It may not have been a series victory, but the Mets played well despite losing two of three to the Yankees in the first Subway Series showdown of the 2018 season.
The Mets held the lead going into the sixth inning in all three games and limited the league best Yankees offense to just eight runs in three games, which is no easy feat. However, the Amazins could not seal the deal, blowing the first two games of the series in heartbreaking fashion.
The Yankees couldn’t get anything going against Jacob deGrom in the first game of the series until the sixth inning, when an Aaron Judge sacrifice fly plated Masahiro Tanaka, tying the game at 1-1. The score remained tied until the eighth inning, when deGrom made one bad pitch that resulted in a two-run home run by Brett Gardner. Giancarlo Stanton added a solo home run in the ninth to extend the Yankees’ lead to 4-1, which would prove to be the final.
In the middle game of the series, the Mets jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead following first inning home runs from Todd Frazier and Asdrubal Cabrera. Unfortunately, that’s the only offense the Mets would muster against Yankees starter Domingo German and their bullpen.
Meanwhile, Mets’ starter Steven Matz was cruising through five innings, having allowed just one run. But Yankees rookie Miguel Andujar connected for a two-run home run to tie the score at 3-3 in the sixth. Judge hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
In the rubber game of the series, Seth Lugo — making the start for a still-injured Noah Syndergaard, who was expected to come off the disabled lit to pitch in this game only to be scratched — was dominant. He allowed just two hits and struck out eight batters in six scoreless innings. Frazier, playing against his former team — he was a Yankee in 2017 — drilled a two-run home run that landed just over the wall in left-center field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
Robert Gsellman relieved Lugo in the seventh and pitched two scoreless innings. Anthony Swarzak, who surrendered the game-winning home run to Judge the night before, closed the door on the Yankees in the ninth to secure the Mets’ victory.
That the Mets were competitive in each game against the Yankees — who boasted the best record in baseball — has to be a positive sign for Mickey Callaway’s club. The team has been decimated by injuries, but things could be trending in a positive direction. Frazier has made an immediate impact upon returning from the DL, and if Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes can do the same, there may be brighter days ahead in Queens.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe