Mr. Freeze was at it again today–making it look easy at the end of a long afternoon that included a rain delay. The Yankees did their part against Johan Santana (7-7) who was good, not great, giving up three runs in six innings. Good enough to lose. The home plate ump didn’t help him any, either. Andy Pettitte (9-5) was better, allowing two runs over six, solo shots to David Wright and Ramon Castro respectively.
Jose Reyes got himself picked off of second base with another runner on first and David Wright at the plate in the fifth. It was the play of the game. Yesterday, Emma wrote that the Yankees left runners on base like it was going out of style. Today, the Mets had plenty of Girbaud’s sagging around the bases. Carlos Beltran whiffed four times. Veras and Farnsworth held the Mets in check in the seventh and eighth and then came Rivera, who has been as automatic as he’s ever been in his long career.
Carlos Delgado was first and Rivera fed him string of cutters. Delgado got good wood on one of them but it was a pitch designed to be hit foul. With two strikes, Rivera showed no mercy; instead of trying to freeze Delgado with a fastball on the outsider corner, he buried another cutter in on the hands. It looked like a wicked, late-breaking slider and Delgado had no chance, swinging over it and catching nothing but a breeze. Fernando Tatis was next, he took the first two pitches, and found himself ahead 2-0. But Rivera evened the count and then got Tatis to hit a soft fly ball to Abreu for the second out. Trot Nixon was last and he went quickly–swinging at two inside cutters and then looking at a fastball on the outside corner.
It wasn’t fair but it was swift. Twelve pitches, ten strikes, 0.74 ERA. When he’s on his game, Rivera truly is The Unfair One.