New York Mets: Ivan Nova

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, Mets 3

June, 23, 2012

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WHAT IT MEANS: Little Jerry Seinfeld may be the chicken, but it was the Mets who laid an egg in the seventh inning as the Yankees rallied to win 4-3 on Saturday before a Citi Field-record crowd of 42,122.

Chris Young had breezed through six innings, blanking the Yankees while allowing only two hits. Things then unraveled quickly.

With the Mets leading 3-0 thanks to an RBI single by Young that chased Ivan Nova the previous half-inning, Young walked Mark Teixeira to open the seventh.

Nick Swisher followed by sending a sinking line drive to right field. Lucas Duda initially stepped backward. He changed direction too late. Not only did the catchable ball drop in front of Duda, it also skipped by the novice right fielder. Swisher was credited with a double.

Raul Ibañez then sent the next pitch over the right-field wall for a three-run homer that evened the score.

That ended Young's night, but not the Yankees' surge. Two batters later, Eric Chavez delivered his first career pinch-hit homer, against Jon Rauch, as the Yankees grabbed a 4-3 lead.

Rauch suffered his seventh defeat, which moved him even with Houston's Fernando Rodriguez for the most losses in the majors.

ON STRIKES: A pair of strikeouts in the seventh, then two more in the eighth, undermined a Mets comeback bid.

Jordany Valdespin had a leadoff double in the seventh and reached third on a groundout, but southpaw Boone Logan entered and consecutively struck out Duda and Daniel Murphy as the opportunity to even the score at 4 went for naught.

The Mets placed two runners on base with one out in the eighth against David Robertson, but pinch hitter Justin Turner and Kirk Nieuwenhuis consecutively struck out.

THE SCORE: The Mets had owned a 3-0 lead. They opened the scoring in the third when Nieuwenhuis tucked a homer inside the left-field foul pole. An inning later, Alex Rodriguez’s error on Scott Hairston’s leadoff grounder to third base led to an unearned run and two-run lead. Hairston advanced to third on Omar Quintanilla’s double and scored on Josh Thole’s groundout. (Derek Jeter, like A-Rod, committed an error in the game.) Young’s RBI single in the sixth made it 3-0 after a two-out intentional walk to the No. 8 hitter Thole had placed runners at the corners.

WHAT'S NEXT: R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.00 ERA) takes a streak of 42 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run into Sunday night's ESPN-televised game opposite CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.55). The Mets' franchise record for consecutive innings without allowing an earned run is within Dickey's reach -- 49 by Dwight Gooden in 1985.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 5, Mets 1

July, 1, 2011

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WHAT IT MEANS: Since exploding for a franchise-record 52 runs in a four-game stretch, the Mets have mustered a combined three runs in a pair of losses. The Amazin’s slipped back to .500 with Friday’s Subway Series defeat before a Citi Field-record crowd of 42,020.

ON A CURVE: Jon Niese surrendered consecutive hits to Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira to open the game -- Teixeira’s an opposite-field two-run double to right field. Robinson Cano capped the three-run first inning with an RBI double.

Niese then held the Yankees off the scoreboard through the sixth, recording several strikeouts looking with big-breaking curveballs. That included pinch-hitter Jorge Posada looking with the bases loaded for the second out of the sixth. Niese then escaped that jam when he retired Swisher on a groundball to Justin Turner at third base.

The Yankees actually should have scored earlier in the sixth. Preceding Posada’s at-bat, Eduardo Nunez blooped a single narrowly over Jose Reyes and into the shallow outfield. However, a confused Cano held at third base, where he began the play.

Niese was making his first start since a rapid heartbeat on the mound at Texas last Saturday prompted a battery of exams at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on Tuesday. His final line: 6 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Niese threw 101 pitches (69 strikes).

CLOSE CALL: Hours after Alex Rodriguez called Reyes the “world’s greatest player,” they were involved in a critical seventh-inning play at third base. Reyes tagged to second on Turner’s deep fly ball to center, and advanced toward third when the shortstop Nunez had the relay throw bounce away from him. Reyes eventually was ruled out at third by plate umpire Jerry Layne, who had to cover on the ump rotation. However, A-Rod appeared to have missed the tag. Reyes, then third base coach Chip Hale and Terry Collins argued.

Collins was ejected for the second time this season. He also was tossed April 21 against Houston.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Ivan Nova struck out Angel Pagan with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning as the Mets’ remained in a 3-1 hole.

E-3: Daniel Murphy failed to catch a throw from Reyes to open the eighth on Russell Martin’s grounder. Martin then scored to give the Yankees a three-run cushion on Nunez’s career-high fourth hit of the game.

ON A ROLL: Martin slid hard and late into Ruben Tejada at second base while attempting to prevent a double play in the sixth. Tejada produced the Mets’ lone run, on a second-inning RBI single.

K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez did not appear and remained at 30 games finished. He is on pace for 59 games finished, four more than the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (8-1, 3.32) opposes Yankees right-hander Bartolo Colon (5-3, 3.10), who comes off the disabled list for the start. First pitch: 4:10 p.m.

What2Watch4: Mets vs Yankees (Sunday)

May, 22, 2011
Who will win the first round of the Subway Series? We'll know in about six hours. A few notes to chew on until then:

Mike Pelfrey Matchup to Watch

Mike Pelfrey’s biggest battle may not be with his opponents, but instead with what is typically a hitter-friendly ballpark. Pelfrey has had success in a few hitter-friendly venues, most notably Coors Field, but has struggled in Citizens Bank Park (9.38 ERA in seven starts), Chase Field (9.68 ERA in four starts), and Great American Ball Park (5.50 ERA in three starts) among other venues.

Ivan Nova Matchup To Watch

A telling stat on Ivan Nova is found in his splits page on Opponents are hitting .239 against him with 15 extra-base hits in the first 50 pitches of an appearances. For his next 25 pitches, opponents are hitting .346 with 12 extra-base hits. So watch Nova once he gets about midway through his start.

Jeter Watch

Derek Jeter now has 2,973 hits, including 28 hits in his last 24 games. Our friends at have been pointing to the June 15-17 series against the Rangers as the time that Jeter will reach 3,000 hits.

He’s on pace to do so right around that time. But if Jeter wants to ensure he reaches the mark at Yankee Stadium, he might want to pick up the pace a bit. Following that Rangers series, the Yankees have a six-game interleague road trip against the Cubs and Reds.

Jeter is 1-for-6 career against Pelfrey. Jeter could break the Yankees steals record if he gets on base. Pelfrey has yielded seven steals in eight attempts in 2011.

Justin Time

Mets rookie Justin Turner has driven in a run in seven straight games. But that’s not that rare. A Met has had seven straight games with an RBI on 21 occasions.

But the list dwindles down to nine instances when you list times that a Mets hitter drove in a run in eight straight games. The last to do it did so in nearly identical stretches: Carlos Delgado (June 5-14, 2006) and Carlos Beltran (June 7-15, 2006).

The Mets record is 15 straight by Mike Piazza in 2000, the second-longest streak since RBI became an official stat in 1920. Ray Grimes (1922 Cubs) holds the major league record with 17 straight that season.

Looking Ahead

When the series finale (again, for a series of three games or longer) is held in the Bronx, the Yankees are 10-1, and have won the last nine (cap-tip to ex-ESPN researcher Mark Kelly for correcting our initial note). The lone Mets win was in 1999.



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187