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Game 79: Mets at Yankees

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YANKEES (42-36)
Cabrera CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Betemit 1B
Christian LF
Giese RHP

METS (38-39)
Reyes SS
Castillo 2B
Wright 3B
Beltran CF
Delgado DH
Nixon RF
Anderson LF
Tatis 1B
Schneider C
Pelfrey RHP

Dan Giese (1-2, 0.64) has never faced any of Mets hitters and Mike Pelfrey (4-6, 4.30) has never faced any of the Yankees.

Notes: Damon will play Game 2 in left. … Sounds like Hideki Matsui will go on the DL after Game 1 when Sidney Ponson is activated. … The Yankees dropped two games against the Mets ealier this season. They are 8-5 against the NL. … Robinson Cano is 14 of 33 in his last 10 games with eight RBI. He has gone from .217 to .241. … Derek Jeter has a 13-game hit streak (18 of 51). … Bobby Abreu is 6 of his last 13 with six RBI and two home runs.

UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: Here we are at Yankee Stadium. Muggy day, a little overcast but hopped up on Red Bull and ready to go. Keith Hernandez is standing 10 feet from me in the press box. I know Mets fans will hate this but I relate more to him as a Seinfeld character.

LaGuardia to the Stadium in 12 minutes. I suspect that will not be the case in a few hours.

In our unending mission to eat into your work day, there will be plenty of updates. The game starts in 25 minutes or so.

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: Here are a few facts about the Yankees-Mets series:

* The Yankees are 35-27 against the Mets since interleague play started in 1997. However the Yankees lead the series only 20-18 since 2002. The Yanks have not won the season series since 2003 when they swept all six games.

* Derek Jeter has played in all 62 games. He has hit .386 against the Mets with a .437 OBP and 26 RBI.

UPDATE, 2:03 p.m.: The Yankees and Mets have a combined payroll of roughly $350 million. The 20 players in the lineup today include Wilson Betemit, Justin Christian, Dan Giese, Trot Nixon (hitting sixth!), Marlon Anderson and Fernando Tatis.

UPDATE, 2:08 p.m.: OK, we’re underway here in the Boogie Down. It’s 79 degrees.

UPDATE, 2:16 p.m.: It’ll be interetsing to see how often the Mets test the arm (the shoulder, really) of Jorge Posada this weekend. No team has really run a lot on him since he came off the DL. That SB by Castillo gave them a run.

UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: Does anybody else find Melky Cabrera (.317 OBP) a curious choice to hit leadoff? I realize Damon can’t play both games on a sore foot. But Jeter? I’d even put Abreu there.

UPDATE, 2:31 p.m.: Big spot for the ‘stache.

UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: Even when breaking a bat, the ‘stache delivers. 1-1. That’s 45 RBI for The Big G.

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: If Giese stops walking batters, he’ll be fine. Love the tempo he works at. I was convinced when I left the Mets beat after 2005 that Jose Reyes would be a superstar. But his approach at the plate has not been refined.

UPDATE, 3:01 p.m.: This from the AP:

A New York City park will now be known as the Phil Rizzuto Park, in honor of the Yankees shortstop who died last year. Smokey Oval Park in Richmond Hill, Queens, was official renamed after Rizzuto on Friday. Park officials say “The Scooter” grew up in nearby Glendale, Queens, and played high school baseball in Richmond Hill. He died last August at the age of 89.

UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: Here’s what that double by Derek Jeter did (beyond get him to second base):

* It extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

* It extended his streak of reaching base safely (walk or hit) in inteerleague games to 40.

* It extended his hit streak against the Mets to 18 games.

* It was the 400th double of his career.

* It solved world hunger.

Quite a double. Imagine if he scores a run.

UPDATE, 3:02 p.m.: Our Jose Reyes Love is fading. You have to knock that ball down. It was scorched, but still.

UPDATE, 3:22 p.m.: Just a hunch but this game doesn’t end 3-2. This is based on our vast baseball knowledge.

UPDATE, 3:24 p.m. Beltran is a heck of an outfielder. Great arm, great routes to the ball. Knows his stuff. But he has always played too deep. He should have put that ball away.

UPDATE, 3:27 p.m.: That is four cheap hits for the Yankees. But they all count. Giese needs to not anybody this inning.

UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: The Yankees got to bed at 2:30 a.m. and the Mets had the day off. But the Mets look like the tired team.

UPDATE, 3:53 p.m.: The Yankees are 4 for 14 with RISP in four innings. 14 ABs with RISP in four innings? That they’re only up 4-3 is a bad sign.

Meanwhile, Sam Borden asked me to pass along his thanks for your generosity. He also mentioned it over on the Face Off blog. [2]

UPDATE, 3:59 p.m.: Interesting spot to put Edwar Ramirez in. The magic changeup could induce some bad swings because the Mets haven’t seen much of him. Or he could hang a pitch and it’ll be 7-4 Mets.

Dan Giese is who he is and expecting him to be more than that is silly. But you can’t walk Jose Reyes up by a run after you got him twice. Throw strikes, let him get himself out.

UPDATE, 4:05 p.m.: The fascination some people have with Ramirez has always puzzled me. His changeup is lethal but his other pitches, including his fastball, are below average. He will strike out minor-league hitters in bunches but a major-league hitter who watches enough tape can figure him out pretty quickly.

Over the long term, he’s simply not a high-leverage reliever. This season has gone just like last season, he was good and then the tapes caught up to him.

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: When your relievers make the Ghost Of Carlos Delgado look good, it’s time to get new relievers.

J.B. Cox, David Robertson, come on down. You’re the next contestants.

The Mets have scored 29 (and counting) runs against the Yankees in three games.

It’s not real complicated. Of the seven Mets who have walked, five have scored. Meanwhile the Yankees are 4 for 15 with RISP.

This could be a very long weekend for the pinstripes. Sidney Ponson?

UPDATE, 4:53 p.m.: Alex Rodriguez, ladies and gentleman. Where was that when they needed it in the fourth inning? We kid A-Rod because we love him so.

UPDATE, 5:29 p.m.: Carlos Delgado has nine RBI. He had 35 over the first 75 games of the season. That’s an all-time Mets record, by the way. Don’t you worry, Sidney Ponson will make it all better.

UPDATE, 5:39 p.m.: Just because the Yankees are losing doesn’t mean it’s now time to curse liberally in your comments. I just deleted 25 comments from the spam filter that contained assorted obscene words. Eleven were from the same person. Hopefully that person does not live in your neighborhood.

I know this doesn’t apply to 99 percent of you. But for the one percent it does, please think twice before posting if you’re not smart enough to write something without obscene words.

As for others on the ledge, it’s one game and they were under .500 at the break last season. You can’t make it 162 one-game seasons. The schedule is beating them here as much as the Mets are.

Well that and you can’t expect to win many games when you run Dan Giese, Edwar Ramirez and Ross Ohlendorf out there.

UPDATE, 5:50 p.m.: Andy Phillips hitting for the Mets? This isn’t right.