The capper to the Mets v Yanks series was a laugher early, and a tense heart in your throat affair late, but in the end, it was the Mets that earned the early bragging rights that color the Empire State building blue and orange.
It was 2 outs in the 9th, go ahead run at the plate in the form of Alex Rodriguez, and a not too sharp Frankie Rodriguez on the hill.
On this night, Frankie got the better of his crosstown opponent and future Hall of Famer, striking him out on a 3-2 pitch that sent the Citi Field faithful into a full throat roar.
The big strikeout preserved a 6-4 victory for Johan Santana and the New York Mets against the New York Yankees on Sunday night.
"I really enjoy that situation," Francisco Rodriguez said. "That's what I get paid for. Not to make the fans suffer like that, but to get the job done."Early on it was the Mets bats that brought the fans to their feet. Jason Bay hit two big homeruns off a very hittable CC Sabathia, part of 10 hits the Mets got off the rotund wonder of the Bronx.
"Kind of like a big exhale," Bay said. "Hopefully, it's not a novelty anymore."Bay finished 2 for 2 with a walk and a HBP (accidental) that the ump incorrectly thought had a purpose. He warned both benches, which pissed off Joe Girardi and made Jerry Manuel laugh.
Alex Cora had a key at-bat in this game, hitting a two-run single to key a four-run second. Ike Davis had two hits, and David Wright drove in a run while adding two more K's to his 2010 stats line.
Johan Santana improved his record to 4-2 on the year with a really great performance. He was locating his pitches beautifully and had the really good changeup that left Yankee after Yankee shaking their head--in their eyes the pitch looked so hittable, but they were not up to the challenge, at least not on this night.
Santana allowed only six hits and one run in 7 2/3 innings while striking out five.
The game became extremely tense in both the 8th and 9th innings as the Yankees gamely tried to come back. Pedro Feliciano came on in the 8th with the bases loaded and two outs and retired Robinson Cano to keep the Mets ahead.
It seemed as if that rally killing out should have taken the wind out of the Yanks sails, but the Yankees, to their credit, had one more rally left.
Ryota Igarashi, fresh off his rehab work and back with the Mets, had an awful 9th inning. He allowed three hits and a walk before giving way to Frankie Rodriguez.
Frankie was not sharp either, and the always tough Derek Jeter greeted K-Rod with a clutch at-bat that resulted in a run-scoring double. David Wright then made a tremendous play on a slow grounder to third by the speedy Brett Gardner. It was bang-bang, but the ESPN replays showed the umps got it right, though an argumentative Joe Girardi disagreed.
2 outs, 9th inning...hearts in throats with Mark Teixeira up with a chance to tie the game.
Tex hit a high chopper for an infield single, and the tension was ratcheted up even more.
2 outs, 9th inning, ARod at the plate as the go ahead run.
And that's how it ended after a long tight, full count at-bat--Frankie got K, the Mets won, and they crept a bit closer to the Phillies, who lost to the Red Sox.
The Mets are now 5 games back, with an off-day, and the Phillies in town for three beginning Tuesday.
Enjoy your coffee!
|N.Y. Yankees (26-18)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||3||4||10||1|
|N.Y. Mets (22-23) «||0||4||0||0||2||0||0||0||x||6||11||0|
Player of the Game