Mets Game 71: Win Over Yankees
Mets 6 Yankees 4
Mets get a taste of victory against the Yankees — and the flavor is just like chicken.
Mets Game Notes
For the second consecutive start against them, Andy Pettitte struggled early. In a 33-pitch first frame, Pettitte couldn’t locate his curve, couldn’t locate his change-up, and struggled with his cutter. As a result, the patient Mets sat back and either walked or beat up on his fastball. Even Mike Nickeas and Jonathon Niese rapped clean base hits (back to back) in that initial inning.
Meanwhile, Niese had his own struggles early as well, but hung tough with runners on base and prevented the Yankees from scoring. I like his toughness, but I don’t like his gradually lowering arm angle. He threw several pitches from a sidearm slot and many more at an angle between sidearm and three-quarters — too low to get any kind of good downward movement on pitches, particularly the curveball. His low arm angle is a red flag: is there something wrong with his shoulder?
The crushing blow of the game came in that fateful first, when Ike Davis lifted a Pettitte pitch off of Nick Swisher‘s glove and into the right field seats. If Davis is still available in your fantasy league, pick him up — he’s finally red-hot.
In contrast, Robinson Cano looks really off. He was defensive on pitches when ahead on the count, behind most fastballs, and beaten / fooled by high heat above the strike zone. Well, except for that two-run bomb against Miguel Batista.
Speaking of Batista, he had his usual mediocre stuff but was keeping the Yanks off-balance by mixing speeds and mixing tempo. He varied the time he took between pitches sporadically and significantly, and I truly believe that by itself was throwing off the Bronx Bombers’ timing. There were times during the Cano at-bat that Batista paused uncomfortably long, and there were a few “quick pitches” delivered to other hitters. When you have ordinary stuff, you need to be as wily as possible.
I was surprised that Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t have a pinch-runner for Raul Ibanez on first base in the ninth with one out and Frank Francisco — who never throws to 1B — on the mound. Further, I was surprised that Ibanez wasn’t stealing second to eliminate the double play. I can sort of understand why there wasn’t a pinch-runner — it was a tight game that could go into extras, in which case Girardi needed all of his bodies. But it’s stunning to me that everyone in baseball knows that Francisco cannot and will not throw to 1B, yet no one takes advantage by stealing on him blind.