The Bombers used great pitching and timely feasting against the bullpen after Matt Harvey's departure to beat the Mets and win the Subway Series. The real story of this game was CC Sabathia, who looked like the CC of old for the second start in a row.
However, it didn't look like the game would go so well early on. The Yankees went down in order in the top of the first, with two strikeouts, and Sabathia allowed back-to-back doubles to Ruben Tejada and David Wright to start the bottom of the frame, giving the Mets a very early 1-0 lead. After two outs, Sabathia walked the next two batters, but recovered to end the inning on his 32nd pitch. Not great, but he limited the damage.
Sabathia completely settled down shortly thereafter. He sent the Mets down 1-2-3 in the second and third innings, and then pitched around two doubles–one by Michael Cuddyer and one by Yoenis Cespedes–in the fourth and fifth innings. After the Yankees took the lead with a dramatic rally in the sixth–more on that in a minute–CC came back out to finish off his night. He did so in great fashion, striking out the first two batters before allowing a two-out single. Sabathia had 105 pitches at that point but he was allowed to stay in to face Juan Lagares.
Lagares ran the count full before hitting a hard grounder up the middle that looked like it might get through, but Didi Gregorius made a nasty sliding play and fired to first to end the inning. CC's final line looked like this: six innings, five hits, three walks, seven strikeouts and one run. It was exactly what the Yankees needed from him, and he's done it for two straight big starts now.
The Yankees' big sixth inning rally was obviously the other main key to the game. The biggest thing that happened for the Yankees' offense was that Matt Harvey came out of the game for the Mets. Harvey, who is currently involved in a notorious innings limit controversy with the Mets and his agent, Scott Boras, got through five innings, allowing the Yankees only one hit, two walks and an error. They had only sniffed a run scoring chance in the third, when Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an error and stole second, then advanced to third on an infield single by Brett Gardner. Unfortunately, Beltran flew out to end the threat.
The sixth inning started with Hansel Robles on the hill for the Mets, but it would not end that way. Ellsbury reached on an infield single and went to third on a throwing error by Daniel Murphy. Gardner then tried to bunt him over to third, but ended up safe when Robles rushed his throw to third trying to cut down Ellsbury, and Wright dropped the ball. Beltran then came up and laced a line drive that ended up all the way to the wall after a bad route taken by Lagares in center, scoring both Ellsbury and Gardner.
After Brian McCann struck out, Beltran moved to third on a wild pitch, Greg Bird walked and Headley struck out, Dustin Ackley came up to play hero. Ackley crushed a 1-0 fastball over the fence in right-center, and the Yankees had a 5-1 lead. What a huge hit by a guy who looked like he might be a bust when he went on the DL immediately after coming over from the Mariners at the deadline. Those are the types of hits that win playoff series. Let's hope the Yankees get far enough for Ackley to do that in October. The Bombers weren't quite done, as Gregorius singled off new pitcher Sean Gilmartin, but CC lined out to end the inning after that.
The rest of the game went as expected. The Yankees tacked on a run in the seventh on an RBI walk by Headley and put the game to bed in the eighth. The inning started with a groundout by Didi and a walk to Alex Rodriguez, who was pinch-hitting for reliever Nick Rumbelow. Rico Noel pinch-ran for Alex, stole second, and scored on a single by Ellsbury to make it 8-1. After Gardner struck out, Beltran walked and McCann lined a single to left-center. The single scored Ellsbury, and Beltran went to third when Lagares booted it in center–the Mets' fourth error of the game. That brought up Bird, who crushed a three-run homer to left-center to give the Yankees an 11-1 lead. It was Bird's eighth home run of the year. Gosh, he's been good.
Chris Capuano allowed a run in the eighth, but the Yankees wrapped the victory up with ease the rest of the way, a as Nick Goody pitching a perfect ninth. It's not hard to stress the importance of this win, which was made all the bigger because of the Blue Jays' loss earlier in the day. The Yankees now sit just 2.5 games out of first place, with a chance to sweep their way into first place starting Monday in Toronto. Can't ask for much more than that.