Bronx NY – There was a quiet Mets clubhouse after their 4-2 loss to the cross-town Yankees in the Bronx Monday night. This wasn’t the Mets best effort, or resembled a team that was 35-games over .500 and with the second best record in baseball.
Max Scherzer, the three-time Cy-Young Award winner failed to get his 200th career victory and after taking three-of-four down in Philadelphia, including another of their thrilling comebacks on Sunday afternoon, the reeling Yankees had no chance.
But this is baseball, and as they say you play everyday. Each game can be different, losing can suddenly become winning, and it also goes the other way, so, perhaps, the Mets in a division leading battle with the Braves, needed this win more than the Yankees.
But the Yankees wins in consecutive ball games, and back-to-back after losing their previous three, says for now to hold the presses because they are not on life support. Perhaps they never were despite a 15-½ game lead that dwindled to eight as of Monday.
And in the Bronx, with 48,760 in attendance, the largest Yankees home crowd of the season, there were signs of a Yankees team that dominated baseball for a good part of the first half. Overall, though, beating the crosstown Mets in the second installment of the Subway Series was a good sign.
“We didn’t play our best baseball tonight,” said Francisco Lindor, the Latino Sports 2016 AL MVP Award recipient. Tomorrow is another day.” He commented passing through that quiet visiting Mets locker room which normally is more vibrant.
But the Mets are not accustomed to losing close ballgames, or losing like they did Monday night. They beat the Yankees twice at Citi Field last month and Max Scherzer got Aaron Judge to swing and miss at 97-mile four-seam fastballs.
Monday night, Judge got to Scherzer, his Major League leading 47th home run and off a cutter. Scherzer, got the loss and was denied his 200th career victory.
Scherzer, this time allowed the newest Yankee, Andrew Benintendi to continue where he left off against the Blue Jays on Sunday, 2-for-3 and the home run.
“It was the Benintendi at bat,” he said. “Left the cutter over the plate.” It was also the Yankees with better at bats, and Domingo Germán (San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) out pitching Scherzer with the Yankees making a statement.
Though, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the statement will be made in October. He said there is a long ways to go, even as the Yankees showed more energy in the dugout, but they were never a team that believed their season was on a downslide.
Good teams as well as the bad all have their slumps, even during these precious games down the stretch in late August going into September. But the Mets, they have been accustomed to winning and have led the NL East since April 12th.
“He (Scherzer) gave us a chance to win on the road against a really good team,” said Mets manager Buck Showalter. “Not many people are doing what he did tonight. A lot of people come in here and struggle. He was really solid. There was nothing wrong with Max.”
But Scherzer gave up that home run to Judge, the same player that could not handle his fastballs last month when the two teams met for the first two games of this Subway Series at Citi Field last month.
The Mets, after winning three of four down in Philadelphia, seemed a bit lethargic, perhaps from their latest comeback win Sunday that gave them a 14-5 season series win over the Phillies. And the Mets are 43-19 against opponents in their division this season which accounts for their first place standing in late August.
But the Yankees are a different story. They, perhaps, needed this win more for their momentum to get back on track as the Mets continue to try and fight off the defending World Series champion Braves, a team that refuses to lose.
So Tuesday the Yankees will go for this brief two- game sweep, though when taking into account the other two losses versus the Mets last month, they avoided losing a sixth straight series.
As Lindor briefly said, tomorrow is another day. The Mets won’t have Jacob deGrom on the mound, they pushed his latest start back a day or two and that could matter to the Yankees.
Hey, it’s baseball in New York. Two of the best teams in baseball, even though the Yankees have not resembled a team they were in the first half that for many months owned a MLB best record.
Rich Mancuso is a senior writer with Latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening live 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube
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