By Joe Rini
The New York Mets edged the New York Yankees 4-3 in ten innings on Wednesday before a sellout crowd of 44,121 at Citi Field. Good pitching and timely hitting by the Mets powered the come-from-behind win and helped them overcome a few costly physical and mental miscues that had them trailing 3-1 in the seventh inning. For instance, three innings after Brandon Nimmo’s base running lapse short-circuited a Mets rally, he delivered the game-winning double in the tenth inning. The Mets’ win gave them a split of this two-game series against their neighbors from the Bronx.
Mets Edge Yankees
Rival starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Gerritt Cole each allowed only one run in six innings and kept the game scoreless until the fifth inning. Francisco Lindor’s leadoff double broke up Cole’s budding perfect game in the fifth inning. After advancing to third on a fly ball out, Cole struck out Brett Baty. However, Tommy Pham delivered the clutch two-out RBI double to right center and the Mets led 1-0.
The Yankees wasted no time tying the score in the top of the sixth inning. Jose Trevino doubled down the left field line leading off the inning and advanced to third base on a flyout to right field. Jake Bauers, who saw 19 pitches in his first two hitless at-bats, only needed to see five in his third at-bat to tie the score. He delivered a single to right over the drawn-in infield, tying the game at one run apiece. Verlander limited the damage by inducing a 543 inning-ending double play on his 107th and final pitch of the night.
A Wild Seventh Inning
The Mets edging the Yankees seemed unlikely in the top of the seventh inning. A combination of physical and mental errors by the Mets in the top of the seventh gave the lead to the Yankees. Reliever Jeff Brigham walked Josh Donaldson and hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch to put runners on first and second. One out later, the Yankees capitalized on a Mets error. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a soft grounder to Lindor who flipped it to Jeff McNeil at second for the force play. However, McNeil’s throw to first skipped past Mark Vientos scoring Donaldson from second base and the Yankees led 2-1.
Brooks Raley relieved Brigham but Kiner-Falefa subsequently stole the show. He started by stealing second and advancing to third base on Francisco Alvarez’s errant throw into center field. As Raley peered intently to face Billy McKinney at the plate, he didn’t notice Kiner-Falefa streaking home. By the time he did, his throw to Alvarez came closer to hitting McKinney than throwing out Kiner-Falelfa. He stole home, the Yankees stole a run and led 3-1.
The Comeback Begins as Mets Edge Yankees
The Mets edged the Yankees by picking themselves up from the ashes of the top of the seventh. In the seventh, the Mets loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Alvarez, Pham, and a walk to Vientos against reliever Jimmy Cordero. Ron Marinaccio relieved him and proceeded to hit Nimmo to force in their second run. Starling Marte lined a hard single to left scoring the tying run. However, Nimmo failed to notice that Vientos was held up at third base and was thrown out trying to claw his way back to second base.
The respective bullpens kept the game tied at 3-3 at the end of nine innings and extra innings followed. Mets reliever Dominic Leone retired Donaldson with two on in the top of the tenth setting up the Mets to win it. Nimmo’s one-out double off the base of the wall in right-center against Nick Ramirez scored the ghost runner Eduardo Escobar, and the Mets had the 4-3 victory. Leone raised his record to 1-2 with the Mets’ victory while Albert Abreu’s record dropped to 2-2 with the loss.
LWOB Question to Buck Showalter
Before the Mets edged the Yankees, LWOB asked Buck Showalter about the emotional impact of recent losses where the Mets squandered leads. He said, “That’s a good question and I think about it. I try to think I’m ‘half-full’ without being blind to something obvious. Our guys have responded very well to those things.”
Showalter said, “It’s just a phase of the game we can’t quite finish off. It’s very frustrating for them” because they’re working hard. However, he said, “The game doesn’t always cooperate with you. There are good players on the other side.” He doesn’t see the team “getting bogged down in ‘woe is me,” but added you have to look at things that are “self-inflicted.” Perhaps this win is a first step forward for the Mets.