"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



Subway Serious 2003

The other day I saw that Jon Weisman over at Dodger Thoughts ran a play-by-play column of a Dodgers game and thought it was pretty cool. I stayed in last night on the count of I had to come in to work early this morning (Saturday), and gave it a try myself. While it required more concentration than I anticipated, here is the play-by-play of last night’s soggy Mets-Yankees game.

Steve Trachsel vs. Andy Pettitte.

Top of the First

Trashcan ahead of Sori 0-2. The count evens at 2. Soriano hit s a ground ball to Wiggie at third, 5-3. One out.

Jeter lines the first pitch (fastball) to right center, and it hangs long enough for Jeromy Burnitz get to it without a problem. Shinjo backs up the play nicely.

Giambi gets ahead, 2-0 and then he fouls off a fastball. Trashcan misses on two straight pitches and Giambi walks. Where have we seen this before?

Posada is so scrubby in the clean up roll. “You don’t see many catchers who are clean up hitters,” garbles Kiner. (Just wait until Bernie and Nicky get back.) Trashcan falls behind, 2-0. Fastball, inside corner for a strike, then Posada hits a grounder to Alomar’s left, but it isn’t hard, and Alomar makes the play easily, 4-3.

Bottom 1

Robbie, batting from the ride side, throws his bat out and snaps a double down the right field line. Now, we haven’t seen that in a while. Could this be a sign for the Mets?

Pettitte comes back and makes a couple of tough pitches to get Wiggenton looking for the first out of the inning.

Holy cow, Ruben Sierra is in left?!? Man, I can’t wait until Bernie gets back.

Jeromy Burnitz. On the 1-1 count, and Burnitz times a curveball, waits on hit and takes a good cut. But he just missed the pitch and fouls it back. Another big swing, another foul. Fastball inside corner, and Burnitz is down looking for out number two.

Here comes Cliff. I notice the umpire starting to woof off the TV audio and suddenly the cameras cut to the Mets dugout and Jeromy Burnitz comes into focus. All I caught the ump saying is, “That’s right. That’s right. That’ right. Get outta here.” (Later they played more of tape as the ump also said to Burnitz, “I see ya. I see ya Jimmy. That’s right “) Jimmy gets tossed. Burnitz comes out of the dugout, and Seo makes a mild attempt at holding Burnitz back. He goes nutty, comes back out on the field and pleads his case. The ump needs to chill out, what the hell is he so jumpy about? Throwing a guy out this early is pretty lame.

Floyd walks. 3-1. Pitch down the plate, called a ball.

Phillips. Breaking ball, low. Fastball, low and outside. Fastball, swung on and missed, 1-2. Fastball outside, ball 3. Outside ball four.

The bases are loaded.

Strike one, outside corner. Cutter low, swung on a missed, strike two. Wilson taps the next pitch to third. Ventura steps in, fields the ball, and makes a strong throw to first to end the inning.

Top of the second

Godzilla grounds out weakly to the right side.

Ruben laces a fastball into right. Joe McEwing, the new right fielder stumbles and then slips in right field. McEwing still all but had the ball hit him in the mitt, and he dropped it. Sierra cruises into second for a double. And Ruben’s cruising days are long over.

Trashcan gets ahead of Robin Ventura 1-2. On the 2-2 pitch, Ventura taps one of the right side. Phillips moves to his left to make the play, but Alomar calls him off and Phillips, on his knees, freezes. Good rookie. Alomar fields and tosses to Trashcan covering first for the out.

They walk Mondesi to get to Andy. One the 1-0 pitch Andy Pettitte takes one of the fattest swings I’ve seen in a while. Funny as hell. Way to go big fella, eat them Wheaties! He pops the next pitch up to Cliff Floyd in left to end in the inning.

Bottom 2

Pettitte falls being Shinji, 2-0. Shinji singles past Ventura, runner on first.

The kid. Reyes. Squares to bunt, curveball called strike one. Andy goes to first, and Shinjo gets back, but it’s closer than it should be. Reyes breaks his bat as the ball dribbles foul down the third base line. The head of the bat lands past Jeter in left field. Shinjo bounces off first as Pettitte throws a cutter low for ball one. Reyes slaps a high fastball foul. Another cutter, this one bounces in the dirt, 2-2. Reyes lines the next pitch into center, right at Matsui for the first out. Hit the ball pretty well. Gary Petitis stops Reyes for a word as he returns to the dugout, and we caught a partially blocked glance at the kid’s bright smile. He’s happy when he’s making outs.

Trashcan bunts Shinjo over to third for out number two. Andy bare hands the tapper for the out.

Pettitte’s 1-1 pitch is another cutter that bounces in the dirt. Alomar looks a little more confident. He takes a good swing at the next pitch and fouls off an outside fastball. On the next pitch Alomar waves at an inside breaking ball, a weak hack. Andy powers one by Alomar, who goes down swinging.

Top of the third

Sori hits the second pitch of the fame to the back wall of bullpen wall in left field. He absolutely creamolished it. Piazza worthy.

Then Jeter hits a high fastball a long way to center. Way back and out. The winds, blowing to left apparently, didn’t hurt Jeter there. Boy, that feels good. Yankees, 2-0.

And here comes the big guy. Trashcan falls behind 2-0. Strike. Breaking ball misses, ball three. Outside fastball, Giambi takes a big cut and swings through it. Then he fouls off an inside fastball. 2-2. Slices another fastball foul. Giambi stays alive fouling a breaking ball down low, off. Fastball grounded foul. Fastball up in the zone, fouled off. Giambi taking bit cuts and why not. So he fouls another pitch off. This time to the left side. He takes the next pitch, inside for ball four.

Posada pops the 1-2 pitch up to Reyes for the first out of the inning.

Matsui looks at a strike on the outside corner. Then looks at a strike on the inside corner. A lot of looking. He waves at the next pitch, a splitter outside and tailing. Two outs.

Trashcan looks better against the lefties. But he falls behind Ruben Sierra 3-1. Fastball, right down Broadway, and guess what? Sierra is old and he swings right through for strike two. Sierra pops the next pitch foul, off the third base side. Wiggenton has a beat on it and makes the cash, but Reyes eagerly knocks into him anyhow, hitting Wiggie in the face with his glove, and falling into him, as the two hit the wall. Wiggie is a tough, broad kid, and the diminutive Reyes gets up grinning.

I wonder if this isn’t the most important game he’s ever played, it could be the most rewarding. It’s the You-made-it game. The crowd is excitable and so is he. His enthusiasm is contagious.

Bottom 3

Wiggenton grounds out to Jeter.

McEwing inside-outs a fastball to the right side, and Giambi dives to his left and makes the play. Gets up and records the out.

It starts to rain in Queens. What did you expect?

Floyd lines a 1-2 pitch past Jeter into left for a single. It was a good pitch, tailing away, but Floyd was able to use his long arms to reach it. If he tried to pull it, he would be Hideki Matsui grounding out to second.

It is raining harder now. Here come the umbrellas.

Andy misses his spots against Phillips and is even over-throwing. But the count goes full before Phillips swings and misses at a cutter in the dirt.

Top of the Fourth

Ventura pounds an outside fastball to the wall in left center for a double.

Mondesi skies the first pitch to Shinjo in center field. Ventura tags from second and Shinji throws him out by fifteen feet. That play was even funnier than Pettitte’s swing.

Pettitte taps out to first.

Bottom 4

Vance Wilson pops out to second.

Ventura fields a slow hopper by Shinjo nicely and throws him out at first.

Curveball strike to Reyes. Reyes fouls the next pitch off the top of his left foot. The kid’s ankles look like matchsticks. Emergency swing, another tapper foul. Fastball, high and outside, check swing foul. High fastball, cut on and missed strike three. The pitcher will lead off the fifth.

Top 5

Sori swings at a breaking ball and fouls it off. It was not a strike. Fastball low, for a ball. Fastball outside and Soriano slams it to deep right center. McEwing and Shinjo leap for it at the wall, and Shinjo robs Sori of a homer. Got up pretty high, and snatched it. Just a few yards to the right of the 396 sign. Highlight reel stuff. That’ll make the paper in Tokyo tomorrow. Shinjo’s orange sweatbands make it even sweeter. It looks like he had a beat on it all the way.

Jeter grounds out to second.

Traschel comes back and strikes out Giambi. The crowd is back in it. Will the Mets rally?

Bottom of the Fifth

The rain is steady, but it isn’t too hard.

Trachsel looks at a ball, and then fouls off four straight pitches before looking at a curve. Traschel grabs his bat and starts to walk back to the dugout. Soriano steps in to take the round the horn throw, but the umpire does not signal strike three. Now, that’s the funniest play of the night. Two more pitches then he strikes out swinging.

Robbie bunts the first pitch foul, takes a ball, and then hits another foul to the left side. Alomar then grounds one past Ventura in the hole. Jeter fields but can’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly, double bumps and throws on a hop, late to first. Alomar slides safely, head first into the bag. A good throw gets Alomar easily.

Wiggenton smokes a fastball over Sierra’s head in left for a double. Alomar to third. Now the crowd is alive.

Here is Super Joe. Swings at a pitch low and out of the zone for strike one. He taps the next pitch to Ventura. Alomar stays put. Ventura’s throw is wide, but Giambi steps to his left, makes the catch and then tags Alomar-Olay!—for the out.

Floyd looks at a ball and then takes a lumberjack, jimmy jack cut and fouls the next pitch off. What a hack. That was the prettiest swing of the night. Curve ball gets Floyd leaning, and is called for strike two. Looked inside from here. Floyd taps the next pitch foul, and then pops out to Robin in foul territory. It looks like Ventura got showered with some beer from the stands.

So far, the Mets are all wet, but the game is still close, even if it doesn’t feel close.

Top 6

It’s now raining hard enough for them to call play.

Posada leads off. Taps one back to the mound on a check swing, and Traschel makes a solid one-handed play.

Matsui looks at a fastball high, then a forkball, low. More looking. He fouls the next pitch off, and then takes another splitter low for a ball. Trashcan paints the outside corner for strike two and then loses Matsui, on a fastball high and outside.

Sierra strikes out. Trachsel is overly concerned with Matsui leading off first.

Ventura swings through an off-speed pitch that hung up in the zone. Fastball low for a ball.

The rain is tapering off again and Traschel throws to first.

Then Traschel throws three straight balls and walks Ventura.

Mondesi grounds the first pitch to Wiggenton who steps on third for the last out.

Bottom of the Sixth

Jason Phillips grounds out to Soriano.

Vance Wilson takes a big cut at the 2-1 pitch and fouls it back. The Mets can’t get one to go. He then takes Pettitte’s 100th pitch of the night outside for a ball, before lining out to Mondesi in right.

Shinji works a full count and goes down swinging.

Top 7

Pettitte pop one to short center field. Reyes goes out, Shinji, calling him off, races in. Reyes dips out of the way at the last moment, but he blocks Shinji’s view momentarily and the center fielder makes the catch with his mitt facing towards the sky. Shinji gives the kid a knowing look, and smiles.

Soriano strikes out on a breaking ball in the dirt.

Jeter taps the 2-2 pitch to Wiggie at third, who double clutches for a split second; Jeter beats the throw.

Giambi and Traschel battle again, with the pitcher overly concerned with Jeter at first. On the 2-2 pitch, Jeter runs, as Trashcan paints the inside corner with a fastball and strikes out Giambi. Jason feels like he’s due. He’s had some good swings and has seen a lot of pitches: 5 in his first at bat, then 12 the next time, followed by 5 and 6.

Bottom of the Seventh

Reyes hits the ball sharply on one hop to Ventura, who is playing in on the grass at third. One out.

Jay Bell pinch hits for Traschel and whiffs.

Alomar grounds out weakly to Soriano.

Top 8

Our old friend, ‘Fat face’ David Weathers comes on to pitch for the Mets, and walks Posada to lead off the inning.

He falls behind Godzilla 2-0, and with Posada running, Matsui bounces a grounder up the middle for a single. First and third, no out.

That’s it for Weathers. How about another ex-Yankee? G. Lloyd, the lefty enters the game to face Sierra. Ruben grounds a double over the third base bag, Posada scores. Yanks 3-0. Charles Gipson comes in to pinch run for Sierra.

Ventura strikes out, and the Mets walk Mondesi to load the bases.

Bubba Trammell pinch hits for Pettitte and pops out.

Soriano whiffs.

Bottom of Eighth

Chris Hammonds comes in to pitch for the Yanks, and quickly strikes Wiggie out.

Super Joe grounds out to Jeter and then Cliff Floyd pops out to Giambi.

Top 9

Jeter leads off against Armando Benetiz and smacks a ground ball up the middle that ricochets off Benetiz’s leg. Jeter promptly steals second. Giambi works the count even at 2-2. On the 33rd pitch of the evening to Giambi, the slugger crushes on into the mezzanine section in right field. Oh man, did he ever pelt that one. You could feel it brewing all night. What a bomb.

Posada walks. Matsui taps out to Alomar. Gipson does the same. Posada is now on third. Ventura grounds out to third.

Bottom of the Ninth

Jason Anderson now on for the Yanks. Jason Phillips singles to right; Vance Wilson singles to left. That’s it for Anderson. Enter Mariano. Tony Clark is the pinch hitter and he goes down looking on three pitches.

Jose Reyes shatters his bat and his a slow grounder to Soriano, who goes to second for the force. Runners at the corners.

Timo Perez, pinch hitting grounds out to Ventura to end the game.

Yanks 5, Mets 0.

Is anyone still awake? Well, the Mets felt as if they were sleeping for the last half of the game too.

Mike Mussina goes against Tom Glavine, weather-permitting, today at 1.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver