The New York Mets edged the New York Yankees in the second game of the Subway Series on Wednesday night at Citi Field by a score of 4-3 in 10 innings. The outcome evens the series at a game apiece. The two teams won't meet again this season until a two-game set in the Bronx on July 25 and 26.
With the win, the Mets improve to 32-36 on the season, while the loss drops the Yankees to 39-30. The victory was a badly needed one for the Mets, as they entered the game with a 2-9 mark for the month of June and a 1-4 record since MLB home run leader Pete Alonso suffered a wrist injury that eventually landed him on the injured list.
Now for some takeaways from this interleague, intra-city clash in Queens.
Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander delivered
The two veteran aces and former Houston teammates squared off in this one, and they didn't disappoint. Cole didn't allow a baserunner until Francisco Lindor's ringing deep double to lead off the fifth, and across six innings he wound up allowing one run on four hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. With the outing, Cole's ERA on the season to 2.75. Cole came into this start with a career ERA of 6.75 (six starts) against the Mets – his highest ERA versus any opponent. Consider this a welcome reversal of fortunes for Cole.
Across the way, the 40-year-old Verlander also worked six innings, and over that span he allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Verlander's 2023 ERA now stands at 4.40. He's looked vintage on occasion this season, but start-to-start consistency has eluded him in his first season with the Mets. Against the Yankees on Tuesday, Verlander leaned more on his slider than he typically does, and the change in approach definitely worked for him. On the 40 sliders Verlander threw in the game, he got 21 swings and eight whiffs.
Isiah-Kiner Falefa provided the highlight of the game for the Yankees
IKF reached on a fielder's choice in the seventh, then he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Mets rookie catcher Francisco Alvarez. With two outs and reliever Brooks Raley working from the stretch, Kiner-Falefa spied a perfect opportunity for a baseball rarity, and he took it:
That's the Yankees first steal of home since Didi Gregorius pulled it off in August 2016. IKF now has eight stolen bases on the season. It gave the pinstripers a 3-1 lead that would not last long.
Brandon Nimmo was the goat, but then he was the hero
A half-inning after IKF's daring dash, the Mets were able to tie the score at 3-3. They loaded the bases with two outs, and then Yankees reliever Ron Marinaccio permitted a run when he plunked Brandon Nimmo on the elbow. The next man up, Starling Marte, came through with a clutch knock to left that tied the game. The Mets perhaps could've scored the go-ahead run on Marte's liner, but third-base coach Alex Cora gave Mark Vientos the stop sign. Meantime, Nimmo, assuming Vientos would be waved home with two outs, broke for third. Once he realized what happened, Nimmo scrambled back to second but was called out on a close play that the Mets challenged. Here's a look:
The call on the field stood, but it was very, very close – likely one of those in which the call stands regardless of whether said call was out or safe because there wasn't enough to overturn. The sequence cost the Mets a shot at an even bigger inning.
The good news for Nimmo and the Mets is that the center fielder got the chance to atone in extras. In the top of the 10th, the Yankees failed to take advantage of the automatic runner, and that presented the Mets with an opportunity to walk it off. Vientos struck out for the first out of the frame, and that brought Nimmo up with the winning run still on second base:
That's a walk-off double at the expense of Yanks reliever Nick Ramirez, and that's some in-game redemption for Nimmo.