Friday, May 21, 2010

LIVE BLOG: New York Yankees at New York Mets

Good evening from wonderful Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where River & Sunset brings you the second live blog of the 2010 season! Let's do some overview stuff, shall we?

State of the Yankees
Not good. The Bombers have lost three straight and eight of 12 overall. They are a season-worst five games behind Tampa Bay in the American League East. Injuries have played a major factor in the slump: Curtis Granderson, Alfredo Aceves, and Jorge Posada are all on the disabled list, while Nick Swisher, Marcus Thames, and (secretly) Derek Jeter are all playing through pain.

State of the Mets
Worse. The Mets managed to beat the Nationals last night, but are 6-13 in May and in the basement of the NL East. Manager Jerry Manuel now openly keeps his last will and testament on his desk. Nobody is going to Citi Field, and to make matters worse, the entire fanbase seems to have turned on David Wright, whose only the marquee player of the franchise. In the defense of Mets supporters, Wright is on a Rob-Deer-On-Acid strikeout pace.

7:05 - Javy Vazquez is the subject of YES' lazily-named second segment called "Segment 2". There's no telling how Vazquez will pitch, but his last start against Detroit was solid. He struck out Kevin Youkilis in an awkward relief appearance on Monday. The Mets counter with an Asian dude who I'm not prepared to try to spell his name just yet. My plan as of right now: He gets knocked out of the game early and we can just move on.

7:09 - Oh my God, the game hasn't even started yet and that awful Lexus commercial with the mind-destroying acoustic guitar picking intro has already run twice. I'm officially keeping count.

7:12 - File under "Only The Mets". Team commemorates 2000 NL championship by having John Franco throw the first pitch to Mike Piazza and Mike Piazza's acne-ridden back. Maybe it's me, but I probably would've held off on this celebration until you weren't playing the team that beat you in the World Series that year. Not much of a "gotcha" moment there.

7:14 - Al Leiter just commented that the Mets' starter was teammates with Hideki Matsui in Japan for three years. Wondering if Matsui ever shared his massive collection of porn?

7:15 - First pitch is a swinging strike by Derek Jeter. The captain refuses to be a convential leadoff hitter in any way.

7:16 - Boy can hit, though. Sharp single to right does the job. Jeter entered game as .386 career hitter vs. Mets.

7:18 - Wait, the Mets didn't retire Tom Glavine's No. 47? Shocking.

7:19 - I said it earlier today, and I'll say it again. Mark Teixeira needs to start performing at a higher level. Don't be fooled by his RBI total, he's having a poor season. That inning-ending double play makes him 1-for-his-last-16.

7:22 - Kevin Freaking Russo is starting in left field for the Yankees tonight. I mean, wow. Don't know about you, but I'm starting to think letting Johnny Damon go was a bad idea.

7:28 - Vazquez has a good first inning, working around a one-walk by striking out Jason Bay and Ike Davis. So far so good.

7:36 - Michael Kay really dredging up details about the Mets kicking Al Leiter out the door after the 2004 season. Awkward.

7:38 - Okay, I give. The Mets' starter is named Hisanori Takahashi. Anyway, Mr. T—and that's his name from here on out—has little trouble with the Yankees in the first two innings. Get the feeling this has the making of a "The Yankees just can't hit against guys they haven't seen before!" game? You ain't alone.

7:45 - Two scoreless innings, four strikeouts for Vazquez. Back when the Yankees were healthy and plowing through the league like Lindsay Lohan on a pile of white powder, Vazquez's struggles were nothing more than an interesting subplot. Now, with the rest of the rotation coming back to orbit, they need him to step up. So far so good.

7:48 - Kay makes a good point about Francisco Cervelli. With Posada on the shelf for a month, we're about to find out how far along Cervelli really is. Will he be exposed by playing everyday? An interesting subplot to track.

7:49 - Cervelli walks a very impressive walk.

7:50 - A single to left-center and Leiter rants about how surprised he is that Vazquez was swinging away. Only problem was that it was Kevin Russo at the plate. Kay tried to save him, but the damage was already done. Amazing.

7:54 - Jeter does his patent ass-popout move, but it's ineffective as he's called out on strikes. That brings up Brett Gardner with runners on second and third and two outs.

7:55 - My God, Citi Field is huge. Jason Bay was nuts to willingly choose this as his home field.

7:58 - Gardner bounces out to third to end the threat. Bad job by the top of the order there.

7:59 - Mind-Destroying Lexus Commercial Count: 3

7:59 - Mind-Destroying Lexus Commercial Count: 4 (seriously)

8:00 - Mmmmm, our first Kim Jones stand-up of the night. Looking typically frisky in a black dress. Casual but classy. Fun fact: Michael Kay's Wikipedia page said for a long time that the two had dated at some point. Kay discredited this on the air last season, but not without a tear going down his cheek.

8:02 - That's eight in a row retired by Vazquez. We head to the top of the fourth scoreless.

8:10 - Nice running gag of the YES crew attempting to find photos of Al Leiter in the ballpark.

8:13 - Robinson Cano just misses a home run to right, then scorches a double off the left-field wall. That man can hit. Once again, the Yankees have second and third with one out with Swisher and Cervelli coming up.

8:14 - Mr. T makes Swisher look awful on back-to-back changeups to go down 0-2.

8:16 - Swisher looks absolutely terrible in striking out on a third changeup. Yankees asking to lose this game if they let another golden opportunity pass them by.

8:18 - Cervelli skies out to center and Yankees are officially asking for it. Better hope Vazquez keeps putting up zeroes. I need a beer.

8:23 - Poor Jason Bay. He crushes a ball that would have been bouncing on Lansdowne Street outside Fenway Park. Here at Citi Field, it doesn't even reach the warning track.

8:26 - You gotta love Cisco The Kid. Pulls a Tony Pena, throwing out Alex Cora on a snap throw from his knees. Don't say anything, but Vazquez has now completed four innings without a hit.

8:30 - If you're Kevin Russo, you couldn't ask for a better pitcher to face in your first real big league action. A junkballer who lives on his offspeed stuff, he probably saw these guys constantly at Triple-A. I predict things take a sudden turn for the worse against Johan Santana on Sunday.

8:38 - Surprise, surprise. The Yankees can't hit a bum that they've never seen before. Jeter waves feebly at Mr. T's 400th changeup of the night to end the top of the fifth.

8:42 - David Wright strikes out again. He looks like a lost little puppy. I'd feel bad, but then I remember back in 2006 when Mets fans kept telling me Wright was better than A-Rod.

8:45 - I'll take the heat for the no-no jinx there. Angel Pagan floats a single into short center for the Mets' first hit. Let's see if Vazquez can keep it together here.

8:47 - Who is this guy? Vazquez gives up his first hit, then proceeds to induce a 4-6-3 DP. Scoreless through five.

8:52 - Poor Mets fans. Oliver Perez warming up in the bullpen. Meanwhile, Mark Teixeira steps to the plate, 1-for-his-last-16.

8:53 - Make that 1-for-17. Teixeira is killing them. My fantasy team, too.

9:01 - Who else knows the Yankees are going to blow this one? After A-Rod's two-out double, Cano strikes out to strand yet another man in scoring position. Time for another beer.

9:04 - Tough night for Al Leiter. He butchers the promo for the upcoming episode of CenterStage with "Schmichael Tyson". Why don't you sit out a couple plays out, Al?

9:05 - I don't want to jinx the guy, but is it just me or has A-Rod gotten over is yips when it comes to popups? The corpse of Jeff Francoeur hits a hiiiigh popup in foul territory that Rodriguez gobbles up without a problem. Let's focus on the positives, people!

9:07 - I hope Michael Kay realizes how ridiculous he sounds when he calls Gary Matthews Jr.'s demise "mysterious". Um, Mike? He's a known steroid cheat. He got his big contract with the Angels by using drugs to cheat. Are you playing coy or do you really not know this? Either way, weak sauce. Matthews strikes out, because that's what Matthews does.

9:09 - Good lord, the Mets stink. Javier Vazquez gets the corpse of Jose Reyes to popout to short and he's through six shutout innings on just 70 pitches. I don't think Vazquez has even broke a sweat.

9:12 - Mr. T is done after six shutout innings and roughly 12,000 changeups. Elmer Dessens into the game.

9:14 - What is it with Mets second baseman and the Yankees? After Swisher's leadoff single, Cervelli chops one to second and Cora fields it and airmails it over Reyes' head and into short left field. Yanks are set up, second and third with nobody out and Russo up.

9:16 - Ladies and gentlemen, Kevin Russo! West Babylon's own picks up his second Major League hit, smoking a two-run double into the right-field corner. A huge hit with Vazquez on deck. 2-0 Yankees.

9:18 - Michael Kay seems to get a bit, um, excited when Vazquez gets down bunts. Somebody hose that man down.

9:20 - Man, Vazquez can't get out of his own way this year. He just exits the dugout with a potential blister situation. You have to figure his night is done.

9:22 - Meanwhile, Oliver Perez is horrendously booed upon coming out of the bullpen. Being a Mets fan seems like a lot of fun.

9:26 - That's 1-for-18 for Teixeira. Somebody needs a day to clear his head.

9:28 - Bob Lorenz and John Flaherty both going with the sleaves rolled up look from the YES studios in Connecticut. Wonder if this is a demand of the director. Very snazzy.

9:30 - As suspected, Vazquez is done after just 70 pitches. Certainly disappointing as in control as he was. Sour ending aside, six shutout innings and two straight strong starts for the right-hander.

9:32 - Girardi up to his Genius Joe antics, giving David Robertson just two batters before summoning Marte to face Ike Davis. With Robertson in his best groove of the season, this was a puzzling move to me.

9:38 - BRB, have to change my pants after watching Joba emerge from bullpen. I was at Monday's game and still have nightmares.

9:42 - Poor David Wright. Joba strikes him out looking on a 3-2 pitch.

9:46 - Great bounce back performance by Joba, who fans Wright then Angel Pagan to hold the Yankees' 2-0 lead. My guess is Joba is back out there in the eighth, with Mo warming if he gets in any trouble.

9:54 - I'm trying to figure out where this season has the potential to rank in terms of the most depressing Mets seasons of my lifetime. The worst I can remember is 1993, when Vince Coleman was throwing firecrackers at fans and the team lost 103 games. Second would probably be last year, an all-around stinker loaded with injuries while their crosstown rivals marched to a title. From a purely fan frustration standpoint, this season has some real promise. Someone hide the fireworks.

9:57 - Vazquez bruised his finger putting down a bunt. You can't make this stuff up. First Wang, now this. I think the Yankees should just accept an automatic out when the pitcher's spot comes up in interleague play.

10:07 - An extended battle with Rod Barrajas to start the eighth ensures that we won't see Chamberlain until Sunday at the earliest.

10:13 - Mind-Destroying Lexus Commercial Count: 5

10:14 - Great to see Joba come back strong after that abortion against the Red Sox on Monday. Now we'll see if Mo can get straightened out as well.

10:14 - Mind-Destroying Lexus Commercial Count: 6

10:15 - X-Rays on Vazquez's finger are negative. Good news to say the least.

10:16 - I'm sorry, a 2-0 game shouldn't take 3.5 hours. There's something wrong here.

10:22 - Yanks offense terrible tonight. Mo gets the ball with a 2-0 lead.

10:26 - Question: What in God's name has happened to Jose Reyes? Is that even the same dude? Yanks two outs from win.

10:28 - Pagan waves feebly at a Mo cutter and bounces back to the box. Two outs.

10:30 - Poor Jason Bay. He absolutely destroys a ball to left and he still can't get it out. Off the wall for a double and the Mets are still alive.

10:31 - Mo still ain't Mo, leaving a fastball over the middle and Ike Davis rips a double into the gap to cut it to 2-1. Comes down to Rivera vs. Wright. Pretty solid drama here at the end.

10:32 - Poor David Wright. The little boy lost—probably terrified of striking out to end it—swings at the first pitch he sees and grounds out to second to end it. The GOAT looks fallible right now, but he gets it done to snap the Yankees' three-game losing streak.

Thanks for reading everybody. River & Sunset now 3-0 lifetime with live blogs. We'll do this again soon.


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