Given the complete pitching meltdown we witnessed only hours prior, it was easy to feel worried the Yankees could get swept in the doubleheader and drop below .500. Thankfully, a clutch Gio Urshela home run and gritty pitching performances by Nestor Cortes and Chad Green salvaged a victory.
Cortes got things started on the right foot, working a clean top of the first which included strikeouts of Brandon Nimmo and Dominic Smith. DJ LeMahieu led off the bottom half with a single, but looked to be erased on an Aaron Judge double play. However, the first-base umpire called Judge safe and the Mets didn’t challenge despite replays showing Judge clearly out. Ultimately it didn’t matter, with Gary Sánchez flying out and Giancarlo Stanton grounding out to end the inning.
Cortes worked around a one-out single by James McCann in the second to log a second scoreless inning. Just like in the first game, the Yankees put up a crooked number in the bottom of the second. Luke Voit led off with a double and moved to third on a Rougned Odor drag bunt single. Urshela then tomahawked an 0-2 elevated fastball into the first few rows in right. The 95.6-mph liner traveled 346 feet over the short porch to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
Dom Smith knocked Cortes out of the game with a one-out double in the top of the fourth. Darren O’Day came in and promptly surrendered a home run to Pete Alonso — his second of the doubleheader — to reduce the Yankees’ lead to 3-2. He then walked McCann and Conforto, threatening to squander what remained of his team’s advantage, but escaped the jam with a big strikeout of Jonathan Villar.
Oswalt retired the next nine Yankees he faced, so it was a welcome sight to see Aaron Loup replace him in relief in the fifth. He issued one-out walks to Gardner and LeMahieu, who each moved up a base on a Judge groundout. Gardner scored on a wild pitch to Sánchez to make it 4-2, but that was all the Yankees would scratch in the inning as Gary struck out swinging.
After throwing only two pitches in the first game, Chad Green was fresh enough to pitch in this one and did a heck of a job. His fastball was the fastest it’s been since the middle of June, and his curveball command was on point. In fact, they even called him back out for the seventh to close it out, and all he did was strike out the side to secure the win. In total, he pitched three perfect innings racking up six strikeouts. Really makes you wonder why he wasn’t left in to close out game one.
So the Yankees continue to tread water, barely keeping their heads above the surface. They split the subway series doubleheader, maintaining the one game over .500 record they had entering the day. They get the day off tomorrow before flying to Seattle for a three-game set against the Mariners.