Anyone who watched tonight’s game after last weekend’s London Series might be suffering from whiplash. Just two days after playing a two-game set in England that saw 50 total runs scored, the Yankees came back stateside and immediately found themselves locked in a something of a pitchers’ duel. James Paxton and Zack Wheeler put forth strong starts, but the Yankees’ bullpen faltered while the Mets relief corps carried the game to the finish line in a 4-2 loss.
Winner of the Game
This wasn’t James Paxton’s greatest start, but it might have been his best since returning from the IL. He didn’t have his best stuff, losing the strike zone at times and striking out just three, but he managed six strong innings thanks to good pitching and defense at opportune times. Paxton escaped a few jams, and benefited from a pair of timely double plays from Michael Conforto. We’re still waiting to see the Paxton that dominated the Red Sox earlier this year to the tune of eight shutout and 12 strikeouts, but this was a clear step in the right direction.
Honorable mention: Gleyber Torres was responsible for one of the Yankees’ two runs, and also for this gorgeous play that got Paxton out of the second inning:
Loser of the Game
The bullpen didn’t do its job today. Tasked with holding a 2-1 lead, Tommy Kahnle worked a scoreless seventh, but Adam Ottavino had his worst outing of the year. Ottavino allowed a game-tying double to the second batter he faced and left the bases loaded for Zack Britton, who yielded a crushing two-run double to Conforto, giving the Mets a lead that Edwin Diaz wouldn’t relinquish in the ninth. The Yankees’ relief corps can’t be perfect every night, but it’s still disheartening when the team’s uber unit can’t quite hold it together in a close game.