Marte RBI Walk-Off Hit Sweeps The Yankees In The Subway Series By Rich Coutinho, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com
For the New York Mets they sent a message to the Yankees and the city plus the rest of the baseball world–they play second fiddle to nobody in this sport. And sweeping the Yankees in a 2-game series at CitiField illustrated that this team can beat you in a myriad of ways.
On this night, the Mets got a solo home run from Pete Alonso and an RBI hit from Francisco Lindor giving Max Scherzer a 2-0 lead which he protected with seven shutout innings. David Peterson took the mound in the 8th inning, and he surrendered a game-tying Gleyber Torres 2 run homer before Seth Lugo got the Mets out of the inning by striking out Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks.
Lugo also pitched the top of the ninth inning inducing Aaron Judge to hit into a force out ending an awful night fo the Yankee star who went 0 for 5 striking out 3 times leaving 5 men on base as the Met pitchers used sliders and curve balls to get him out all night.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets got a leadoff double from Eduardo Escobar and then Starling Marte strode to the plate with runners on the corners and one out. He smacked a game winning single as both Escobar and Marte once again beat the Yankees with big hits as they had done the night before.
It sent the Met portion of the CitiField crowd home flying high as the Mets swept the 2-game series from the Yankees with another 2-game series scheduled next month in the Bronx. It also sent a clear message to the baseball world that the best team may reside in New York but not in the borough most of the experts thought it resided in because the Yankees got beat in these 2 games in every conceivable fashion giving the Bronx Bombers a 2-5 record since the All-Star break.
More than that, this series proved the Yankees have had a great year thus far, but the Mets have that special sauce brewing because the team chemistry that exists in the clubhouse gets them through tough moments. And as great as the Yankee record may be, the Mets only have 4 more losses than the Bronx Bombers and now have a 3-game lead over the Braves (4 in the loss column) which is the largest lead in the division for them since July 7th which means despite the hot play of the Braves the Mets have kept the division lead, they possessed in early July taking 2 weeks or so off the schedule.
I have written about this all year–the resilience of this team is priceless because it manifests itself during most games. We saw it in this series whether it was an early deficit or some late inning drama taking a 2-0 lead and squandering it but somehow, they get it done. That is why they sit at 24 games over 500 and own a record versus NL East opponents of 28-12 which breeds success and has allowed them to reside in the NL East penthouse all season.
And they sent a stern message to the New York media that if they think the Yankees will steamroll into a championship journey-think again. Because the Mets have a star-studded roster and could even add to that group by the trade deadline, they have every intention of making the journey as well. They really do not have a weakness–they score runs, prevent runs and send pitchers to the mound that put zeros on the scoreboard night after night.
And they carve out a game plan that leaves no stone unturned and we saw that the last 2 nights. Now there is still a long way to go with tons of head-to-head games left with the Braves. But the baseball world saw what this team can do. Starting pitchers tossed 13 innings of three-run ball and despite a first inning homer in Game 1 from Aaron Judge, they handled his high-octane bat very well striking him out on numerous occasions in run producing situations.
Meanwhile, Pete Alonso reached base in 6 of his 8 plate appearances driving in a run each night to further his major league leading RBI numbers. And two of their players they obtained in the off-season–Starling Marte and Eduardo Escobar–got huge hits each night with Max Scherzer dominating a Yankee lineup that most pitchers have fallen victim to this season.
I admit it is only 2 games on the schedule but all I heard the past few months is how the Braves and Yankees would manhandle the Mets. and this team recently went 4-1 in the 5 games they tackled these two opponents. And that is without Jacob deGrom throwing a pitch in the big leagues yet this season.
That will be changing shortly as deGrom is slated to return early next week which might make the opponents this team will face feel even more uncomfortable when they play the Mets. And in the last two nights, the Mets transformed themselves from the hunters to the hunted when it comes to New York baseball. If anyone owns this town, it is the Mets and I can’t say I am surprised even though most of the baseball world appears to be shocked. If they have been watching the Mets all year, they should not be shocked. It merely validates how great this Met team is right now and with the addition of deGrom it could become an even bigger gap between the 2 New York area baseball teams.