By Joe Rini
NEW YORK, Jul 27 — Max Scherzer gave the Mets a present on his birthday. Scherzer starred in this one as the New York Mets defeated the New York Yankees 3–2 on Wednesday. The win completed a two-game sweep by the Mets in the Citi Field portion of the 2022 Subway Series. With a short bullpen available to manager Buck Showalter, Scherzer pitched seven scoreless innings. A crowd of 43,693 raucous New Yorkers watched Starling Marte deliver the walk-off single, giving the Mets the win.
Mets Take 2-0 Lead
The Mets opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Leading off the inning, Pete Alonso homered to left field off starter Domingo German, giving the Mets a 1–0 lead. The Yankees immediately threatened in the top of the third when Aaron Hicks opened with a bloop single to center. With two outs, DJ LeMahieu lined a single to center, advancing to Hicks to second, bringing up slugger Aaron Judge. As Judge strode to the plate, the NY fans rose to October intensity on the last Wednesday in July. Judge battled Scherzer to a two and two count, but he struck out swinging on an 86 mph slider.
The Mets added to their lead in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single by Francisco Lindor. After Tomas Nido doubled in the left-centerfield gap leading off the inning, German retired the next two batters. However, Lindor singled to right field, and the Mets led 2–0.
Scherzer Starred and Mets Led
Scherzer needed his full repertoire to keep the Yankees scoreless through seven innings. For instance, the Yankees threatened in the fifth inning with runners at first and second, and two outs. However, Lindor nabbed LeMahieu’s line drive before it became an RBI single to left field for the third out. Similarly, Scherzer retired Josh Donaldson on a come-backer with two runners on in the sixth inning to preserve the 2–0 lead. On his final pitch of the evening, Scherzer again struck out Judge. He swung at a slider with runners on the corners. He held the Yankees hitless in seven at-bats with RISP.
Yankees Tie Score
After Scherzer departed the game, the Yankees breathed a sigh of relief, and tied the score. Lefty David Peterson walked lefty Anthony Rizzo on four pitches before Gleyber Torres deposited Peterson’s next pitch over the right-field wall, tying the game at 2–2. Seth Lugo relieved Peterson, and held the Yankees scoreless through the top of the ninth inning.
Mets Walk-Off Win
Wandy Peralta relieved Clay Holmes for the Yankees in the ninth inning, and surrendered a leadoff double to Eduardo Escobar. A sacrifice bunt by Nido and an infield hit by Brandon Nimmo placed runners on the corners for Marte. The Mets right fielder wasted little time, and lined a 1-0 pitch into left field for the walk-off 3–2 victory by the Mets. Lugo evened his record to 2–2 with the win, and Peralta dropped to 2–3.
Max Scherzer starred in this one, and the Mets soon hope to announce the return of Jacob deGrom. After the game, Showalter referred to Scherzer as a “Baseball player who happens to be a pitcher…a student of the game.” A playoff atmosphere fueled the traditional battle between the crosstown rivals.
LWOB asked Showalter if the off day on Thursday would benefit the team following the emotional two-game series. However, Showalter replied, “I would rather have, in a perfect world, the off days in August when you need them. There’s a reason why they call them the ‘dog days of August.’”
Next up for the Mets is a weekend series on the road against the Miami Marlins. The Subway Series resumes in the Bronx on August 22 and 23 and then perhaps, in the World Series.