You should generally be thrilled when any starter gives your teams six innings with just one run allowed. You should be especially happy when that starter does so after struggling in his previous couple starts.
James Paxton gave the Yankees a solid outing against the Mets on Tuesday. His performance should have been enough for any team to get the win. That did not quite happen tonight, thanks to a combination of the offense doing next to nothing for the final seven innings, as well as a bullpen collapse. Those two factors allowed the Mets to pick up a 4-2 win over the Yankees.
The Yankees got on the board in the second inning thanks to one RBI from an expected source and one from a very unexpected source. After Didi Gregorius and Edwin Encarnacion led off the second with singles, Gleyber Torres opened the game’s scoring with a single to score Gregorius. Two batters later, James Paxton was due up in the pitcher’s spot. As is normal for a pitcher in that spot, he laid down a bunt. Thanks to the placement and some smart baserunning, Encarnacion was able to score once the throw went to first. It was Paxton’s first ever RBI.
After five shutout innings, the Mets finally got to Paxton in the sixth. J.D Davis led off the frame with a solo home run off the Yankees’ starter, cutting the lead in half. Paxton ended up getting into and out of a jam the following inning, which would be the end of his day. His recent slump started against the Mets, and while it remains to be seen what he does after this, it would be a nice way to bookend things if this was the restart of him pitching well. It wasn’t a flawless outing, as in his six innings he allowed eight hits and two walks. On the other hand, he drove in as many runs as he allowed.
Tommy Kahnle threw a scoreless inning in relief of Paxton, but Adam Ottavino couldn’t do the same in the eighth. Thanks to a DJ LeMahieu throwing error that was probably more the fault of Encarnacion over at first base, Pete Alonso reached to start the inning. Davis then struck again, doubling to tie the game. An intentional walk and a single then loaded the bases and caused Aaron Boone to go back to the bullpen and bring in Zack Britton. On the very first pitch Britton threw, Michael Conforto doubled, plating two runs, and giving the Mets the lead.
That left the Yankees with just one inning to try and turn things around. They brought the tying run to the plate on after Gregorius reached on an infield single, but that was all they would get. Edwin Diaz retired the next three hitters to seal a Mets win.
If the Yankees come out tomorrow and play well, maybe we can give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, the team did just make two trans-Atlantic flights in the space of a few days. If they drop another one to a Mets team in dissaray, this two-game Subway Series will feel like a missed opportunity.