FINAL SCORE: Mets 8, Yankees 2.
The Yankees (10-8) had their four-game winning streak snapped as CC Sabathia remained winless in four starts this season, allowing seven earned runs in five-plus innings.
“It sucks,” Sabathia said. “I just want to try to help the team win and I haven’t been able to do that my three, four times out, whatever it’s been. This one stings a little more because I didn’t give us a chance at all.”
Joe Girardi said that Sabathia’s location cost him today, but he didn’t want to make too much of one start. This was clearly the biggest clunker out of Sabathia’s four starts thus far. Brian McCann, however, said that he saw plenty of positives still in play.
“Honestly, I think you can go back and look at his four starts and he has been really good,” McCann said. “He had one inning his first start and today didn’t go as we thought, but all in all, we love where he’s at.”
Mark Teixeira hit his eighth homer of the season, tying Seattle’s Nelson Cruz for the league lead. 12 of Teixeira’s 15 hits have been for extra bases, and he got his second single of the season this afternoon on an excuse-me roller to the left side against the shift. On that topic…
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 25, 2015
Oh, hey, this Matt Harvey guy is pretty good. He finished one out shy of a complete game and gassed Alex Rodriguez with a 98 mph fastball for a ninth-inning strikeout. Color A-Rod — who grew up as a Mets fan — impressed with Harvey, who grew up as a Yankees fan:
“Wow. As good as advertised, no doubt about it,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a horse. He’s got four plus pitches, throws them all for strikes, great demeanor out on there on the mound. The Mets are in good shape. He’s a cornerstone for them.”
Up next: The Yankees and the Mets complete this leg of the Subway Series on Sunday. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.12) takes on LHP Jon Niese (2-0, 1.50) at 8:05 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Hello from Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees have won seven of their last eight games going into this afternoon’s 4:05 p.m. ET showdown with the Mets. The Yankees took last night’s Subway Series opener by a 6-1 score and send left-hander CC Sabathia (0-3, 4.35) to the mound today against Mets right-hander Matt Harvey (3-0, 3.50).
The Sabathia-Harvey showdown is one with plenty of sizzle, but at his Stadium locker yesterday, Sabathia essentially offered a yawn. He knows Harvey a little bit from running into him at NBA games, but he’s focusing on the Mets’ hitters, not the man on the mound.
“The people that know me here know I don’t get excited about facing another pitcher,” Sabathia said. “It’s really just the lineup.”
The weather is nice and warm out in the bleachers, and a little cooler behind the plate in the shade. There should be another good crowd on hand. Joe Girardi said that he thought the Subway Series atmosphere seemed strong last night.
“I’m sure it will be the same way today,” he said. “There’s a lot of anticipation for this game and what Matt has meant to the Mets, and the start that he is off to. I imagine it will be pretty loud today.”
Here are the lineups:
Curtis Granderson RF
John Mayberry Jr. LF
Lucas Duda 1B
Michael Cuddyer DH
Daniel Murphy 2B
Eric Campbell 3B
Juan Lagares CF
Wilmer Flores SS
Kevin Plawecki C
Matt Harvey RHP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chris Young RF
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS
CC Sabathia LHP
The fuel for the Yankees’ recent winning streak can be traced to a moment of inspiration in a bathroom mirror at Tropicana Field. At least, that’s how Brett Gardner tells the story.
Gardner is leading the charge behind a sprouting band of mustaches in the Yankees’ clubhouse, most of which have been permitted to take root while the team has reeled off seven wins in eight games going into Saturday’s Subway Series game against the Mets.
“It’s been going a little longer than you would think,” Gardner said. “It takes me a while to get it going, but ever since Tampa we’ve just been playing good. I kind of stuck with it and some other guys followed suit.”
Gardner has convinced Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley, Garrett Jones, Brian McCann, Esmil Rogers and Mark Teixeira, among others, to grow some facial hair as a show of team unity. The Yankees’ long-standing policy permits growth above the lip.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of thought behind it, to be honest,” said Gardner, who said that his is the result of eight days’ growth. “We can’t grow beards, but we can grow a mustache. CC (Sabathia) is like four years ahead of everybody.”
Most of the results have been patchy; Teixeira chuckled and said that his is coming in slowly but surely, while Gardner said that Rogers has produced the best results. Of his thin growth, Ellsbury said, “I’m just trying to stay warm.”
The Yankees agreed that Betances’ mustache was the weakest so far; suffice it to say, it will not remind anyone of Jason Giambi’s 2008 ‘Support the ‘Stache’ All-Star Final Vote campaign anytime soon.
“I have no facial hair; I’m still a baby,” said Betances, 27. “I’ve never tried to grow a mustache. Mine is the worst one.”
Gardner said that he is trying to convince Alex Rodriguez to join the mustache club, and asked reporters to apply some pressure. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Gardner has tried to rope him in as well.
“I thought about it,” Girardi said. “He has asked me about it, so we’ll see. I have to answer to someone at home.”
The second season with the Yankees has, to Carlos Beltran’s chagrin, started with much the same feeling as the first.
Beltran went 0-for-3 with a walk in Friday’s Subway Series opener against the Mets, dropping his batting average to .173 through 14 games, and manager Joe Girardi said that he believes the 38-year-old Beltran is capable of more than he has shown.
“I know he’s frustrated. He had a couple of big hits the other day [in Detroit],” Girardi said. “It’s been a little bit harder left-handed for him, but I really believe he’s going to get going; I do. He probably needs a break here and there and it’ll start happening for him.”
Girardi opted to start Chris Young, who is batting .357 with four homers and nine RBIs, on Saturday against Mets right-hander Matt Harvey.
The Yankees envisioned using the switch-hitting Beltran regularly as their No. 3 hitter and right fielder, but it is possible that if Beltran continues to struggle, Young could eat into his playing time.
“With him swinging so well, we’re looking for ways,” Girardi said of Young.
Beltran has said that his surgically repaired right elbow is not giving him any problems, having had a bone spur removed last September that painfully hindered his first season in pinstripes. Beltran has also been affected by two bouts with illness, one in Spring Training and one last week when the Yankees were in St. Petersburg.
“I’m sure it hasn’t helped. I thought he was still somewhat weak in Detroit,” Girardi said. “At the end of the road trip it was still [there], a little bit, the chest cold. I think he’s better now. But he’s really important to our offense and we have to get him going.”
This Subway Series is a battle of winners: this marks the first time that the Mets and Yankees have gone head-to-head with each club owning at least a share of first place in their respective divisions, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“Definitely, I think it’s great for the city,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “You look at the Mets and they’ve won 11 in a row and had a perfect homestand. Obviously it’s very exciting over there. And then the way we’ve played the last seven games to go out on this road trip, we’re excited about what we’re doing. I think it’s really good for the city.”
This showdown will come with a new generation of players. For the first time, neither roster will include a player who was active for that first Yankees-Mets game in 1997. These teams split four games in 2014, with each team winning two games in the opponents’ ballpark.
Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00) will try for his third consecutive victory tonight, taking on the Mets’ Jacob deGrom (2-1, 0.93). It’s going to be a chilly night in the Bronx, with game-time temperatures expected to be in the high 30s. Here are some quick hits as we get ready for the first of three:
- Bernie Williams announced his retirement (finally!) in a press conference tonight. Accompanied by GM Brian Cashman and assistant GM Jean Afterman, Williams signed a Minor League contract with the Class-A Staten Island Yankees, paused for a few seconds, then put pen to paper on his MLB retirement papers. Williams’ last game was in October 2006, and his next stop is enshrinement in Monument Park on May 24.
- Looking at the top five hitters in the Mets lineup, which has lefties in Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy, Girardi said that it is possible he could reverse his eighth and ninth inning bullpen alignment. Thus far, Andrew Miller is 6-for-6 in save chances, while Dellin Betances has been working in the seventh and eighth innings. Miller and Betances have combined to throw 16 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
- Chris Young isn’t in the lineup tonight, but he was among the most popular people on the field during batting practice. Young’s time with the Mets was a disappointment, as much for him as for the team, but he has found a new home here in the Bronx. “It was a fresh start and that’s all you can attribute it to,” he said. “A few balls dropped my way and I got some opportunities to play on a consistent basis. I was able to find my way a little bit.”
- Happy 38th birthday, Carlos Beltran. He’s a .241 hitter with two homers in 13 games on his birthday.
- The meaning of the Subway Series, according to Girardi: “I think it’s bragging rights for an evening and then it’s bragging rights for an entire offseason. I know fans for both clubs. I know people who are friends of mine are Mets fans, and I have to listen to them, so it’s really important to me, too.”
Here are the lineups:
Curtis Granderson rf
Juan Lagares cf
Lucas Duda 1b
Michael Cuddyer dh
Daniel Murphy 2b
Eric Campbell 3b
Wilmer Flores ss
Kevin Plawecki c
Kirk Nieuwenhuis lf
Jacob deGrom rhp
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Alex Rodriguez dh
Mark Teixeira 1b
Brian McCann c
Carlos Beltran rf
Chase Headley 3b
Stephen Drew 2b
Didi Gregorius ss
Michael Pineda rhp