Takeaways from the Mets 5-1 win over the Yankees on Friday…
The Mets came from behind to defeat the Yankees by the score of 5-1 on Friday night at Citi Field. Here are my takeaways from the win…
A pitchers duel, ending with a light show.
This was a hell of a game. No other way to put it. Fortunately for the Mets, it ended with a win.
First off, hats off the Masahiro Tanaka, as he was absolutely tremendous through the first 5 2/3 innings of this game. His splitter was wicked, as was his cutter, and he had the Mets totally lost for the most part.
This was a game the Mets simply had to find any mistake they could against the Yankee ace and take advantage of them. That’s precisely what they did.
After falling behind early, Tanaka centered a pitch against Lucas Duda in the second inning and he absolutely crushed his first home run in 66 at-bats. The Mets put together a mini two out threat in the fourth inning but couldn’t come up with anything, which was the theme against Tanaka all night long.
But Tanaka made another mistake in the sixth inning when he centered a pitch against Daniel Murphy, and for the second time in five days, he came up with a tremendously clutch home run to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. That was all the Mets needed, but they got some insurance anyway when Juan Uribe hit a two-run opposite field home run off of Chasen Shreve in the seventh inning and a run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning.
And while the Mets were without Tyler Clippard for his typical eighth inning duties thanks to a tight back, the Mets got brilliant relief work from Hansel Robles, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia to seal the victory for the Mets and even their season series against the Yankees.
Of course, it wasn’t easy for Familia in the ninth, who entered in a non-save situation and the Yankees brought the tying run to the plate against him with one out. But he found a way out of the mess to secure the victory anyway.
This wasn’t going to be a cake walk for the Mets. Tanaka is an excellent pitcher even with the balky elbow, and he lived up to his reputation on Friday night. But the Mets were able to hold down an abbreviated Yankee lineup, make Tanaka pay for the only two bad pitches he made all night long, and make it stand up thanks to some brilliant mound work of their own.
That’s what the Yankees of the late 1990s used to do. The Mets did just that on Friday and came away victorious in a hard fought effort.
Topsy turvy for Matz.
It wasn’t the easiest of nights for Steven Matz by any means, but he showed a lot of poise and focus while he battled his severe lack of command in this game early.
Early on, Matz’s fastball was up in the zone consistently, and while the Yankees weren’t making particularly good contact against him, they were making contact, fouling pitches off, and blooping balls in for hits. But he got his act together in the fourth inning, started getting his pitches down, but also went to his change-up more and relied a little less on his curveball, a pitch which was more of a lollipop hook which was staying up.
Perhaps that was the key, because once he adjusted his other pitches came down in the zone, and he mostly cruised short of a couple of insignificant singles and a bone head play by Wilmer Flores on a routine groundball off the bat of Didi Gregorious in the sixth when he just took too long to field the ball and get it to first. But Matz survived the mistake and turned in six really nice innings.
I spy an unconventional lefty specialist…
Robles is a very interesting tool for Terry Collins to use against left-handed hitting for the rest of the year, especially since they basically have nobody from the left side to turn to for outs against left-handers late in games.
Robles retired two more left-handers in the seventh inning, and they are now 9-for-66 this season against him this season.
Of course, Robles is a right-hander, but he does an outstanding job commanding the inside part of the plate against left-handed hitters. He can pour his fastball in at 95-97 mph and cut his breaking ball in on the hands as well, making him very difficult to hit from that side of the plate.
It’s partly why the Mets aren’t looking in their system for left-handed help – they may have their guy in Robles…
Back on the right side.
Perhaps the day off is just what these Mets needed.
The Mets certainly were not flat on Friday night, although they didn’t get much done against Tanaka in this game. They showed that energy which had been apparent throughout the last road trip which won them eight of ten.
As long as the Mets win, it doesn’t matter what the Nationals do. They remain in control of their own destiny, and time only continues to run shorter and shorter on the Nationals, who really have to run the table and hope the Mets fall apart at this point to have any chance.
Other notes from Friday:
Matz is the first pitcher in club history to allow two or fewer earned runs in each of his first five starts.
Reed has not allowed a base runner in his last four outings – he has seven strikeouts in four innings during that span.
Five of the 12 home runs Murphy has hit in 2015 have either tied or given the Mets the lead.
After going hitless on Friday, Cespedes is 0-for-his-last-13 at the plate.
The Mets have scored 35 runs in the seventh inning or later in their last 11 games.