Mets Blank Yanks in Subway Series Opener

Bronx, NY —Hisanori Takahashi, in his first start at the current Yankee Stadium, continued his streak of holding the Yankees scoreless. The Japanese born hurler made his first start of the season on May 21 against the Yanks at Citi Field. He led them scoreless for six innings, surrendering five hits and one walk. He duplicated that feat on Friday night. He hurled six innings of scoreless ball, giving up only four hits, all singles, and two walks.

Mets skipper Jerry Manuel spoke with respect of the 35 year-old starter, “To see him get through six innings with that very good lineup was very impressive. He looked liked he’d never flinch.” Yankees manager Joe Girardi saw no differences between the two shutout performances of Takahashi, “I thought he was pretty similar to the last time.”

Catcher Rod Barajas, who was behind the plate the entire game, assessed the importance of Takahashi in the rotation, “He’s shown us that he can handle any situation. He’s an unbelievable asset for us to have.” Takahashi raised his won/loss mark to 6-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.13.

Javier Vazquez, the Yankees starter, continued his mastery of the cross-town rivals, but received the loss. Vazquez threw seven innings for the fourth consecutive game. The only run off Vazquez came in the first. David Wright smacked a two-out double to left and crossed the plate after a single to right by first baseman Ike (son of former Yankees reliever Ron) Davis. The hit was the first Vazquez had given up to a left-handed batter the previous 30 lefty at bats. In 13 innings against the Mets this season, Vazquez has only surrendered four hits and two earned runs.

Vazquez, who was much maligned early in the season, has pitched very effectively in seven of his last eight appearances. In his last four starts, Vazquez has pitched 28 innings and only given up seven earned runs and 14 base hits.

Both clubs are having excellent seasons are in the running for spots in the playoffs. The Mets victory was its eighth straight. The team only trails Atlanta by a half game in the National League East. The Mets and Padres, with records of 39-28, are tied for the N.L. Wild Card spot. Angel Pagan, who with a two-run double in the eighth gave his team breathing room, spoke with great enthusiasm of his club, “We believe in team. There’s no doubt we believe in the talent. We have right now. Everybody’s pumped. Everybody is doing their job. We’re playing great baseball, so what else can you ask for? It’s fun when you win.

The Yanks are tied for first place in the American League East with the best record in the majors. When asked about the three consecutive losses, Girardi replied, “We’re not hitting right now. The last three days, we haven’t swung the bat pretty well. You can’t jump off a bridge. This is a long season. We’re tied for first with a 41-26 record.” The pitching duels may very well continue on Saturday and Sunday. Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey, with identical 9-1 marks, go on Saturday. Aces of the staffs, CC Sabathia and Johan Santana meet on Sunday afternoon.

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