CC vs. R.A. not so OK after all
Sunday night’s finale of the Subway Series at Citi Field was another case of a dream match-up not living up to its marquee value. The anticipated pairing of the Yankees’ CC Sabathia and the Mets’ R.A. Dickey was something of a letdown as neither pitcher was at his best. Neither was involved in the outcome, either.
The Yankees got to Dickey for five runs and five hits in his six innings during which his pitching line had some elements of a knuckleball pitcher (one hit batter, one wild pitch, one error) that he had been avoiding in his magical, 11-1 season. Perhaps the best thing Dickey did was to single in the fifth inning and eventually come around to score.
Sabathia had leads of 4-0 and 5-1 but failed to get through the sixth inning for the first time this season. His defense failed him as well as only one of the five runs he yielded was earned. CC’s catcher, Chris Stewart, made two throwing errors, one of which led directly to a run. An error by second baseman Robinson Cano helped fuel the Mets’ sixth when they tied the score with three more unearned runs.
The Mets lead the majors in two-out runs, and the four they got to square things by the sixth were all of that variety. Dickey scored in the fifth on a two-out single by Ruben Tejada. The last pitch Sabathia threw was hit for a two-out, two-run single by Andres Torres. Tejada followed that with another two-out, RBI single off reliever Cory Wade, who walked David Wright to load the bases but came back to strike out pinch hitter Kirk Neuwenhuis.
Cano atoned for his muff the next inning when he powered a 2-0 changeup from Miguel Batista over the center field wall for his 16th home run. That would prove the deciding run in the Yanks’ 6-5 victory that gave them a 5-1 record in this year’s Subway Series.
Mets manager Terry Collins had hoped Citi Field would play larger than Yankee Stadium and the long ball would not be as much a factor as it was two weekends ago when the Yankees swept the three-game set. They out-homered the Mets, 8-2, at the Stadium in that series and nearly did the same, 7-2, at Citi Field.
Winning pitcher Boone Logan (2-0), David Robertson and Rafael Soriano (15th save) combined for three shutout innings as the Yankees’ bullpen again dominated the Mets. In the six Subway Series games this year, Yankees relievers combined to go 3-0 with three saves and a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings. So it was not just home runs the Yankees used to handle the Mets.
You keep hearing about how the Subway Series has lost much of its appeal and lacks the intensity of past years. Don’t believe it. This year’s home-and-home series drew a total of 270,828 persons to Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. They averaged 45,138 per game and drew the two largest gates in Citi Field’s four-season history.
With the Major League Baseball schedule changing next season due to realignment with the Astros moving from the National League Central to the American League West, the Subway Series is likely to be reduced from six games to four or perhaps even three. Many of the players on both teams and both managers seem to believe that is a good idea, a view that might not be shared in the front office when they consider that two or three capacity crowds will probably be sacrificed.