On Thursday night, the Mets will have a chance to pull off both feats as the teams close out the first edition of the new four-game home-and-home Subway Series.
The Mets (21-29), after losing five straight and 20 of 27 overall, are now on a season-best four-game winning streak, led by a resurgent offense that has piled up a number of clutch hits against the Yankees (30-22).
Following a pair of wins against the Yankees that came down to the latter innings, the Mets burst out for five runs in the first Wednesday and cruised to a 9-4 victory. The Mets entered the night having scored five or fewer runs in 22 straight games."Some great at-bats in the first inning," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I just think there's a different attitude in the clubhouse."
Slumping first baseman Ike Davis has two multi-hit performances in his last four games. Mired in a 4-for-53 skid entering Wednesday, Davis came up with a two-run single in the first inning."That's a five-star at-bat if you ask me. With guys in scoring position, that was huge," catcher John Buck said. "You can just see the quality of his at-bats literally the last week. They're completely different."
David Wright contributed a pair of runs Wednesday and is 5 for 11 with four runs in three games against them this season. He's a .322 lifetime hitter against the crosstown rivals.
Hoping to emerge out of his own skid, Dillon Gee (2-6, 6.34 ERA) will look to pick up his first win since May 1 for the Mets. He has posted an 8.36 ERA over his last three starts, with opposing batters hitting .373 off of him.
The right-hander has surrendered three or more runs in seven of his 10 starts, including Saturday against Atlanta. Gee allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings of a 6-0 loss.
He's been particularly bad on the road this season, going 1-3 with a 9.97 ERA, but pitched well in his lone career start in the Bronx. Gee limited the Yankees to three runs over seven innings in his second start against them June 9, but was on the wrong end of a 4-2 final.
Wednesday's loss was the season-high fourth straight for the Yankees, who have scored nine runs during that skid."I think we know what we're capable of doing. We just haven't been swinging the bats well," center fielder Brett Gardner said. "The Mets have really had our number."
Vidal Nuno (1-1, 1.93) is used to getting little support from his teammates. The Yankees have given him just two runs in two starts this season.
The rookie left-hander has been very good in both outings, yielding two runs and eight hits in 11 innings. He didn't receive a decision at Tampa Bay on Saturday after giving up two runs in six innings of a 4-3 victory.
|New York Mets|
|May 29, 2013||Ruben Tejada||Day-to-Day||Left game - quad injury|
|May 14, 2013||Scott Atchison||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|May 09, 2013||Jeurys Familia||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|April 29, 2013||David Wright||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|April 23, 2013||Jonathon Niese||Day-to-Day||Lower right leg contusion|
|March 22, 2013||Jenrry Mejia||60-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|New York Yankees|
|May 25, 2013||Curtis Granderson||15-Day DL||Broken left pinkie finger|
|May 24, 2013||Curtis Granderson||Day-to-Day||Left game - Broken left pinkie finger|
|May 24, 2013||David Phelps||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right arm injury|
|May 17, 2013||Andy Pettitte||15-Day DL||Strained left trapezius muscle|
|May 16, 2013||Andy Pettitte||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight left trapezius|
|May 16, 2013||Chris Stewart||Day-to-Day||Left groin injury|
NEW YORK (AP) -- At least for a few days, the baseball order in New York has been reversed.
Some might have predicted a Subway Series sweep - but by the Yankees, not the Mets.
Instead, Dillon Gee finished off the first sweep by the upstarts from Queens over their older, more-renowned rival, which couldn't have come at a more unexpected time.
Gee struck out a career-high 12 and limited the Yankees to four hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 3-1 victory Thursday night that completed the Mets' four-game smothering of their famous foe from the Bronx.
"It's always fun to win this series, especially for our fans," Mets captain David Wright said. "It gives our fans some bragging rights."
Marlon Byrd had a two-run, second-deck homer in the second off rookie Vidal Nuno (1-2), John Buck hit a slow-rolling RBI single off third base in the eighth and Gee made that stand up with a start that may have saved his job.
"You're playing as hard as you always do, but you know it's something special for the fans," Byrd said. "We can't go on the road and let up. We have to keep going hard, like we did here."
The Yankees were outscored 16-7 in the sweep and went 5 for 23 (.218) with runners in scoring position. Mets starters were 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA.
"Does it mean any more that it's against the Yankees? Had we been playing better, yeah, it would have been huge. But right now we've just got to win some games, and it didn't matter who it was," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It establishes a mood in the clubhouse that, you know what, we're not that bad."
Since the start of interleague play in 1997, the only Subway Series sweep had been by the Yankees, when they went 6-0 in 2003.
"It's hard when you lose to your crosstown rivals," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You don't want to be part of a team that gets swept by your crosstown rivals. Over time, it's going to happen, but you don't want to be the team that it happens to."
The Yankees began the week leading the AL East at 30-20. And the Mets, who had never won four straight over the Yankees, were fourth in the NL East at 18-29.
But the Met extended a winning streak to five for the first time since May 5-9 last year. And the Yankees have lost five in a row in a single season for the first time since a six-game slide from May 11-16, 2011.
Collins had challenged his team.
"I tried everything that I knew to try and it wasn't working: the pats on the back, the `hang with them,"' he said. "So you just had to say, `Hey look, it's got to be now. It's got to be stepped up right this minute,' and they did it."
Using a sharp slider, pinpoint changeup and a fastball in the upper 80s, Gee (3-6) didn't go to three balls on a single batter, threw 63 of 88 pitches for strikes and retired his final 15 in a row.
Collins had told him his rotation spot was in jeopardy.
"He said, `Good job' for once when I came out of the game," Gee said. "It's hard to put into words. I needed that on so many levels it's crazy."
The Mets tied a franchise record by going three straight games without allowing a walk, the first time they've accomplished the feat since July 5-7, 1994, according to STATS. Yankees batters, usually patient, have gone three games without a free pass for the first time since June 12-14, 1991, when Kevin Maas was their cleanup hitter.
While Gee wasn't missing the plate, he was missing something: whiskers. Since he pitched against Atlanta last weekend, Gee shaved off his beard and mustache.
He escaped two-on, no-outs trouble in both the first and second innings, and then allowed just one more runner - on Robinson Cano 's one-out homer in the third, his 14th of the year. Gee and his bullpen then retired the Yankees' last 20 batters.
"He didn't get many balls over the middle of the plate," Gardner said.
Scott Rice got the final two outs of the eighth, and Bobby Parnell finished the four-hitter for his ninth save in 11 chances.
Now the Mets just have to play like this the rest of the time.
"It's a lot more fun to come to the ballpark. Guys are smiling, laughing, having a good time, playing a little more loosely," Wright said. When you go out there and you feel like you have to play perfect to win games, that's when you get a little tense and start making some silly mistakes."
NOTES: The rivals played three games apiece in 1997 and `98, then six regular-season games a year through 2012. The Yankees brushed past the Mets 4-1 in the 2000 World Series for their third straight title. ... Quintanilla was brought up from Triple-A to take the roster spot of Ruben Tejada , who went on the DL with a strained right quadriceps. Quintanilla flubbed his first chance, allowing David Adams ' second-inning grounder to roll through his legs. ... The Mets said LHP Jonathon Niese will miss his turn Sunday against Miami because of shoulder tendinitis.