So if you’re putting together a list of the wildest Mets moments in the history of the regular season Subway Series, Tuesday’s 6-3 win probably isn’t in, say, the Top 4 (which of course would be the Matt Franco walk-off, the David Wright walk-off, Carlos Delgado’s 9 RBI day, or Dave Mlicki’s complete game shutout to start off interleague play. But you could easily slot this win as games five, seven and nine on the list as we’re really talking about three different games here.
The first inning was the first game. Taijuan Walker gave up two home runs on consecutive pitches to Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo for a quick 2-0 New York (AL) lead. It had the makings of a long night for Walker, who thrives on the fastball and the splitter while the Yanks lay off good splitters and they hit fastballs a long way if they’re not located perfectly. Walker missed on two fastballs and they were lost. But the Mets had a big first inning, which shouldn’t surprise anyone anymore. Starling Marte slammed a homer off Jordan Montgomery, Pete Alonso tied the game with an RBI double, and Eduardo Escobar (who I still think has a monstrous offensive run in him) hit a two run dinger to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.
The second game was innings two through the top of the 8th, which was basically Walker and Adam Ottavino vs. the Yankees bullpen, who might have like 17 pitchers in it. They were bringing them out from behind the storage closet at Stan’s.) The Mets scored a run in the third when Josh Donaldson’s throw to first hit Francisco Lindor in the head (and unlike the rules of baseball in the 1800’s, that’s not an out.) But Lindor’s eyes got too big for his stomach when he tried to take third on an errant throw in the infield and got caught in a rundown for the third out. The Yankees then scored a run in the fourth as Escobar’s decision to try to get a force on Isiah Kiner-Falefa led to a safe call and then to a run on a fielder’s choice, but Walker navigated out of that by walking Aaron Judge with first base open and then getting Anthony Rizzo to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning. Walker then got through the sixth with no futher incident to complete another outing where he navigated a tough lineup and got out of it with another quality start. (He might have the best stuff of any pitcher who gets through his starts with “guile”.) While the Yankees’ pen was throwing zeroes, Buck Showalter had Adam Ottavino get five outs before bringing in Edwin Diaz to strike out Joey Gallo, who was pinch hitting for some reason, to end the 8th.
Then came the third game, which started in the bottom of the 8th. With runners on first and second with two outs, Albert Abreu threw a wild pitch to send the runners to second and third. Instead of being careful or outright walking Jeff McNeil with first base open, Aaron Boone let Abreu pitch straight up to McNeil. Abreu threw a cookie to McNeil who cranked it to the outfield for an RBI single to make it 6-3. It wasn’t the highest leverage play of the game, but it did give Diaz a little breathing room for the ninth, which he unexpectedly needed as he got Aaron Judge to tap right to him for what could have been a game ending double play. But what actually happened was something I didn’t have on my dance card:
Edwin Diaz? You OK?pic.twitter.com/JQmHLWL7Vw
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) July 27, 2022
But Diaz wouldn’t let this turn into an ending from 2019, because 2019 is long in the rear-view. He struck out Anthony Rizzo for the second out, and then did this to Gleyber Torres:
— The Amazin' Citi (@TheAmazinCiti) July 27, 2022
The best part about this win over the Yankees? It wasn’t what it did for the Mets in the standings (not much with the Braves winning.) It wasn’t what it did for “bragging rights” (three more games to go against them.) But it was the fact that this was a big win with an electric atmosphere, and it’s not the Mets’ f***ing World Series. For once, the Mets could sweep the Yankees and the prevailing throught will be “hey, that was very nice but we have a World Series to win”, which is all I’ve ever really wanted.
Today’s Hate List
Actually more of a hate list from the time I’ve missed with you, as I was in Boston for a few days. So let’s start there:
- The Red Sox. While we were in Boston, the Red Sox lost a game 28-5, and then lost the game we were at on Sunday by making roughly 57 errors and committing 104 defensive lapses, which included a relief pitcher covering first base and missing first base by about three feet. It was the kind of series that gets managers fired. While they probably woudn’t do that to Alex Cora, in this case it might be the kind of series that gets J.D. Martinez traded to the Mets.
- The Pirates. Also while I was away, the Mets acquired Daniel Vogelbach from the Bucs for the high and unexpected price of Colin Holderman. I talked myself from “Holderman was too much to give up” to “maybe Holderman is merely a product of Jeremy Hefner.” But in actuality, Billy Eppler was quoted as saying that they tried like hell to make this deal without Holderman, but the Bucs really, really wanted him. Okay, I could live with that. But why would the Bucs really want him if all they were going to do with him was send him to the freakin’ minors?
- ESPN. Pete Alonso hits a big three run HR against the Padres, and the producers at ESPN (I don’t even blame Karl Ravech anymore) decided to have the booth talk about Alonso in the framework of “he and Aaron Judge blah blah blah.” Yes, let’s find an excuse to start talking about Yankees during this Mets/Padres game so that we could segue it into a promo for Part 28 of “The Captain”. Speaking of which
- ESPN. Same game, and they actually get to their Jeter promo, which was all about the play where Roger Clemens hit Mike Piazza in the head, a play which had nothing to do with Derek Jeter. I mean, I’ve had enough of Jeter, but if you’re going to promo “The Captain”, then maybe include the Manchurian Shortstop in your tease instead of triggering Mets fans with that idiot Clemens.
- ESPN. This one was for the obsession with the pronunciation of “Canha”, which totally overshadowed what was a great “mic’d up” segment with Mark. All this interesting stuff that he supposedly talked about and the ESPN pups couldn’t do anything but wag their tails at an obvious (and hilarious) phishing attempt by Canha. And they fell for it because they’re in the business of overlooking the cool stuff and overemphasizing the … LOOK!!! SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!