth when he walked Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto came up as the tying run. Conforto took strike three looking, but there were a couple of pitches that were awfully close to being balls but umpire Adam Hamari rang him up. Hamari, of course, is the umpire that famously tossed Noah Syndergaard when he threw a ball behind Chase Utley.
With the Mets down 5-2 in the ninth the Yankees turned to their flame-throwing closer to finish the sweep at Yankee Stadium. Aroldis Chapman is not as untouchable as he once was, but Terry Collins decided to pinch-hit for Dominic Smith, instead of letting Smith get some experience. Jose Reyes managed to get on base ahead of Amed Rosario, who was allowed to face Chapman. Rosario took him deep to cut the lead to one, but that was as close as they would get.
The fact that the two kids were both able to hit home runs off two really really good pitchers is a promising sign for this team going forward. This is probably the biggest stage they have played on so far and they did not shy away from the spotlight.
Terry Collins leaving deGrom in for the eighth and pinch-hitting for Smith in the ninth was not ideal, but at least the signs are there, that in the right hands, there could be brighter days ahead.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Jacob deGrom -13.8%, Wilmer Flores -12.7%, Travis d’Arnaud -11.0%, Curtis Granderson -10.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Dominic Smith home run in seventh
Teh sux0rest play: Jacoby Ellsbury home run in fourth
Total pitcher WPA: -13.1%
Total batter WPA: -36.9%
GWRBI!: Gary Sanchez