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Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, Mets 0

By Danny Knobler

NEW YORK -- Sandy Alderson described this one as David versus Goliath.

"One guy's never lost, the other guy's never pitched," the New York Mets general manager said Wednesday afternoon. "We'll see how many rocks Raffy has."

Not enough.

The guy who's "never lost" -- New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka -- still hasn't. He was outstanding, again, in a 4-0 Yankees win Wednesday night at Citi Field.

Raffy -- Mets debut starter Rafael Montero -- couldn't keep up. Most wouldn't have.

The Mets mustered just four hits against Tanaka, never advanced a runner to third base and advanced only two runners as far as second base. After scoring 21 runs in two days at Yankee Stadium, they were shut out for the fifth time this season.

Don't blame the ballpark, not on this night. On this night, Goliath was just too tough to tame.

Decent debut: While it wasn't a dream major league debut for Montero, it certainly wasn't bad. He went six innings and gave up three runs on five hits, but his defense cost him one of them. Montero allowed solo home runs to Yangervis Solarte and Mark Teixeira.

Montero came to the big leagues with a reputation as a "strike-thrower," as manager Terry Collins said repeatedly over the last week. And while he found himself in plenty of deep counts early -- he needed 69 pitches to get through three innings -- Montero was still able to make it through six.

E-Why?: Eric Young Jr. has given the Mets plenty of early leads, but on Wednesday he gave them an early deficit. With two out, a runner on first base and the pitcher on deck, Brian Roberts hit a sinking line drive to left. Young made an ill-advised attempt at a diving catch, and when he missed the ball (by quite a ways), Roberts ended up with a triple and the Yankees ended up with a 1-0 lead.

0-for-the record: When Montero struck out in the third inning against Tanaka, it left Mets pitchers 0-for-64 at the plate this season. According to research by Elias Sports Bureau, the only pitching staff that had a longer 0-fer in a single season was the 1914 Cleveland Indians, who went 0-for-92.

Tanaka did get his first big league hit, an eighth-inning single off Jose Valverde. It was the eighth hit the Mets have allowed to an opposing pitcher this season.

Shift-beaters: The Yankees shift more than any team but the Houston Astros, and the Mets tried to take advantage -- with their legs. Daniel Murphy stole second base in the first inning while Tanaka held the ball and the Yankee infielders moved around. Chris Young tried to steal second in the fifth, but Tanaka threw him out at second base.

Subway Series buzz?: The Mets announced their third-largest Citi Field attendance of the season: 35,577. They announced more on Opening Day (42,442) and on the first Friday night of the season (35,845).

What's next: For the second night in a row, the Mets will have a starting pitcher making his major-league debut, when Jacob deGrom faces the Yankees in the Subway Series finale. The difference Thursday is that the Yankees will also have a debut starter, in 24-year-old Chase Whitley. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.