Friday, May 21, 2010

Javy Drives the Train

photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

The Yankees took the first game of the current version of the interleague Subway Series with a pair of unexpected contributions. The Yankees topped the Mets 2-1 at Citi Field behind six top notch innings from Javier Vazquez and a 2-run double from rookie Kevin Russo.

Vazquez was beyond good (some would say Jella Good), allowing just one hit, a 5th inning single by Angel Pagan before exiting with an injury. Yes, yet another Yankees injury. This one doesn't seem to be too bad though according to Vazquez himself. Just before laying down his second successful sac bunt of the night, the Yankees hurler took a pitch off his finger as he bunted foul. Bleeding and swelling ensued and Vazquez's night was done.

Vazquez wasn't the only one having trouble with the bat though. The Yankees couldn't solve Mets starter Hisanori Takahashi all night. The left-hander scattered five hits and a walk over six innings and struck out five. He struck out Derek Jeter and got Brett Gardner to ground to strand two runners in scoring position in the third inning.

The Yankees put two more in scoring position in the 4th, but Takahashi struck out Nick Swisher and retired Francisco Cervelli on a fly out. The Yankees finally got on the board in the 7th with the help of the Mets bullpen and their defense.

Swisher led off the frame with a single off Elmer Dessens and Cervelli followed with a potential double play grounder to Alex Cora at second base. Playing in place of Luis Castillo, who had the disastrous drop in last year's Subway Series, Cora cleanly fielded Cervelli's bouncer, but threw the ball well out of the reach of shortstop Jose Reyes. Both runners moved into scoring position and Russo, who had picked up his first major league hit earlier in the game, brought them home with a double into the right field corner.

Joba Chamberlain retired all five men he faced, three by strike out, to set up the bridge to Mariano Rivera. The Yankees closer was on the verge of an easy 1-2-3 inning, but Jason Bay doubled on a 2-strike, 2-out to keep the Mets alive and Ike Davis followed with a double of his own to get the Mets on the scoreboard. But Rivera bounced back, retiring David Wright on a first pitch ground out to preseve the win and end the Yankees three game losing streak.

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