Its time for the Mets-Yankees Subway Series — back-to-back two-game home-and-home series. They began at Citi Field Monday night with a pitchers duel between Jonathon Niese and Phil Hughes. Neither factored in the decision, as they were both gone when the Mets won the game in the bottom of the eighth.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning when Brett Gardner led off with a fly ball down the line in short left field. Lucas Duda butchered the play, diving at the last second when the ball was still out of his reach. It got past him and Gardner raced to third with a triple. Jayson Nix drove him home with a single to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
With two outs in the sixth and a man on, Daniel Murphy launched a Hughes offering to deep center. Gardner raced back and jumped, his glove going over the wall to snag it and take a two-run homer away from Murphy and the lead away from the Mets.
Niese pitched his way out of a second and third with two outs jam in the seventh, and then was done for the night. He allowed the one run on eight hits, with four strikeouts and one walk.
David Wright tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a moon shot that landed in the seats in left field. Wright now has seven home runs on the season. He earlier tripled as well.
Hughes was done after the seventh inning as well, allowing one run on just four hits (two of them by Niese). He struck out six Mets and didn’t walk anyone.
Then it was in the hands of the bullpens. Brandon Lyon pitched a scoreless eighth for the Mets.
David Robertson allowed a ground rule double to Mike Baxter with one out in his half of the eighth. Pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin waked. A passed ball advanced the runners to second and third. That brought the infield in and Ruben Tejada hit a slow grounder to Robinson Cano. Cano made a nice throw to nail Baxter at the plate for the second out. Murphy then came through with a single to center to score Valdespin to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Wright was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Boone Logan came on to face Lucas Duda, but of course Duda struck out to end the inning.
Then it was up to Bobby Parnell to protect the 2-1 lead. He struck out David Adams, but walked Ichiro to put the potential trying run on first base. Parnell struck out Lyle Overbay for the second out. Pinch hitter Travis Hafner was next, and he popped out to Wright (with shades of Luis Castillo!) to end the game.
Mets draw first blood in the Mets-Yankees Subway Series.