The fans got way more than they paid for in the most recent Subway Series between the New York Rival Mets and Yankees. Just a few weeks removed from the smack down that the Yankees placed on the Mets in the Bronx, the Mets were poised and ready to return the favor. In typical Mets fashion, a sub-par performer, closer Frank Francisco, opened his mouth and labeled arguably the best team in baseball a bunch of chickens. Not a smart move when you are going to face off with said team the next day.
Luckily for Frank, he was able to back up his trash talking with a save opportunity in game one of the three game series. The Mets came out with a win, but Frank made his fans sweat as he put the tying runs on base and had to finish the game against the always scary Mark Teixeira. It’s nice to know that no matter how dumb an individual player might look with what they say, the rest of the Mets team has their back regardless. This team camaraderie was shown as Mets reliever, Tim Byrdak, pranked Francisco by bringing a live chicken into the clubhouse.
After dubbing the chicken “Little Jerry Seinfeld,” in honor of the great sitcoms episode with a chicken with the same name, the Mets media had a field day. When the joke ended, Byrdak set up a home for “Little Jerry” at an animal sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. The Mets donated $500 to that sanctuary upon the chickens departure but not before Tim Byrdak set up a photo op.
“Holy Cow, Little Jerry, don’t freak out!” Byrdak said as more than 20 cameras flashed simultaneously.
Unfortunately for the Mets, team shenanigans do not guarantee wins as the Yankees came out in game two in an early hole and found solace in a name that has been around for a while. Raul Ibanez is so old that I remember playing with him on Nintendo 64’s Ken Griffey Junior’s Baseball back in 1994-95 when I always played as the front running Mariners. I mean it’s not like I was going to use the early 90’s Mets. Who would have thought that this 20 year veteran would still have enough pop in his bat to shatter the Mets dreams of making Kung Pao Chicken out of the Yankees. It’s not surprising that the Yankees beat the Mets with their long ball because the Yanks have scored more than 52% of their runs for the season on homers, which is an absolutely absurd number. Whether it is absurd or not the Yankees are winning.
A sweep would have been nice but the Mets fans would have been fine with just winning 2 of 3 against their hometown rivals. This rubber match had more hype over it than any regular season baseball game in June that I could remember and the fans got more than they bargained for. R.A. Dickey, the hottest and most talked about pitcher in baseball, versus C.C. Sabathia, the Yankees Ace and one of the best pitchers in the last decade, facing off on Sunday Night baseball on ESPN. Everyone, including myself, thought this would be a pitchers duel till the last pitch, but with spotty defense on both sides, the Yankees power at the plate and the Mets clutch hitting with 2 outs, neither pitcher made it past the sixth. Once the game was tied at 5-5 and came down to which bullpen would hold up the longest I knew that the Mets were going to lose. The Yankees have one of the best relief staffs in the big leagues and the Mets have the worst bullpen ERA in the National League…you do the math.
The Yankees won 2 out of 3 in Citifield and finished the season series by winning 5 out of 6 overall. The Yankees, A.K.A Chickens, gave the Mets a big Cluck You to hang their heads on. Now the only way these teams will face off again is if they both make it to the big dance in October. Who knows?
After the Yankees laid the smack down on the Mets 2 weeks ago, sweeping the first edition of the 2012 Subway Series, New York baseball fans weren’t exactly sure where the juice to this series would come from. If the Yankees won than great, they are expected to. If the Mets win, even swept the Yankees, then they’d be even. Though everyone is looking forward to Sunday night’s Sabathia vs. Dickey showdown, one Met supplied a little extra fuel to the fire that will start burning tonight at Citi Field.
In an interview with the New York Post, Frank Francisco said, “I can’t wait to face those chickens, I want to strike out the side against them. I’ve done it before.” When asked to elaborate on what he meant by chickens, Francisco said “I think I’ve said too much already.” This is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard in my life as a sport fan, and there has been a lot. Francisco is new to New York this year, so maybe he hasn’t heard that the New York Yankees are the class of the city, and the baseball universe at that. If you are going to call somebody a chicken, please explain what the hell you are talking about. Who the hell does Frank Francisco think he is anyway. I’ve watched a lot of Met games and even though he has 17 saves on the season, very few of them have been easy to come by. He is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA. His team is performing well but have been doing so playing gritty and they weren’t expected to do much this year. The Yankees are in first place, just swept your ass last week and have a number of future hall of famers.
Derek Jeter is a chicken? Andy Pettitte is a chicken? Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia (maybe ARod is but thats it!) The Mets have Jason Bay who is allergic to playing baseball. They have Ike Davis who in an interview yesterday conceded that he would be happy to win one of the three games this weekend. That’s what I call chicken. The Yankees roster is full of players who have been in high pressure, big moments in their careers and have rings to prove it. There are a lot of things you could call the Yankees, like winners and champions, but chicken isn’t one of them. Francisco cited the fact that he struck out that side once in the past. Well he did, in 2004 for the Texas Rangers. He struck out Jeter, ARod and Giambi on May 21st of that season in the 7th inning. In fact, the fact that Francisco has such a vivid remembrance of a May 21st game in 2004 is pathetic. I guess it’s a career highlight?
For my Mets-fan friends, sorry, I was hoping we might take it easy on you this weekend; maybe even take the first two games and let RA Dickey win one against us Sunday. However, after Franky ran his mouth I hope the Yankees celebrate all weekend long at Citi Field. It would be especially nice to see Francisco blow a couple of games, just so we could really see who has the intestinal fortitude to play in New York for more than 3 pathetic months. Shut your mouth Frank and enjoy the ass beating this weekend.
The Yankees completed their first ten game winning streak since their magical 1998 season last night with a complete game victory over the Atlanta Braves. CC Sabathia shook off a rocky start to the game, in which he surrendered a leadoff triple to Michael Bourne, but basically shut down Atlanta from that point forward and went the distance, to lead the Yankees to the 6-2 victory at the Stadium. If the Yankees were beating up on the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners or Oakland Athletics, it could be dismissed that the streak is coming at the hands of lesser competition. However, the fact of the matter is the Yanks are beating up the NL East’s elite, which was thought to be one of the better divisions in baseball.
During the past 10 games, the Yankees starting rotation has a combined ERA of 2.09. Each game, the starting pitcher is just trying to pick up where the last one left off, and now for two complete trips around the rotation, they have gotten nothing but winning performances. The emergence of Phil Hughes has been the most important in my opinion, as the Yankees have invested an incredible amount of time, have turned down trade opportunities galore and have billed Hughes as a front of the rotation pitcher. Up to this point in his career, he has been somewhat disappointing as a starter, even though his win totals haven’t been awful. Now he looks as sharp and effective as he has ever in the starting role, and the Yankees are feeling validated for their patience.
The Yankees hit two home runs in last night’s victory, and have taken a whole lot of heat about how dependent they are as a team on the long ball. However, I don’t see how any of these complaints make any sense because the last time I checked, home runs are hits the cause the most damage to the opposition. Should the Yankees really apologize for their power surge? Last night, Mark Teixeira added his 12th home run of the season in the sixth, transforming the Brave’s Mike Minor’s start from heroic to forgettable. Robinson Cano homered for the second consecutive game in the eighth to pad the lead. Curtis Granderson has an unbelievable 21 big flys this year, and although Alex Rodriguez has struggled at times this season and has taken a lot of questions about his lack of power, last week with the Yankees down by 4 and a chance to lose their streak at a meager 4, ARod hit a grand slam which was followed up by a 2 run shot by Nicky Swish and all of a sudden 4-0 Braves was 6-4 Yanks. Yeah, I can definitely see why people think the Yankees hit “too many” homeruns!
Not to give myself too much credit, but a few weeks ago I wrote an article asking Yankee fans not to panic. I pointed out the good (Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Ivan Nova, Rafael Soriano) and wrote about what I thought would improve about this team (Starting Pitching, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, etc.). The Yankees were tied for last in the division when I wrote my post, but I knew things would have to go their way at some point. I feel justified after watching this team the last few weeks but I am still not fully satisfied as there is still room to improve. The Yankees still need to hit better in the clutch, as they are atrocious while batting with runners in scoring position. The Yankees really don’t have much speed and are definitely missing Brett Gardner, as this team really only plays station to station ball. With all that said, they have the best record in the American League at 41-25, they are up by 2.5 over Baltimore and will have the opportunity to pad their lead even further. They will finish with Atlanta and then get another shot at the New York Mets this weekend, the team they started their winning streak against. How magnificent would it be if the Yankees head into Sunday night with the streak in tact and we get to see them try to extend it to 15 with CC Sabathia on the mound against RA Dickey?! There is still a lot of baseball to be played before this weekend and more importantly to the Bronx Bombers, before the postseason, but I think the rest of MLB has been put on notice that the Yankees will be a major force when the smoke clears at the end of the 2012 season.
When the first of two highly anticipated matchups between New York rivals, the Mets and Yankees, began both teams had similar records and the Mets had seemed the slightest bit more impressive. After yet another embarrassing weekend for Mets fans around the world, the Yankees proved who is the better team in New York for the time being. Yankee fans will never know what Mets fans go through on a nightly basis during the baseball season. The Mets were 8 games over .500 and a game out of first place in their division just a couple of weeks ago and Mets fans could not stop talking about how amazing their team was, while the Yankees were in the same position in the AL East and their fans were disappointed in the standings. The Yankees provide their fans with season after season of competitive baseball, while the Mets put their fans through a roller coaster of emotions on a weekly basis.
The Mets roller coaster was in full throttle this weekend as they made their way across bridge to visit the neighboring Yankees in the Bronx. On an extra two days of rest following his career high in pitches and the Mets first ever no-hitter, Johan Santana took the mound with fans hoping that his epic performance from a week ago would carry over into game 1 of the Subway Series. The big bats of the Yankees crushed those hopes and dreams really quick with bomb after bomb off the two-time Cy Young winner. Robinson Cano followed his second inning 2-run homer with another 2-run shot in the 3rd. The only difference was that in the 3rd inning, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones followed for the Yankees first back-to-back-to-back homers in over 2 years. The Yankees went on to dominate the entire game and win 9-1.
Emotional abuse is something that you learn to handle really well if you are a Mets fan, so Saturday night I was ready for game 2 and I just knew that my Mets wouldn’t disappoint me. Who the hell was I kidding? The Yankees shaky Phil Hughes looked liked the promising young prospect he once was and Mets did just enough to ensure that they lost yet again. After a first inning run off an Arod single, Dillon Gee seemed to settle down and the Mets looked to have hope. In the 3rd inning, the Mets quintuple back up shortstop, Omar Quintanilla, hit a rocket over the wall to tie the game 1-1, and in the 6th David Wright followed with one of his own. The Mets had a 2-1 lead and they were poised to win. In the bottom of the 6th, Mark Teixeira hit a 2-run shot for the Yankees, which was enough for Hughes and their bullpen to hold the lead. Curtis Granderson hit a homer himself in the bottom of the 8th just to add salt to the Mets fans fresh wound.
It was still all good because the Mets had one more game to prove that they would not be swept. A near 40-year old Andy Pettitte was taking the mound for the Yankees and the Mets were hungry for a win. The Amazin’s jumped out on top in the 2nd inning with 3 runs off the future Hall of Famer and all things were looking up for the Orange and Blue faithful…NOT! Mets starter, Jon Niese, had to fight his way out trouble all game by allowing 5 of 7 lead off batters to reach base in his 7 innings off pitching. Even with his elusive ways, the Mets maintained their 3-0 advantage until the bottom of the 7th. With 2 outs in the inning and no one on base, David Wright fielded a grounder and had an errand throw to first allowing a two-out runner. In true Mets fashion, the next Yankees batter, Russel Martin, capitalized on that error with a 2-run shot. In the bottom of the 8th, the Yankees scored 2 more runs on bloop singles and added help from a shitty Mets defense. The Yankees were now leading 4-3 going into the 9th.
There is a clear reason why Mets fans find themselves in constant disarray and depression and Yankees fans seem jovial and thrilled day in and day out. After relinquishing their 3 run lead and now trailing by one in the top of the 9th inning, the Mets were looking to be swept for the first time in the Subway Series in close to 10 years.
As a Mets fan, I was trained that “You gotta Believe,” so I did. First a double by Lucas Duda and then another by the worst hitter in baseball, Ike Davis, and the Mets had tied the game in a split second. Now with a man on second and nobody out, you would think that they could get that extra run across the plate so we had a chance to win. Of course that didn’t happen. A few bad at-bats later and the half inning was over and the game was tied 4-4. That’s when I got a phone call from my father, who is a Yankees fan, and he asked if I was watching the game. At that moment I knew we had lost. I said to him that I know how this one plays out. The Mets raise the hopes of their fans and then piss on our emotions in the most dramatic fashion. I predicted that Russel Martin would go yard on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth for a walk off victory. I was wrong…it took 10 pitches for Martin to hit that home run and I hung my head in what was just another disappointing weekend for Mets fans around the world.