Gut Reaction: Mets 10, Yankees 4 (6/11/19 — Game #2)

The Mets sent Jason Vargas to the mound, his mission twofold: 1 – to continue his month-long streak of quality pitching; and 2 – to wash away the bitter taste from game one of this day/night twin bill at Yankee Stadium. You could say they were successful on both counts. Vargas would be opposed by one of the Yankees’ big – in every sense of the word – pitchers, James Paxton.

The Mets would jump out early, as they had in the first game. Jeff McNeil hit the first pitch of the game on the ground into right field for a double. J.D. Davis let one pitch go by before singling to left, McNeil stopping at third. That brought up Pete Alonso, who launched an absolute moon shot into the left field bullpen, a good 420 feet from the plate for a quick 3-0 Mets lead. Paxton would settle down to retire the rest of the side in order. Vargas had an interesting first inning of his own. With one out, Luke Voit roped a single into left. Gary Sanchez worked a ten-pitch at bat before flying out deep center. Gleyber Torres hit the next pitch to center for a single, before Clint Frazier struck out looking. It looked like Vargas would be on much shakier ground than in his previous two starts, but the Mets gave him a nice cushion in the top of the third. With one out, Alonso and Todd Frazier both walked on 3-2 pitches. Michael Conforto then drove a base hit to center, knocking Alonso home. Wilson Ramos hit another single to left, giving the Mets a 5-0 bulge. It would become 6-0 when Andeiny Hechavarria singled with two outs. That would be all for Paxton, replaced by the twenty-sixth man on the Yankee roster, Chance Adams. He got Carlos Gomez on a fly ball to end the inning. Now it was up to Vargas to hold the large lead.

Vargas started the third inning giving up a single to D.J. LeMahieu and walking Voit. Sanchez hit a single to right to load the hassocks. Torres also singled to bring in LeMahieu with the first Yankee run. Clint Frazier grounded to Alonso at first, too slow for a double play as Voit scored. Gio Urshela then hit a similar ball to McNeil at second, scoring Sanchez and cutting the lead in half. Cameron Maybin flew out to stop the scoring. The Mets blew it open in the fourth. McNeil reached on a fielding error by Urshela at third. J.D. Davis then hit a Yankee Stadium III special, homering just over the right field wall for an 8-3 Met lead. His margin for error widened considerably, Vargas now steadied himself, but it took some doing. In the bottom of the fourth, he gave up back-to-back one out singles to Brett Gardner and LeMahieu, but got Voit to fly out and Sanchez to hit into a force. He got the side out in order in the fifth. By then, the lead was now 9-3, courtesy of another short-porch homer, this one by Gomez. Vargas actually lasted six full innings, when it wasn’t at all certain he’d get through four. In that sixth, he had the Yankees go three up, three down for a fine night’s work, as it turned out. Jeurys Familia pitched around a Sanchez base hit in the seventh and Seth Lugo struck out the side in the eighth. The Mets got their tenth run in the top of the ninth when Todd Frazier got hit by a pitch leading off. Luis Guillorme pinch-ran for him. After Conforto struck out, Guillorme moved down to second on Ramos’s ground out and scored on a deep double by Amed Rosario. Finally, the Yankees got one back when Drew Gagnon surrendered a leadoff homer to Gardner in the ninth, mere window-dressing by that point.

Off-day tomorrow, before the St. Louis Cardinals come to Queens on Thursday, Jack Flaherty taking on Jacob deGrom.

8 comments for “Gut Reaction: Mets 10, Yankees 4 (6/11/19 — Game #2)

  1. David Klein
    June 11, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Kudos to the Mets offense for jumping all over Paxton With Alonso having a great at bat and getting the big blow(on a pitch up in the zone no less), and then the Mets laid of some pitches their second time through especially the curve down in the zone and got some timely hits. Pete went a few weeks drawing very few walks and swinging at junk the last week he has three homers and five walks.

    Vargas was okay his first two innings but looked like he could be knocked out of the game in the third, but he got out of the inning with the lead. I thought Davis’ two run homer was huge after the Yankees cut the lead in half to make it 8-3. Vargas wobbled a little in the 4th but settled down took a couple miles off his changeup and had a very strong last few innings, so kudos to him.

    Familia looked pretty solid for the third straight outing as he threw his four seamer more lately and he threw it a lot more in Oakland so if this is the start of the turnaround for the turnaround for him that pitch may be s key to that.

    Lugo was just untouchable like his last outing as his fastball was a good as it’s ever been.

    The defense was better than it was in game on(how can it not be?), with Hech making a couple real good plays and Rosario making a good play too.

    All in all, always a pleasure to pound the Yanks if only they could have swept it would have been a perfect day. McNeil had another big series as his barrel control continues to amaze. Gotta get on a roll on the road where the Mets have been hideous to make hay this year.

  2. NYM6986
    June 12, 2019 at 7:12 am

    My expectation was that the Mets would leave Yankee stadium one game u;dear .500 meaning a split of the two game series. We all probably assumed that it would be Wheeler leading the way and not Vargas but as we know, no game is out of reach there and probably even the Yankee batboy could go yard. I’ve never been totally down on Vargas reasoning that he’s our 5th starter so why would we think he would be the reincarnation of Cy Young? But for him to pitch essentially like a #2 or #3 is way beyond expectation. For those old timers who might recall an 8-0 (or something like that) start for George Stone in that unprobable 1973 season, Vargas has been a great boost to this team. There’s nothing more fun than spanking the Yankees on their field, even if we dropped the first game. A split at home with them would be great as well but there’s a lot of important games ahead for the rest of the month. Whomever comes off the IL next, should not displace McNeil from playing somewhere. Keep the faith and let’s take it a game/series at a time.

  3. Metsense
    June 12, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Gut Reaction: surprised although I shouldn’t be. Vargas has pitched very well this season. Right now, according to fangraphs, he is number 13 In ERA in National League amongst starting pitchers that have thrown 30 innings. There are 76 starters that has pitched more than 30 innings. That means, Vargas would be considered a number one on most NL staffs. The Mets and their fans have designated Vargas as their fifth starter. Right now, the best “fifth starter”, ranked #60 in the National League, has an ERA of 4.93. So even if you are uncomfortable terming Vargas as an ace , Mets fans should be satisfied that he is exceeding their expectations. He is another player on the Mets that has stepped up. Way to go Nelson!

  4. June 12, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Who would have guessed that in mid-June the Mets SP with the lowest HR rate would be … Jason Vargas? Goes a long way towards explaining the success he’s had this season.

    • Chris F
      June 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      it also explains a lot of other things.

      • June 12, 2019 at 2:29 pm

        Yes, absolutely.

        Something has changed – many claim the ball itself. It would be fascinating to have a roundtable with the five starters and hear them give their thoughts. Particularly Vargas and how he’s succeeding when everyone else is struggling.

        • Chris F
          June 12, 2019 at 3:25 pm

          Im fascinated by the ball “juicing” conspiracy theories, which I just dont believe is (1) real, or (2) intentional, although it makes for great television. The physical properties of a baseball are eminently testable/knowable. Wildcards include perhaps a change in source of animal hides, changes in the thread fabric sources, even changes in Delaware River mud that’s used to rub balls. But baseballs are still baseballs.

          I think there is more likely set of explanations. The present growth rate of HR/year is on par with the height of the doping era. Since then baseball philosophy has evolved, especially in hitting, and so other factors are definitely at play IMO that explain this occurrence better than juicing, UFOs, or ghostly apparitions.

          1. Quality pitching. In the past number of years, the amount of IP from starters over total innings pitched is on a very steep drop, meaning variable quality pitching is more common than ever. We see this almost nightly. Even a few years ago going 7 seemed pretty normal for many pitchers, such that a “quality start” was pretty much a joke. Now, going a solid 6 seems like a strong start (I stand in utter disgust). You cant just line up all these IP by relievers and say these guys are as good as front line starters. We know that well…but so many teams have “pen problems”. Thank the 2015 Royals for this catastrophe, but they did this when you might have enough talent to make going 5-6 from starters enough; 30 teams cant do it successfully. We have a lot of crappy pitchers in the MLB.

          2. Home Runs uber alles. No question that there is a strong desire to hit home runs at the expense of everything. We can debate the value of this all day and night, but there is no doubt this is true. This mindset is certainly contributing to the HR. I think that this is key because its not like we are seeing 60-80 HRs from individuals, rather *everyone* is hitting HR.

          3. Its just great to strike out. After 30 years of slow but steady growth in the K rate per game, the past few years are on a rate just as dramatic as the HR per year rate. This confirms the HR over anything approach in baseball.

          So, its easy to conclude that the MLB is hiding tiny little jets in the balls to make them go further, but there is a wholesale change in attitude to reducing the sport to as few complex outcomes as possible, thus we worship BB and HR, and have come to accept Ks as the price to pay.

          Interesting reads:

          https://tht.fangraphs.com /explaining-the-mlb-home-run-record-of-2017-with-quality-of-pitch/

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/briangoff/2017/05/10/mlbs-strikeouts-pose-long-run-threat-to-games-popularity/#3a2898447233

  5. Pete from NJ
    June 12, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    I enjoyed Familia shouting a very vulgar word in Spanish as he walked off the mound. He’s extremely frustrated with his performance even yesterday’s action. I’m feeling that he’s getting his stuff together wanting perfection but getting a tidy 7th inning instead.

    Or at least I hope so.

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