Sometimes, the package comes as advertised.
Oftentimes, we baseball fans are promised terrific pitching matchups that turn out to be duds, with both starters gone by the fifth. When Jacob deGrom and the Mets took on the Yankees and Sonny Gray, we got what we paid for. Both pitchers brought their A game. Of course, this being 2017 and all, the longball held sway.
The Yankees broke out against deGrom in the third, when Ronald Torreyes hit a grounder just past the glove of Wilmer Flores at third. He fell before he got to first, but made second anyway when Yoenis Cespedes was tardy getting to the ball. Brett Gardner pushed a bunt to Flores and Torreyes crossed over. He would score on Aaron Hicks’s single to short right. In the fourth, deGrom walked Chase Headley with two outs and forgotten man Jacoby Ellsbury hit a tracer into the low right field stands, upping the Yankee lead to 3-0. It became 4-0 in the sixth, when Gary Sanchez hit a bomb into the left field seats.
For his part, Gray was impenetrable, mowing down Mets in bunches. Until the seventh, that is. Flores led off with an eight-pitch walk. Rookie Dominic Smith took a ball, the hit a long fly to left center, just over Hicks’s leap, the first homer of his major league career. That was all the play for Mr. Gray. His line: six innings, five hits, two walks, five strikeouts and two earned runs. In the last of the eighth, Aaron Judge legged out a double to left, barely beating a strong throw by Cespedes. Didi Gregorius hit a busted bat popup barely out of the reach of Flores and it was first and third. Sanchez then launched a shot to center that Juan Lagares was able to run down as Judge walked home. deGrom, despite feeding his gopher, got into the eighth, surrendering nine hits, walking two and striking out four before giving way to Jerry Blevins and Chasen Bradford. The Mets battled back the ninth off Aroldis Chapman, no less, when Jose Reyes pinch hit for Smith — I cannot even begin to imagine why — with one and beat out an infield hit off Headley’s glove and Amed Rosario hit a laser into the right centerfield seats. Chapman got Travis d’Arnaud on a grounder to short and Lagares bounced out to first.
It’s Jaime Garcia vs. the returning Robert Gsellman tomorrow night as the Subway Series makes its Flushing stop.