Game 52: Yankees vs. Mets • 05.29.13
1. Brett Gardner CF
2. Robinson Cano 2B
3. Travis Hafner DH
4. Lyle Overbay 1B
5. Brennan Boesch RF
6. Ichiro Suzuki LF
7. Jayson Nix 3B
8. Reid Brignac SS
9. Chris Stewart C
David Phelps RHP
1. Ruben Tejada SS
2. Daniel Murphy 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Lucas Duda DH
5. John Buck C
6. Rick Ankiel CF
7. Marlon Byrd RF
8. Ike Davis 1B
9. Mike Baxter LF
Jeremy Hefner RHP
Umpires: Bill Welke HP, Adrian Johnson 1B, Fieldin Culbreth 2B, Brian O’Nora 3B
TV/Radio: YES/WCBS 880
Weather: Partly cloudy, comfortable
Streaking: The Yankees are on their first three-game losing streak of the season. The Mets are on their second three-game winning streak.
Update, 7:10: Two batters in, and the Mets are up 1-0. Tejada, apparently under threat to wake up or be sent to Vegas (Ike Davis, too) breaks 0-for-12 skid with leadoff single and Murphy drives RBI double to right-center.
Update, 7:17: Buck RBI single, 2-0. This is like an offensive explosion for this team.
Update, 7:23: Nix error at third, 3-0. Claiborne warming up.
Update, 7:25: Ike Davis two-run single. Phelps KO’d after one-third of an inning, 5-0 Mets. Claiborne comes on.
Update, 7:46: Hefner gives up a broken-bat single to Cano in the first and that’s it. The Mets are 0-9 in Hefner’s starts, 0-10 in games in which he has appeared.
Update, 7:52: Claiborne good as usual so far, five up, five down.
Update, 8:05: Stewart goes down looking to strand runners at the corners, 5-0 after two. Adam Warren is on.
Update, 8:13: Byrd solo homer, 6-0 Mets after 2 1/2.
Update, 8:17: 1-2-3 third for Hefner.
Update, 8:30: Mets up 8-0 on Duda’s two-run double in the fourth.
Update, 8:39: Boesch HR No. 3, 8-1.
Update, 8:43: Nova on for the fifth.
Update, 8:52: Nova strands two. Wonder who will go to make room for Pettitte. Nova? Warren?
Update, 9:00: 1-2-3 fifth for Hefner, one run, five hits for the Yankees so far.
Update, 9:04: Nova has a good inning, 1-2-3, vs. Murphy, Wright and Duda.
Update, 9:11: Single, double, infield hit, 8-2. Hawkins warming for the Mets.
Update, 9:13: Ichiro pops out. Rice joins Hawkins in bullpen.
Update, 9:15: Nix RBI single, 8-3.
Update, 9:24: Three scoreless innings for Nova.
Update, 9:27: Hefner is done, Scott Rice is on for the seventh.
Update, 9:35: Rice was sharp, three up, three down.
Update, 9:43: Four scoreless for Nova. Something positive is coming out of this game.
Update, 9:46: Hawkins comes on with Ichiro at second and two outs in the eighth. Attendance: 43,681.
Update, 9:51: Nix grounds out after a bobble by the shaky Tejada.
Update, 10:20: Yankees lose 9-4.
Yankees vs. Dickey • 06.24.12
It will be interesting to see how the homer-happy Yankees hit against the knuckleball belonging to the hottest pitcher in baseball. The Mets’ R.A. Dickey comes into the Subway Series finale tonight with his streak of two straight one-hitters. He’s 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA.
The 37-year-old righty owns a 0.18 ERA over his last six starts, fanning 63 and walking just five across 48 2/3 innings. He hasn’t allowed an earned run the last 42 2/3, just 6 1/3 shy of Dwight Gooden’s franchise record. Dickey has fanned 25 over his last two starts. He’s 6-0 with a 1.20 ERA in seven starts at Citi Field.
So what’s the strategy for the Yankees in their bid to hit that knuckler? Aim for the high ones.
“It has to be up,” Mark Teixeira said. “Whether it dances left or right, it’s going to be down most of the time at the end. So you have to make it up in the zone.
“Maybe take a little bit more of an uppercut swing. Because if you try to take too level of a swing against something that’s going straight down at the end, it’s going to be tough to hit.”
The switch-hitting Teixeira does something different against Dickey than what he did against now-retired Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
“I hit righty almost always against Wakefield,” Teixeira said. “But he was a different pitcher. R.A. throws that knuckleball a lot harder. He can mix in his fastball. And I don’t have Fenway. That’s one of the other reasons I hit right-handed against Wakefield because you hit an average fly ball in Fenway, it’s a double or a home run. But against R.A., I’ve always batted left-handed.”
Teixeira can remember when Dickey wasn’t a knuckleballer. Once upon a time, they were teammates in Texas.
“I’m so happy for R.A.,” Teixeira said. “We were rookies together (in 2003). He was a conventional pitcher, fastball, curveball, slider, change. … I think he was in the middle of, ‘OK, do I need to get better or am I not going to have a spot?’ So … they had him work with Charlie Hough the whole offseason. R.A. was very dedicated to the knuckleball. That’s a big leap of faith. I mean, a guy whose entire life has been as a conventional pitcher, to start throwing a knuckleball, he might have been close to 30 at the time, that’s a tough thing to do. He took his lumps early on. Unfortunately he got designated by the Rangers, and he’s made an unbelievable comeback.”
Yankees pregame: Challenges ahead • 06.23.12
The Yankees will see Chris Young tonight in this second game of the second Subway Series, a guy doesn’t throw particularly hard but stands particularly tall.
“He’s so big that seeing the ball off a guy like that is a bit of a challenge,” Mark Teixeira said about the former Princeton basketball player, ready for his fourth start since coming back from shoulder surgery. “You don’t see 6-10 pitchers that often.”
It will be two challenges in two nights against the Mets because knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will start against them tomorrow night, riding a streak of two one-hitters.
“You don’t see a lot of knuckleballs,” said Teixeira, a former teammate of Dickey as well as Young. “The only guys I’ve really faced are (Tim) Wakefield and Steve Sparks maybe one time early in my career. When it’s on, it’s almost an unhittable pitch. I think R.A. has shown the past couple of years how good he can be. His last two starts, two straight one-hitters is unimaginable in today’s game.”
The Mets will have to try to deal with Ivan Nova tonight, going for an AL-high 10 wins.
“I think he’s pitched inside more effectively,” Joe Girardi said. “I think his fastball has been more consistent. You’re going to run into times when you don’t have your best stuff. But this is the guy we saw last year and who pitched so well for us. And I think he’s even pitching better at times than he did last year.”
Despite all their runners-in-scoring-position trouble, Terry Collins had high praise for the Yankees’ lineup.
“Personnel-wise and name-wise, this is the best lineup I’ve seen from a Yankees team,” Collins said, “… You can’t make mistakes. You have to be able to keep your concentration. … You’re looking at an infield, possibly everyone’s going to the Hall of Fame. Oh man. You show me another team that can do that.”
Reliever Tim Byrdak brought a live chicken into the Mets’ clubhouse yesterday after Frank Francisco called the Yankees “chickens,” which brings us to a story.
“When I was with the Yankees, Jimmy Key took Wade Boggs wild turkey hunting, and they didn’t get any,” Girardi said. “Boggsie was complaining the next day. So the following day, Jimmy Key brought in a frozen turkey and put it in his locker and screamed at him, ‘Here’s your turkey.’
“As far as practical jokes, Ryne Sandberg was a practical joker. He used to light your shoes on fire all the time. He would put things against your door in your hotel room and knock on your door and you’d have whatever, garbage cans spill all over you. But I thought that was pretty clever what Jimmy Key did.”
Same story for the Yankees, different day. Their RISP work is a problem again.
They live and die with the homer. Two solo homers and one two-run shot weren’t enough. They showed up an AL-least .218 with runners in scoring position and then went 0 for 4 in that category in the 6-4 loss to the Mets, blowing two-out opportunities in the first and second against Jon Niese and then a first-and-second, one-out opportunity against Frank Francisco in the ninth.
“You keep putting them on, eventually it’s going to change,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s all I can tell you. We are who we are. There are basketball clubs that are built around 3-point shooting and when they don’t make their 3s, they don’t win. We’re a home-run hitting club. If we hit two- and three-run homers, we usually win games.”
It didn’t help that Andy Pettitte dropped the Yankees into a 5-0 hole in the first, the most runs he had allowed in that inning since 2001.