Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Mets 12, Yankees 7
By Danny Knobler
NEW YORK -- Did Yankee Stadium wake up the New York Mets, or did they wake themselves up?
There's no doubt that something has changed, that a Mets team that just days ago couldn't score and couldn't win suddenly couldn't stop scoring the past two nights. The revival, if it is that, continued in force Tuesday in a 12-7 Subway Series win over the New York Yankees.
We already know that the Subway Series can bring out the best in the Mets. This was their sixth straight win over the Yankees, dating back to last season's four-game sweep.
We also know that Yankee Stadium is a welcome sight for hitters, especially hitters accustomed to dealing with Citi Field.
But the way the Mets have hit the past two nights has been remarkable. They scored nine runs Monday, with four home runs. They hit two more home runs Tuesday (another one by Curtis Granderson, and one by Daniel Murphy), and reached double digits for just the second time this season.
That’s two straight games in the Bronx in which the Mets scored at least nine.
They've scored nine or more in two of their past 99 home games at Citi Field.
So is it Yankee Stadium? The Mets could argue that maybe it's not. They could argue that their revival began with the big ninth-inning comeback Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.
No matter what, they don't look like the same desperate team that lost five straight games and couldn't buy a big hit as recently as Saturday night.
Zack doesn't attack: Mets manager Terry Collins spoke confidently Tuesday afternoon about how Zack Wheeler would do on perhaps the biggest stage the 23-year-old right-hander has seen yet.
"It's really going to be fun to watch this kid," he said.
No, it wasn't.
The Mets scored 11 runs while Wheeler was in the game, and he still couldn't get the 15 outs he needed to qualify for a win. Collins allowed Wheeler to throw a career-high 118 pitches to try to get him there, but he couldn't.
Wheeler walked a career-high six batters, and went to a three-ball count on 11 of the 24 batters he faced. The Yankees swung and missed at just four of those 118 pitches.
As far back as pitch counts are available (about 25 years), only four pitchers threw more pitches than Wheeler in a game in which they pitched 4 1/3 innings or fewer. The four: Joe Magrane (124 with the 1994 Angels), Livan Hernandez (121 with the 2010 Nationals), Darren Oliver (121 with the 1999 Cardinals) and Pat Combs (120 with the 1991 Phillies).
Grand return: Granderson has hit one home run this season at Citi Field. He has two home runs at Yankee Stadium.
Granderson has played in 19 games at Citi Field. He has played in two at Yankee Stadium.
Granderson ended the night Tuesday with a single, a home run, two walks and three RBIs. He ended the two games in the Bronx with four hits in eight at-bats and five RBIs.
Unless both of these teams make it to the World Series, Granderson won't see Yankee Stadium again until next season.
The Wright numbers: David Wright's run-scoring single in the first inning gave him 900 career RBIs. He's the 20th active player with 900. Wright also has an 11-game hitting streak. It's the 14th time in his career he has had a streak that long (his longest was 26 games, although that stretched over two seasons).
Wright had three hits Tuesday.
Ruben's revival: Ruben Tejada lost his starting shortstop job Friday when the Mets called up Wilmer Flores. Tejada got another chance when Flores got sick and couldn't play Sunday.
Now Tejada has played in three straight games and had a hit in all three. He had a hit and a walk and scored two runs Tuesday.
What's next: Right-hander Rafael Montero makes his major league debut Wednesday, as the Subway Series shifts to Citi Field for a 7:10 p.m. ET start. Masahiro Tanaka (5-0, 2.57) starts for the Yankees.