How significant was the win for the Yankees Monday night at Citi Field? Probably just a momentum builder it was against the crosstown rival Mets, and who cares about momentum at this point because the Yankees became sellers and not buyers for the first time in a long time.
And the Mets, further away from first place than the Yankees need the momentum as they became the buyers at the non-waiver trade deadline. The reinforcements for the Mets don’t arrive until Tuesday night at Citi Field, and they could of used reacquired pitcher Jonathon Niese and their new outfielder Jay Bruce.
It was a situation of Mets GM Sandy Alderson doing it again, like last year at the deadline when Yoenis Cespedes was the big catch. Though this time, no Cespedes again with a lingering right quad injury. And Logan Verrett got the start, allowing three runs in five innings, respectable enough, but the Mets continued failure to drive in runs did them in leaving as they stranded 11 runners.
Niese, of all people is on the way. The former teammate, and now again, who was traded in the off season to Pittsburgh for Neil Walker, said then he would be playing for a team that could handle ground balls and get the outs.
But as one scout said Monday night, “Who would you rather have pitching tonight? Niese or the guy on the mound tonight?” The Mets got Niese for that occasional start and will work most of the time for a bullpen that was in need for a late inning reinforcement.
Fine and dandy. The Mets improved a bit, even if they failed to get the hitting catcher fans wanted. They obtain Bruce, the RBI leader in the National League, but not the defensive outfielder that can supplement Curtis Granderson ot Michael Conforto.
But, they are better than they were a few days ago. And if Cespedes and Bruce, along with the rest of this lineup can do what they did last year after the trading deadline, well the GM looks like a genius again.
Time will tell, and this Subway Series had a different dimension because of the additions and subtractions that are a part of the trading deadline and new business in the game of baseball
It was an old face, Dellin Betances in his new role as the Yankees closer that sealed the win for his team, 6-5 in 10-innings in the first of four games of the Subway Series. Game two is Tuesday night at Citi Field and the series shifts to the Bronx at Yankees Stadium for the final two.
“Obviously not a one-two-three inning but I got out of it. We got the win that was most important,” Betances said. “Fortunate to have played under great closers and used what I learned from them and take advantage.”
He commented about the trades the Yankees made ridding bullpen mates Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller that gives him the role. The Yankees got younger, and with ten new additions of minor leaguers who are supposed to make them better and more athletic in the next few years.
Betances wiggled out of a jam in the Mets 10th inning, after James Loney led off with a double. The immediate test was getting out of that jam and his first save of the season and a Yankees win was secured.
Because this is the Subway Series, and with the revamped Yankees roster, a win out out of the gate after the trading deadline was important. More important of course to make this Yankees rest of the season interesting as a major part of the interest, that being Chapman, Miller and Carlos Beltran are gone.
“It’s been a tough week for us,” Betances said. “We’ve lost some unbelievable guys in our clubhouse. “Been and up and down year. So it was nice to get a victory.”
Now it’s the Yankees with the return of Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren, and then to Betances. That’s what it looks like now, or for that matter what manager Joe Girardi will do instead of having the original plan of that “Three-headed-Monster” of Betances, Miller and Chapman.”
Clippard, Warren, and Betances combined for four innings of scoreless ball and no runs. If this is what Girardi and the Yankees will use to complete a season of ups and downs, they will take it. They are building for the future and one or two of those youngsters will be on the roster this week as catcher Gary Sanchez is expected to be in the Bronx Wednesday night.
“I thought the effort was great,” Girardi said. Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning off Mets’ reliever Seth Lugo that was the decisive run.
His revamped team, that was minus Beltran for the first time, overcame a 5-3 deficit and Mets lead that was built on a Mark Reynolds three- run homer off CC Sabathia in the sixth. Reynolds is that addition for now in the infield as Asdrubal Cabrera won’t see playing time for a few weeks with a strained patellar of the left knee.
Reynolds had the impact of a new addition for the Mets, similar to what the rookie Michael Conforto had when he made a splash with Cespedes with his call up prior to the trading deadline last July.
That is Subway Series drama at the trading deadline, and again this was one game that conflicted with the most important day of the year for baseball and fans who want to see change with their teams.
Didi Gregorius, part of this Yankees future had an 0-2 count and delivered a good at bat with a two-run single off the Mets setup man Addison Reed after throwing a wild pitch in the 8th inning that tied the score at 5-5.
Said Beltran to the media before departing to his new team of Texas Rangers: Organization made right decisions. I love playing in New York. If it was my choice, I would have gone nowhere. I love it here.”
The Yankees would not have parted with Beltran in his walk-off year if they were in this race for a division title or wild card. There is a slight possibility, the way baseball works, that Beltran could come back to the Bronx next season as a designated hitter, and Chapman a free agent to be is also not out of the question.
And Beltran even hinted, his days in New York again may not be over. A source at the Yankees said the higher ups did not make the decision to part with Beltran until 3pm, an hour before the deadline. But they needed to get younger, and did so gaining a fourth pick in the 2015 draft and first overall for the Rangers, in righthander Dillon Tate.
The dividends for the Yankees won’t come this year. Maybe in a year or two, and patience is a virtue in this business of baseball. But this was the Subway Series and the Mets, the team with playoff aspirations came up short this first game on a day of drama.
“We just couldn’t finish it off,” Collins said. With Jay Bruce on the way, and with a healthy Cespedes, maybe they will finish off the Yankees and other teams down the stretch.