This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was. Sonny Gray pitched well, and the Yankees got to Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom. This should have been an easy win. The ninth inning, however, struck again. Thankfully this time it turned out in the Bombers’ favor, as the Yankees beat the Mets by a score of 5 - 4.
The Yankees struck first in the third inning. Ronald Torreyes got things started with a leadoff double. He actually tripped and fell along the first baseline, but recovered and made it to second base in time. It wasn’t pretty, but the extra base came up big. That’s because he moved to third base on a Brett Gardner sacrifice bunt. He scored on a RBI single off the bat of Aaron Hicks, giving the Bombers a 1 - 0 lead. An Aaron Judge double play ended the inning, but that run off deGrom set the stage for more to come.
Chase Headley worked a two-out walk in the bottom of the fourth inning. That brought Jacoby Ellsbury to the plate. The center fielder has struggled since returning from the disabled list, so it seemed like deGrom would escape the inning unscathed. Instead, he left a two-seam fastball low and inside. Ellsbury golfed the pitch out for a two-run shot. That extended the Yankees’ lead to 3 - 0.
In the sixth inning, Gary Sanchez continued his impressive run of hot hitting. He launched a flat changeup into the left field seats. Take a look at where deGrom left that pitch:
Make that mistake to Sanchez and he will punish you. That was his 21st home run on the season. It’s August, so look out everyone. I’ve heard that’s Kraken season.
Give deGrom credit for hanging in there until the bitter end. He pitched into the eighth inning, where the Yankees tagged him for another run. Judge led off with a double before advancing to third on a Didi Gregorius single. Sanchez then ripped a long sacrifice fly to center field that flirted with going out for another home run. Juan Lagares made a spectacular catch rob the Kraken. Nonetheless, it drove in another run and forced deGrom from the game.
He finished the night having allowed five runs across 7.1 innings. He allowed nine hits and struck out just two. When the night began, I thought runs would come at a premium. The Yankees decided otherwise, which is fine by me.
As for Gray, his Yankee Stadium debut was delightful. He kept pace with deGrom in the early innings, despite finding himself in trouble in the fourth inning. After retiring the first batter, he allowed an infield single to Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets left fielder flew down the line to beat out the throw. Gray then walked Michael Conforto to put two on with one out. He escaped the jam, however, thanks to a well-timed pop up and ground out.
The only damage he allowed came in the seventh inning. After walking Wilmer Flores, he surrendered a two-run home run to Dominic Smith. Gray left a two-seam fastball up and out over the plate. Smith worked a full extension and tapped it out to left field. That was an impressive at-bat for the rookie, one that put the Mets on the board.
All together, Gray allowed two runs over six innings with five strikeouts. He walked just two batters. He looked better than his pitching line suggests, too. His slider appeared unhittable. This was a top-notch outing for the new Yankees right-hander. Here’s to many more.
For the most part, the Yankees bullpen looked awfully impressive. Tommy Kahnle finished off the seventh inning before Dellin Betances took on the eight. Betances worked into a little trouble, allowing Cespendes to reach second on a walk and a wild pitch. He ultimately rung up Conforto with a 100 mph heater to escape the inning.
Then, for the third time in less than a week, Aroldis Chapman happened. With a three run lead and a clean ninth inning, it looked like the Yankees could rest easy with Chapman on the mound. Of course it couldn’t be that easy. After striking out Flores, the Yankees closer allowed a single to Jose Reyes. Amed Rosario then took Chapman deep to bring the Mets within one. A Lagares groundball ended the game, but it appeared that Chapman may have injured himself on the play. Stay tuned for updates and exhale.
Citi Field hosts game three of the Subway Series. It will be Jaime Garcia versus Robert Gsellman. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM and you can watch on ESPN or YES.