Saturday, July 2, 2011

1st Inning, Umps Do In Mets

The Yankees-Mets Subway Series is not what it once was. The media tries to create a buzz and the fans still want to see the opponent beaten to a pulp, but there's not the tension there was earlier in the decade.

That doesn't mean there can't be a tightly contested game that is not without it's controversy. Case in point, last night's meeting between the two teams that resulted in a 5-1 Yankees win. It was just a 3-1 Yankees lead in the 7th inning when Alex Rodriguez pulled off an Oscar worthy performance and umpire Jerry Layne possibly changed the course of events. Mets shortsop Jose Reyes singled off Corey Wade to start the inning and advanced to second on a deep fly out by Justin Turner. When the ball got away from relay man Eduardo Nunez, Reyes broke for third and appeared to beat Nunez's throw to Rodriguez.

But Layne, who had run up the line from home plate, was blocked out by Rodriguez on the play. The Yankees third baseman made a swipe tag and sold it to Layne, who called Reyes out. The only problem was Rodriguez's tag attempt never reached Reyes. The Mets shortstop and third base coach Chip Hale immediately went after Layne, and manager Terry Collins was ejected as he joined the fray.

Instead of a man on third and less than two outs, the Mets had two out and none on and were done. Josh Thole reached on a one out single off Hector Noesi in the 9th prompting Joe Girardi to immediately call on (translation-overreact) Mariano Rivera in a non-save situation to close things out for the Yankees 16th win in 20 games.

As has been customary of late, the Yankees put runs together in the 1st inning. Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson started the game with back to back singles against starter Jon Niese, and both scored on Mark Teixeira's double to right. Niese finally retired Rodriguez for the first out, but Robinson Cano drilled a double to left for a 3-0 Yankes lead.

Ivan Nova wasn't particulary sharp, but made some big pitches when he needed to. Reyes and Turner began the bottom of the 1st with singles, but Nova got Carlos Beltran to pop out and Dan Murphy to bounce into an inning ending DP. The Mets did get their lone run an inning later on three straight singles by Jason Bay, Ronny Paulino, and Ruben Tejada, but stranded two runners when Niese struck out and Reyes bounced out.

In Nova's 5th and final inning, he retired the first two hitters, but gave up back to back singles to Beltran and Turner and walked Murphy to load the bases. But the right-hander, who won his 8th game, struck out Angel Pagan to escape the threat.


Alex Rodriguez made a spectacular throw, Jeterian like, when he backhanded a well hit ball and leapt to throw the runner out at first. But he thanked Mark Teixeira after the game for saving him from throwing errors on scoops made my the Gold Glove 1st baseman.

As expected, Derek Jeter will play tonight and tomorrow for the Trenton Thunder. GM Brian Cashman said Jeter will not play the full nine innings this evening.

Bartolo Colon will be activated to start this afternoon's game with Hector Noesi the likely candidate to be sent to the minors. UPDATE 3:40 pm: so much for rumors..Brian Gordon, not Noesi, was sent to Scranton to make room for Colon.

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