"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

New York Mets II: Kings Of New York

Friggin’ Mets. I wish they’d decide what they are. They finished April with an eight-game winning streak that lifted them into first place, but by the time the Yankees made their way over to Queens on May 21, the Muts had fallen all the way down to last place in the National League East, a full seven games behind the Phillies. The Mets took two of three from the Yankees that weekend and, including those two wins, they have gone 18-5 since, vaulting past the slumping Phils and climbing within a half game of the similarly surging first-place Braves.

What gives? Well, a seven-game winning streak built on series sweeps of the Orioles and Indians has played a part, but the Yankees can’t talk trash about that having just beat up on those two teams to slip into a first-place tie themselves.

Replacing John Maine and Oliver Perez in the rotation with 23-year-old Jonathon Niese (who had been on the disabled list with a hamstring strain) and journeyman knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (who had been in the bullpen) has also been key. Maine and Perez both hit the DL with ERAs over 6.00, while Niese and Dickey, in eight combined starts since mid-May, have gone 7-0 with a 2.28 ERA. Hisanori Takahashi, another repurposed reliever, has also been a solid addition to the rotation having turned in three quality starts in five tries, going 2-1 with a 3.81 ERA. Add in a Cy Young-contending season from Mike Pelfrey and his new split-finger fastball and incumbent ace Johan Santana, and the Mets rotation, which seemed in ruins a month ago, is suddenly a strength.

Then there’s David Wright. On May 7, he was hitting .287/.416/.568 with seven homers, earning an honorable mention in my debut Awards Watch column on the MVP races soon after. Then, from May 8 to May 29, he hit just .187/.256/.320 with one home run and 31 strikeouts in 20 games, a rate of one K every 2.8 plate appearances. Since then, over a period of just less than three weeks, he’s hit .431/.477/.724 with four home runs and just 12 Ks (5.4 PA/K). It’s oversimplification to say as goes Wright, so go the Mets, but the parallels are certainly indicative of his importance to the team. Of course, Wright needs someone to drive in, and on that count, Jose Reyes’ resurgence has been perfectly timed. Over that 18-5 stretch, Reyes has hit .371/.419/.577 with eight steals in nine attempts.

Those performances from Reyes and Wright have been especially important because Jason Bay, since tripling his season home run total by going deep twice off CC Sabathia, has hit just one more dinger in his last 19 games, going .234/.306/.351 over that span. Similarly, rookie Ike Davis, who was driving the offense when the Yankees were in Queens, has hit just .235/.278/.425 since, though he’s been hot the last few games, getting two hits in each game of the Cleveland series, three of them for extra bases.

The pitching matchups for this weekend’s Subway Series finale are identical to the previous series in Queens four weeks ago. In that series, Javier Vazquez and Takahashi dueled to a draw in a 2-1 Yankee win Friday night. Then Pelfrey and Santana shut the Yankees down the next two nights as Phil Hughes and CC Sabathia struggled. Hughes and Sabathia have been better of late, but they have their work cut out for them rematching against the Mets top two starters.

Tonight, the Yankees look to rouse their bats from their recent two-game slumber as they take on 35-year-old Japanese “rookie” lefty Takahashi. There’s been a general impression lately that the Yankees are struggling against left-handed starters. There’s something to that as the team has hit just .252/.337/.426 in games started by a lefty versus .290/.374/.451 in games started by a righty and is just 12-11 in games started by opposing lefties, but I’m not sold. Overall, the Yankees have hit .277/.363/.460 against left-handed pitching and .277/.361/.434 against righties. I think the issue is rather the quality of the lefties they’ve been facing rather than the handedness of those pitchers. Nine of those losses were started by Johan Santana, Jon Lester, David Price, Rickey Romero, Brett Cecil, Jon Danks, Jamie Moyer, Scott Kazmir, and Dallas Braden. The other two were games were lost by the Yankee bullpen and had little to do with the either starting pitcher (one was Sergio Mitre vs. Detroit spot-starter Brad Thomas, who pitched just three innings, the other was the game in which David Huff got hit in the head by an Alex Rodriguez line drive in the third inning).

Takahashi’s first major league start came against the Yankees. His second came against the Phillies. In those two games he allowed no runs in 12 innings and struck out 11 against one walk. In his next two starts, against the weak-hitting Padres and Marlins, he gave up 11 runs in 9 1/3 innings while striking out six against four walks and yielding three home runs. His last time out, he allowed just one run in seven frames to the Orioles, but struck out only two. As for Vazquez, as I reported on Monday, he is 4-2 with a 2.94 ERA over his last six starts, including six scoreless innings against the Mets, and has won each of his last three starts, posting a 2.57 ERA while striking out 22 in 21 innings against just five walks and 11 hits (albeit with four of those hits leaving the park).

New York Mets

2010 Record: 38-28 (.576)
2010 Pythagorean Record: 38-28 (.576)

Manager: Jerry Manuel
General Manager: Omar Minaya

Home Ballpark: CitiField

Bill James Park Indexes (2009):
LH Avg-92, LH HR-100
RH Avg-99, RH HR-110

Who has replaced whom:

  • Ruben Tejada (minors) replaces Luis Castillo (DL)
  • Jesus Feliciano (minors) replaces Gary Matthews Jr.
  • Jonathon Niese (DL) replaces Oliver Perez (DL)
  • R.A. Dickey replaces John Maine (DL) in the rotation while Elmer Dessens (minors) replaces Dickey in the bullpen

25-man roster:

1B – Ike Davis (L)
2B – Ruben Tejada (R)
SS – Jose Reyes (S)
3B – David Wright (R)
C – Rod Barajas (R)
RF – Jeff Francoeur (R)
CF – Angel Pagan (S)
LF – Jason Bay (R)


R – Fernando Tatis (UT)
L – Alex Cora (IF)
L – Chris Carter (1B/OF)
L – Jesus Feliciano (OF)
R – Henry Blanco (C)


R – Mike Pelfrey
L – Johan Santana
L – Jonathon Niese
R – R.A. Dickey
L – Hisanori Takahashi


R – Francisco Rodriguez
L – Pedro Feliciano
R – Jenrry Mejia
L – Raul Valdes
R – Fernando Nieve
R – Ryota Igarashi
R – Elmer Dessens

15-day DL:

2B – Luis Castillo (bone bruise in left foot)
RHP – John Maine (right rotator-cuff tendonitis)
LHP – Oliver Perez (right knee tendonitis)
RHP – Sean Green (stress fracture in right ribs)

60-day DL:

CF – Carlos Beltran (rehab from knee surgery)
RHP – Kelvim Escobar (kelvimescobaritis/shoulder surgery)

Typical Lineup:

S – Jose Reyes (SS)
S – Angel Pagan (CF)
R – David Wright (3B)
L – Ike Davis (1B)
R – Jason Bay (LF)
L – Chris Carter (DH)
R – Rod Barajas (C)
R – Jeff Francoeur (RF)
R – Ruben Tejada (2B)

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Series Preview  Video

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Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:05 pm

Let's go, Yan-kees.

Hopefully Good Javy shows up tonight.

2 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:17 pm

Brains just slightly out of position receiving that throw?

3 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:20 pm

Evening, Team.
Chad Hoffman?
Who the fuck is Chad Hoffman?
What'd I'd miss?

4 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:28 pm

[2] Don't think so, throw was slightly up the 1st baseline.

And that's the kind of year it's been for Teixeira ...

5 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:35 pm

Dang, missed the Manny AB, wonder if he got booed.

6 NYYfan22   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:39 pm

hey everyone. quiet round these parts, egh?

7 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:42 pm

5 Ks for Stas. Most in first thee games is 29, by J.R. Richards. Steve is up to 27.

8 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:45 pm

[7] And the White Sox are a hard team to strike out ... can't wait for Strasburg to face the Diamondbacks later this year!

9 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:45 pm

Rare Yankee game on tv here due to Takahashi pitching! Time to soaf-it with some coffee an donuts, back later to lurk... Let's GO YAN-KEES!

10 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:51 pm

8 runs for Philly so far tonight.

You're welcome, Philadelphia.

11 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:54 pm

#7 for Stas and the tie with Richards.

12 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:58 pm

Hey everyone...looks like Vazquez has his good stuff again tonight.

I wish Halladay were pitching again. We cannot handle these light pitchers.

13 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 7:59 pm

Which team did Takahashi pitch for in Japan?

14 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:01 pm

Base hit for Cap'n! Questionable call on that, a little home cooking there.

15 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:04 pm

#8 for Stras. 30 Ks in first three starts.

16 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:04 pm

[14] I don't think Ike Davis handled the throw cleanly, which is why the umpire was so nonchalant with his safe call.

17 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:12 pm

[16] Yeah, even if he didn't drop it, it was a bobble.

18 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:16 pm



19 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:25 pm

Is it too much to ask for a couple of runs here?

20 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:27 pm

[19] Baby steps. Can we get a couple runners on base?

21 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:31 pm

Boy, Frankie's really regressed, hasn't he?

22 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:36 pm

[21] It's a mean mean, man ...

23 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:39 pm

10 Ks for Stras.

All the bats decided to go quiet at the same time?

24 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:41 pm

Nice play, Teix!

25 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:43 pm

Glad to see one of our pitchers remembers how to cover first base.

26 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:52 pm

Christ.... can ARod be hurt more then is let on? He can barely reach the warning track anymore.

27 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 8:59 pm

Teix really..... REALLY needs to start being an impact player again.

28 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:03 pm

It's time to detonate an A-bomb.

29 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:04 pm

Ugh. C'mon Alex that was a FUCKING COOKIE.

30 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:05 pm

Fuck,,,,, ARod is REALLY off. That was a 500' shot he missed there.

31 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:13 pm

Tyler "Peaches" Clippard is having a pretty good season. Shoulda kept him and traded Joba. ;-)

32 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:14 pm

This team is getting very hard to watch.

33 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:14 pm


34 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:14 pm

Couldn't have picked a worse batter for that to have happened.

35 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:15 pm

Well, that sucked.

36 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:16 pm

Is this the game thread?? What's going on in NYC tonight that no one is here..new revival of "Gypsy" or something??

[34] Indeed..think I could run faster than Posada now..

37 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:17 pm


38 rbj   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:19 pm

T-storsm just about upon me, going to log off & shut the computer down.

39 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:23 pm

Hella job, Javy!

40 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:26 pm

With Javy now firmly back from his struggles earlier in the season, what do you think the Yankee rotation depth chart looks like right now?

I go: Pettitte, Vazquez, Hughes, Sabathia, Burnett

Which is almost the inverse of how we'd have drawn it up in March.

41 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:28 pm


42 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:28 pm

Whew, got a little nervous there. A decent throw would have gotten him out by 10 feet.

43 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:38 pm

Are we actually going to lose this game 1-0?

44 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:40 pm

I guess the Yanks are in a bona fide slump.

45 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:43 pm

Jeter now swinging at shitty 1st pitches?

46 Raf   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:45 pm

[45] No, it has been going on for a while

47 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:52 pm

[43] I'm betting no ...

48 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:52 pm

goddamn motherfucking bullshit.

i come home to have dinner and Pepto walks the leadoff batter. : /

looks like javy's gonna follow andy as a hard-luck loser.

fucking shit sox are gonna be in 1st place by next week. aaarrrggghhh!!!

49 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:52 pm

Sox winning big, Fish up on TB by 3 after 7. The AL East is gonna be TIGHT!

50 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:53 pm

[47] See?

51 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:53 pm

Because it wouldn't be a CHP appearance without a run or two coming across...

52 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:54 pm

Mother fucker. Just a perfect meatball to a shitty hitter.

53 Raf   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:54 pm

Someone needs to check the (L/R) splits for Park...

54 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:54 pm

Our pen...it kinda blows, doesn't it?

55 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:58 pm

[54] Blows?

As in games?

Yes, yes it does ...

56 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 9:59 pm

BP blowing or not, our offense has been offensive,,, and I mean that in the worst sense.

57 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:01 pm

What a great game, eh, Team?

58 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:02 pm

I really thought JobaHo tandem in the pen this year would "Shoot Out the Lights"...instead, they've been deserving of a "Veedon Fleece"...just awful...

59 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:03 pm

And why does Derek keep bouncing out weakly on the first pitch?

60 bartap   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:07 pm

[40] I don't know how you don't consider Hughes the staff ace, at least so far this season.

61 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:07 pm

On the bright side...Boone Logan has been okay since he was called up again.

62 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:09 pm

[60] Hughes has been great, but I give the edge to Andy.

63 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:10 pm

Nice rope, Swish.

64 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:10 pm

[62] Agreed. In a Big Game, I want Andy, hands down.

65 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:12 pm

The fuck kind of crazy play was that?

66 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:12 pm

What a terrible play by Swisher.

67 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:12 pm

rays loss is a final

68 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:12 pm

Well, that's another one of Swisher's brain locks for the season ...

69 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:12 pm

[62] [64] Andy hasn't had one clunker this season. And his experience trumps Hughes.

Also, what was Swisher thinking?

70 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:13 pm

how has a-rod looked in the field tonite?

71 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:14 pm

[70] Has he even fielded a play tonight? I can't honestly remember.

72 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:15 pm

Not even one run?

73 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:16 pm

nats lost, but stras's line was pretty awesome

7 inn, 85 pitches, 10 k's, 0 bb's, 4 hits, 1 er.


74 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:16 pm

[71] dunno. just got here, can't see the game. i figgered that was a possibility, but i thought i'd ask, just in case...

75 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:16 pm

Cano is the only thing keeping us from fighting the BJs for 3rd place.

76 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:17 pm

[73] Damn! No walks and four hits against 10K? Damn!

77 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:20 pm

I can't remember seeing A-Rod field a ball tonight. Not that many grounders in this game.

78 JeremyM   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:22 pm

The worst part of this is that K-Rod is going to come in and do his stupid dance.

I know switching lineups doesn't "help" but at this point, some kind of change needs to be made. Tex is still lost, Jeter is lost, A-Rod doesn't look good. At a minimum Tex needs to be dropped, I'd drop him to 6 and move everyone else up.

79 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:26 pm

[78] not when they have a 5-run lead. or more... : /

80 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:29 pm


Way to just punt this game, thanks.

81 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:35 pm



82 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:38 pm

Jesus Christ.
[78] The *last* thing I want to see is this fuckhead and his dance.


83 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:45 pm

Gardner has seen more pitches in this at-bat than Jeter has the whole homestand.

84 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:47 pm

He keeps fighting 'em off!

85 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:47 pm

great ab, grit!

86 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:48 pm

That's my boy!
Fucking beautiful, Brett.

Now, Derek?--how's about NOT swinging at the first pitch?

87 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:48 pm

over/under on pitches Jeter sees in this at bat?


88 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:48 pm

Holy cow. 12-pitch at-bat for Gardy.

89 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:48 pm

captain - time to match your career grand slam total with your number!!

90 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:48 pm


91 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:49 pm

Least he made a good pass at that one.

92 The Hawk   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:49 pm

I'm in enemy territory and have missed the game, but it looks depressing.

This team not scoring runs seems unnatural, but we do have some age. It seemed at one time that A Rod for all his foibles would at least be a specimen for years to come. For whatever reason, illicit or otherwise, it may not work out that way. I think age is gonna do the Yanks in, if anything.

That and Teixeira officially having a bad first half, pending some insane outburst between now and the ASB.

93 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:50 pm


Oh, Derek.


Just brutal.

94 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:50 pm

Sit DOWN Jeter, thanks for at least not GDP.

95 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:51 pm

christ captain. gameday has that as very very low. very low. was he swinging at garbage? : /

96 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:51 pm

And that's that.

97 thelarmis   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:51 pm

total bollocks.

time for a lot of beer...

98 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:52 pm

[95] The first two were good pitches to hit. The last one was in the dirt or nearly so.

99 JeremyM   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:52 pm


100 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:52 pm

Why is it that Gardner managed to see 14 pitches or whatever it was and then Derek and Swish combined for two outs on four pitches?

Show/Hide Comments 101-105
101 mjpucci   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:53 pm

This season has been so crazy that it wouldn't surprise me if the Yanks now go on to torch Pelfrey and Santana.

102 randym77   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:55 pm

[95] It was a check swing. (I guess you could argue he saw exactly 2.5 pitches! ;-)

I think he was fooled by the changeup because K-Rod had thrown only fastballs (14 of them) until then.

103 The Hawk   ~  Jun 18, 2010 10:57 pm

Can't get on Swisher too much, he usually takes a lot of pitches. Come to think of it, Jeter's aggressive approach often pays off, too.

104 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jun 18, 2010 11:33 pm

Boston now 1 game back. It's still early, but wildcard in danger?
What happened to the Yankees circular lineup averaging 5 runs a game?

105 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 18, 2010 11:33 pm

That could have gone better

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