The New York Mets took the opening game of the 2022 Subway Series on Tuesday night at Citi Field as they defeated the crosstown New York Yankees by a score of 6-3. The win allows the Mets to maintain a 2.0-game lead over the hard-charging Atlanta Braves in the National League East. While the Yankees still have a large lead in the American League East, they're now just 10-11 in July and 2-4 in the second half.
In this one, the Yankees took an early lead in the top of the first when Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back opposite-field home runs off Mets starter Taijuan Walker, who up until that point had not allowed a home run at Citi Field all season. For the Yankees, it was the 14th time this season that they've hit back-to-back home runs, which ties the franchise record set in 2009. Rizzo's homer was his first in 14 games, while Judge, who now has 38 on the season, has homered eight times in his last 10 games.
The Yankees' lead, however, was short-lived, as starter Jordan Montgomery permitted four runs in the bottom of the first, including home runs by Starling Marte and Eduardo Escobar. Those first-inning struggles were uncharacteristic for Montgomery in 2022:
Jordan Montgomery in 1st Inning This Season— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) July 26, 2022
First 19 games - 6 Runs, 4 XBH
July 26 vs Mets - 4 Runs, 4 XBH
And then there's this:
The Yankees and Mets each hit two homers in the first inning tonight.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 27, 2022
It's the first time the Yankees and Mets have each homered twice in the same inning against each other, and the first time in franchise history that a Mets home game featured 4 first-inning HR. pic.twitter.com/GQ8ztnu4Kj
Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa extended his current hit streak to 13 games with an RBI single in the second inning. However, soon after he was picked off first base with one out, a runner on third, and Judge in the hole.
The Mets added another run in the third, and Montgomery wound up lasting just 2 ⅓ innings, which is his shortest outing since September of 2020. Walker, meantime, rebounded from a rocky opening frame to work six innings and notch a quality start. Both bullpens fared well, as Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz combined for three scoreless, and five Yankee relievers combined to allow one run in 5 ⅔ innings. Ron Marinaccio extended his scoreless innings streak to 17, and over that span, he's allowed only one hit. Although Díaz for the Mets allowed the potential tying run to bat in the ninth, he wound up picking up his 22nd save and lowering his ERA for the season to 1.55.
The short outing by Montgomery and by extension the long outing from the bullpen raises some concerns for the Yankees moving forward. In addition to being short-handed at the moment, thanks in part to the Max Scherzer starts Wednesday's series finale for the Mets., the Yankees on Tuesday began a stretch that will see them play nine straight games without an off day. As well, Domingo Germán on Wednesday will be making just his second start of the season, which means he's highly unlikely to work deep into the game. More bad news for the Yankees:
In terms of the big picture, the Yankees and Mets haven't made the postseason in the same season since 2015. That year, the Mets advanced to the World Series, where they fell to the Kansas City Royals in five games. The Yankees that year lost the American League Wild Card Game to the Astros. The Mets and Yankees have met just once in the World Series – in 2000, a Yankee triumph in five games. However, both squads have legitimate designs on the Fall Classic in 2022 and are virtual locks to make the expanded postseason field.