Bronx, NY—On Wednesday, the scene of the Subway Series shifted to Yankee Stadium.
A third consecutive pitchers’ duel did not take place as the Mets batters very quickly realized they were in a different atmosphere than at pitching friendly Citi Field.
Yankees hurler David Phelps was only able to retire one of the eight batters he faced in the first inning. Three singles, a double, two walks and an error by third sacker Jayson Nix accounted for five runs and an early shower for Phelps. Reliever Preston Claiborne ended the carnage by retiring the next two batters.
Mets skipper Terry Collins told reporters of the importance of that inning for his club, “[There were] some great at bats in the first inning. That took a lot of heat off Hef[ner] and gave him a chance to pitch his game.”
The outcome was determined by the first eight batters in the game, but the game continued for eight more innings. Marlon Byrd hit a solo homer to right in the third. Lucas Duda doubled in two runs in the fourth, which gave the Mets an insurmountable 8-0 advantage.
Although each team registered 12 hits, in the final score the Mets were ahead by five runs, 9-4. The nine runs were the highest the Mets have scored in one game since April 12, when they scored 16.
The performances of several players were important to their immediate futures and to their teams’ success this season. The Mets had lost all nine of Jeremy Hefner’s starts this year. The native of Oklahoma recorded his first victory of 2012 by pitching six effective innings. He attributed the key to his success to “pitching effectively inside.” He expressed his excitement in starting at Yankee Stadium. “You watch the Yankees on TV wherever you live. Pitching here is cool.”
Ike Davis was another hero of the game who needed a strong showing to remain in the majors. In his previous 16 games, Davis was 4 for 53 for a batting average of .053 with 24 strikeouts. Davis knocked Phelps from the game with a two-run single. He also singled again later in the game.
Collins spoke with feeling and praise for the beleaguered first baseman, “You have to root for him. He’s a tremendous guy. To get him started is a huge boost. If he’s moving forward, we’ll be a better team.”
Yankees hurler Ivan Nova, after a month on the disabled list, made his second relief appearance since April of 2011. He pitched five innings, perhaps in preparation for a future start. Nova gave up one run in his final inning. He yielded only five hits and a walk while fanning six. His control was excellent as 46 of his 61 pitches were strikes. Yankee manager Joe Girardi remarked, “He threw the ball well tonight and that’s encouraging.”
The Mets will attempt to sweep the four games by starting Dillon Gee (2-6) on Thursday evening. The Yanks will attempt to stop the seep with rookie Vidal Nuño (1-1).