Mancuso: Split Had Meaning In The Bronx

Play two in the Bronx and again it proves the Yankees are a better team. Don’t let this fool you as the Mets are lacking in so many ways as opposed to the Yankees. They split the day-night Tuesday doubleheader  in the first installment of the 2019 Subway Series. Two games in one day that drew over 82,000 fans, but did not have the usual buzz when they get together,

And for the Mets, two at this juncture that are important. Because the Mets are struggling with their identity,  trying to reach that .500 mark, they need to win. If not the Phillies and Braves will run away from them and the Nationals are playing better baseball

But as that second game proved, that went to the Mets 10-4, they can be a bounce back team. They used the home run ball and Yankee Stadium is the perfect place. Pete Alonso continued his run as top rookie in baseball, J.D. Davis hit a Yankee Stadium special to right-center, Carlos Gomez went deep to right-center.

 Jason Vargas was better than James Paxton in the nightcap win. The Mets got a split with the home run ball, timely hitting , and Jason Vargas who continues to be the surprise of their rotation with a 2.20 ERA over his last eight starts.

Better than Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard is Jason Vargas. More consistent than Zack Wheeler who gave up two more home runs in the Mets 12-5 loss during the day. Wheeler has given up 9 home runs of his last 29 hits. Ten home runs in his last six starts and the ERA is 4.87. He gave up a career high nine runs, five earned.

“This is who this team is they will never give up,” said manager Mickey Callaway about that bounce back win in the nightcap. The Mets did not quit. They got slapped around in the first game and Mickey Callaway said Vargas and the players deserve credit.

About his third straight quality start, Vargas said, “Making pitches down in the strike zone.” He did that to this potent Yankees lineup before they started their comeback with three runs in the third. And this was the fifth starter who could not record an out in April.

Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Perhaps the Subway Series does pump the adrenaline and though that buzz is not the same over 82,000 fans,  combined, saw this split. Players feel the hype does remain. After all these games do count in the standings and the Yankees gained a split and stayed even with Tampa Bay for first in the Al East.

“It’s a little bit of a challenge with what we’re going through, but the guys are capable of getting it done,” Aaron Boone said about his struggling Yankees’ pitching staff.  Paxon lasted 2-⅔ innings, six runs and seven hits. Masahiro Tanaka continued to struggle with the home run ball and was mediocre at best.

Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Said Paxton, “It’s not my first rough one and I’m sure it’s not going to be my last. But I’ve dealt with failure before. I’ll bounce back like I have before.”

Both teams combined for five errors in the first game. The Yankees are third in the AL in errors, and the Mets could make less, even though Wheeler was once again inconsistent. What remains  is two more games in early July at Citi Field, By then, the Yankees will probably have Gioncarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge back in their lineup.

And the Mets expect Brandon Nimmo, Robinson Cano, and pitcher Juston Wilson back from injury. Perhaps there will be a sighting of Jed Lowrie, who has yet to take the field. Either way the complexion of both rosters will be different.

Regardless, both teams and their fans left the Bronx and were content. It was a split and both games meant something in the Subway Series that is just another few games on the schedule.

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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