About Last Night: Mets Top Yankees
by Cary Greene
July 27, 2022
● Winning Pitcher: Taijuan Walker (8-2, 2.67 ERA) 6 IP/ 7 H, 3 ER / 3 K, 1 BB / 101-66 PC-ST (65% Strikes)
● Losing Pitcher: Jordan Montgomery (3-3, 3.50 ERA) 2.1 IP/ 5 H, 4 ER / 3 K, 1 BB / 71-51 PC-ST (72% Strikes)
● Yankee Home Runs: Aaron Judge (38th, 1-run HR off Walker in 1st-inning), Anthony Rizzo (23rd, 1-run HR off Walker in 1st-inning)
● Yankees batters lead the Majors with 167 HR this season
● The Yankees' +198 run differential is still the best in the Majors
○ Isiah Kiner-Falefa now owns a 13 game hitting streak. He’s batting .319 with 2runs, 3 doubles, 10 RBI during the streak!
○ Aaron Hicks, who went 2-3 last night, is now hitting .333/.448/.574 (19- for-57) with 12 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 13 walks and 2 stolen bases in his last 19 games since 6/29.
○ The Yankees 4-5-6 hitters, Gleyber Torres, Matt Carpenter, Josh Donaldson were 0-11 last night. That’s not going to get the job done. Wherefore art thou Giancarlo Stanton, winner of the 2022 All-Star game MVP “Crystal Bat?”
The Big Story:
The Yankees opened the scoring early last night, with two sluggers hitting opposite field home runs. After DJ LeMahieu tapped out to Mets' starter Taijuan Walker to lead off the game, Yankees MVP Aaron Judge tomahawked an 112.1 mph opposite field shot to right field that traveled 423 feet. It was a “Judgian Blast” to open the scoring! It was Judge’s 38th home run of his amazing season. The crowd was as loud as you will hear a baseball crowd be, Citi Field was erupting with electricity!
Then, Yankee first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who was homerless in his last 14-games, took a first-pitch sinker from Walker deep to left field and out and the crowd reached a thunderously loud din. Many of the Mets faithful were stunned, but Yankee fans were jumping out of their seats.
In the bottom of the first-inning, the Mets decided to attempt to set a new crowd noise record. Starling Marte led off with a solo shot to make it 2-1 Yankees. Francisco Lindor then doubled and Pete Alonso promptly doubled him home to tie the score at 2-2 as Yankee starter Jordan Montgomery began to labor.
Eduardo Escobar then put the hammer down on a Montgomery 2-seamer, crushing his 12th home run of the season to left field to provide a resounding answer to the way the Yankees opened the game.
Montgomery threw 33-pitches in order to get out of the inning, but he rebounded with an 11-pitch second inning, with the score still 4-2 Mets. Then, in the Yankees' half of the third-inning, Anthony Rizzo got on with a two-out single and Gleyber Torres was then hit by a Taijuan Walker fastball. That brought Yankees right fielder Matt Carpenter to the plate. Unfortunately, Walker got him to foul-tip a cutter to Met’s catcher Tomás Nido to end the inning.
The Mets added a run in the bottom of the third after a Starling Marte double, Josh Donaldson committed an E5 on a throw that was up the line towards home plate on the first base side of the bag that wound up hitting a sprinting Lindor. The ball caromed into right field and Marte scored easily on the play.
With runners on first and second and only one out, Yankee manager Aaron Boone gave Montgomery the hook, in favor of freshly activated righty Ron Marinaccio. Montgomery stared back in anger at Boone, clearly not feeling he should have been taken out.
In the top of the fourth, the Yankees only picked up a single run despite loading the bases with one-out for DJ LeMahieu, making the score at that point Mets 5 - Yankees 3.
In the top of the seventh-inning, the Yankees ran themselves out of a chance to inch closer to the Mets on the scoreboard. Anthony Rizzo, who was hit by a bounding Adam Ottavino pitch previously, was thrown out on a gutsy double-steal by Aaron Boone. Given how long Ottavino holds the ball, I thought Boone’s call was a good one.
The Yankees were then shut down by lights-out Mets closer Edwin Diaz late and the Mets scored a run in the eighth to give them a nice cushion. Their 6-3 lead held up. Diaz earned the save with an electric 4 punch-outs in just 1.1-innings of work.
Player of the Game:
Eduardo Escobar really was the difference last night as his two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning gave the Mets a resounding 4-2 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.
● Ron Marinaccio looked great last night. His fastball was his out-pitch and he was pounding the zone with it. In the bottom of the fourth, he struck out Brandon Nimmo with the heater. The pitch is set up by Marinaccio’s ridiculously improved change-up that he is able to also throw for well located strikes.
● Taijuan Walker’s splitter was unhittable last night and he used it to his benefit all night, deploying it as his put-out pitch. Yankee hitters just couldn’t get near it and often, the pitch was well out of the zone. Walker gave the Mets what the Yankees needed out of Jordan Montgomery. He pitched resiliently through six-innings. It was quite a performance!
● Jonathan Loaisiga’s stuff continues to look terrific but he’s still giving up too many hits per-inning. He flashed 99mph last night in a scoreless fifth-inning.
● Albert Abreu came right at left-handed pinch-hitter Dan Vogelbach and dispatched him with a 3-pitch strikeout in the bottom of the eighth-inning - this after back-to-back singles by Lindor and Alonso. Abreu’s fastball topped out last night at 100.8 mph. After striking out “the Vogelmort,” Abreu also punched out Eduardo Escobar before allowing another single, this time to Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil. The results weren’t there for Abreu but to Matt Blake’s credit and given the depleted state of the Yankees bullpen, the Yankees are at least attempting to use Abreu in ways that can best impact games. The Yankees may have something here.
● Edwin Diaz is just an amazing player. His entrance song alone earns him a “Notable” for last night, but he was topping out at 100.4 mph last night. A tick slower than the Yankees Albert Abreu.
Better to Forget:
● Jordan Montgomery’s 33-pitch first inning in which he gave away the 2-0 lead Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo had staked him to, allowing the Mets to unbelievably take a 4-0 lead. He seemed to be in search mode all night, trying to figure out which pitches he could use to finish hitters when he was ahead in the count. He never did find his rhythm and though he threw 71% of his pitches for strikes, he was hit hard by the Mets last night.
David Cone said the first-inning felt like a boxing match between Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler and I have to agree. The back and forth action was some of the best baseball of the 2022 season! Granted, the Yankees came out of the inning with the short end of the stick, but it was some pretty special drama between two teams that clearly weren’t backing down.
When Boone gave Montgomery the hook in the third-inning, I thought it was well deserved. Switch-hitting Eduardo Escobar, who had homered off Montgomery earlier, doesn’t have good splits against right-handers, and Boone clearly wanted to spin Escobar around and make him face a tough righty reliever. Given that “Monty” hasn’t been pitching well of late, Boone kind of sent a message - one that quickly worked too as he quickly got an unusual fly out/assist double play as Lindor was surprisingly caught on the basepaths.
The bottom of the third tightrope act by Marinaccio set up what was really the pivotal moment of the game. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out for DJ LeMahieu in the top of the fourth-inning and hit an RBI ground-out to third base. The Mets worked around Aaron Judge, which brought Anthony Rizzo to the plate to face Walker. Mets pitching coach Jeremeny Hefner came out to talk to Walker and simmer him down at that point - the gravity of the spot was huge.
Rizzo showed a great eye working the count to 3-0 before Rizzo flew out to deep left-center. A hit there and it would have been a ballgame, but Walker escaped the inning only while only allowing a single-run.
Aaron Boone’s use of the bullpen was really good last night. He deployed Marinaccio as mentioned above and then he went to Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman to pitch the bottom of the seventh. Given the off day on Monday, Boone’s moves were outstanding and he brought the guns he had to bear. Buck Showalter has proven he’s a superb manager and this offseason, I was actually in favor of the Yankees making a managerial change in order to employ Showalter.
Last night, both managers held their own. While I love Showalter’s preparedness and in-game-experience, Boone is growing into a very good manager who pushes a lot of the right buttons. However, Showalter had his closer, Edwin Diaz up and ready to go in the eighth-inning and he was able to counter Aaron Boone’s late game attempt to slip Joey Gallo into a favorable matchup against Adam Ottavino by seamlessly inserting Diaz into the game. Advantage Mets!
Game Two of the Subway Series at Citi Field between the Mets and Yankees tonight at 7:10 pm will see the Yankees hand the ball to Domingo Germán (0-1, 15.00 ERA) while the Mets have Max Scherzer (6-2, 2.28).Tomorrows AccuWeather Forecast calls for air-temps to be a balmy 81 degrees and skies will be cloudy.
The 29-year-old Germán will be starting on extended five days' rest, having last started in Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader at Houston, recording the loss after allowing 5ER over 3.0IP (6H, 1BB, 2K, 2HR, 1HP). Prior to Germán’s start on Thursday, he was reinstated from the 60-day injured list and had missed the first 93 games of the season with right shoulder impingement syndrome.
Over five seasons with the Yankees, Germán has gone 24-17 with a 4.63 ERA and 373 strikeouts in 78 games (57 starts). He was signed by the Yankees as a minor league free agent in December of 2015 and was originally acquired by the Yankees from the Miami Marlins along with RHP Nathan Eovaldi and INF Garrett Jones in exchange for RHP David Phelps and INF Martín Prado in December of 20214.