(Russell the Muscle. Courtesy of The AP)
A little lefty-on-lefty action to finish out the Subway Series. Andy Pettite vs. Jonathon Niese. The Yankees loaded up their lineup with the usual "vs. lefty" suspects to try to get to Niese, while the Mets took a different approach and loaded up on no-name bums like Mike Nickeas and Jordany Valdespin in their lineup. There was also a guy named Vinny Rottino in there, who I assume was somebody they found out in the parking lot selling bootleg t-shirts before the game. An added bonus, for me at least, was that the game was televised on TBS, so the Game Notes are a little longer than usual.
- Andy needed just 7 pitches to work through the 1st, but got gave up a cheap RBI single to Vinny Rottino in the 2nd to give the Mets the early 1-0 lead.
- That should've been just a blip on the radar, but a combination of poor command by Andy, questionable calls by the home plate ump, a botched potential DP ball by Cano, and some downright lucky BIP placement by the Mets' hitters turned it into a 3-0 lead before Andy K'd Bay and Wright to end the inning.
- The offense looked like they were in business after A-Rod walked and Cano singled to start the bottom of the 2nd, but Nick Swisher inexplicably squared to bunt on the first pitch from Niese and bunted it right back to him to force A-Rod out at third. Naturally, Niese finished off the inning with 2 Ks.
- Andy settled down after the 2nd and held the Mets scoreless through 6. His fastball command wasn't there, so he threw a lot more curves and sliders, but he was still effective. He even got a couple of pickoff outs and made a slick bare-handed play to get an out in the 6th.
- The offense, however, was just putrid. They put the leadoff runner on in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th innings, and managed to plate nothing. Jon Niese pitched well, but the lineup didn't do anything with the pitches he did give them to hit, grounding into 2 DPs.
- After Swish grounded into another DP to erase another leadoff baserunner in the 7th, Russell Martin capitalized on a David Wright error with a 2-run Yankee Stadium Right Field Special HR to make it 3-2. The ball literally could not have been hit any shorter for a HR, but they all look the same in the box score, right?
- The offense did nothing most of the day, and did almost nothing in the 8th when they took the lead. Jeter's grounder should have been scored an error, C-Grand blooped a single to left, Teix hit a weak grounder through the middle, and A-Rod popped one up to spot in right where nobody could get to it and it was 4-3 Yanks.
- After all of that, of course Rafael Soriano was going to come in and blow the save. Throwing fastball after fastball over the middle of plate usually leads to that. Throw some blame Curtis' way too for a terrible read on Lucas Duda's leadoff double.
- It didn't take long for Soriano to get picked up. Martin, obviously trying to prove that he can hit a real HR, hit a high, deep shot to left on a 3-2 fastball from Jon Rauch for the Yankees' first walk-off HR win of the season. What a game.
- Martin: 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K, 2 LOB. Duh. Dude hit the HR to set up the comeback and then hit the walk-off game winner.
- Pettitte: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Remove a couple pitches and have Robbie make that double play turn, and Andy is probably looking at 6 scoreless innings. It was a shame that his barehand Web Gem ended his day prematurely. Hopefully there aren't any lingering effects.
- Swish: 0-4, 6 LOB. That bunt in the 2nd was one of the worst baseball plays I've seen in a while. The timing of it, the situation in which he was trying to do it, and the execution were all beyond horrific, and the fact that he's a middle-of-the-order hitter leading the team in RBIs makes it even worse.
- Derek Jeter: 2-4, 1 R, 1 LOB. The box score says he had 2 hits, but make no mistake, Jeter is struggling right now. One of the hits was a weak dribble to third that he beat out, and the last hit should have been an error. Jeter hit all 4 balls into the ground and appears to have lost the fluidity in his swing. He's reaching at everything right now and not hitting the ball with any authority.
The interleague fun doesn't stop yet, as the Yankees travel south of the Mason-Dixon line to take on the Atlanta Braves. As far as I know, the Braves still haven't recovered from the ass-whoopings the Yanks put on them back in the late 90s-early 2000s , so it will be fun to give them and their fans a little reminder of those good old days. Ivan Nova is back on the mound after his stellar outing last week.