June 23, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets batter Kirk Nieuwenhuis (9) hits a home run during the third inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Game Recap: Yankees Use Late Home Runs to Down Mets 4-3


Like Friday night, the Mets jumped out to an early lead. However, this time the bullpen couldn’t contain the Yankee bats, and the most powerful team in the MLB used the home run to score late runs and win the game, 4-3. Although the Bronx Bombers have officially won the season series against the Mets, the Amazins will be looking to take the rubber match tonight on ESPN.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

New York mounted a seven-hit attack, but nobody in the lineup was able to put together a multi-hit game. Kirk Nieuwenhuis gave the Mets an early lead in the third inning with his seventh home run of the year. After a quiet top of the inning, they went right back to work in the bottom of the fourth. Scott Hairston reached on an error, and Omar Quintanilla doubled to put runners on second and third. Josh Thole grounded out to Mark Teixeira, bringing in the second run of the game. Daniel Murphy doubled to start off the bottom of the sixth, and Ivan Nova intentionally walked Thole to get to Chris Youngwith two outs. However, he made him pay with an RBI single, extending the Met lead to 3-0. That was all the scoring New York would be able to muster, as they couldn’t put together any late rallies against the Yankee ‘pen.

Yankees Offensive Highlights:

Nick Swisher was the only player to register a two-hit game last night, but the biggest hit of the evening came off the bat of Raul Ibanez. Teixeira walked to start the seventh, then Swisher doubled. Ibanez walked to the plate and tied the game with one swing, hitting a home run to right field. That knocked Young out of the game, but that didn’t stop the Yankee scoring. Pinch hitting for the pitcher, Eric Chavez hit a solo home run to left field, giving the Bombers the lead for good.

Pitching Highlights:

Both starters pitched reasonably well, but it was the battle of the bullpens that ended up deciding the winner last night. Ivan Nova went 5.2 innings, giving up 5 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 strikeouts. Joe Girardi showed his tendency to overmanage, as he used five pitchers behind Nova (Clay Rappada, Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Rafael Soriano), but it worked as they didn’t let the Mets score and they won the ballgame.

On the other hand, Chris Young pitched great until he got into the seventh inning; he ended up throwing 6+ innings, giving up 4 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs on 4 strikeouts, with those 3 runs coming on one swing. Terry Collins used three relievers behind Young (Jon Rauch, Tim Byrdak, and Jeremy Hefner), but it was Rauch who gave up the decisive home run, handing him his seventh loss of the season.

Worth Noting:

For the second straight night, the Yankees scored all of their runs by way of the long ball, continuing to show that they are an all-or-nothing team. Like Friday night, the Mets had plenty of opportunities to break the game open, but couldn’t get that clutch hit, outside of the two-out RBI by Young. The Amazins went 1-for-14 with RISP and left 11 men on base. More than 42,000 fans showed up to Citi Field last night, with most likely the same amount coming tonight to watch a prime time pitching matchup.

The loss snaps the Mets’ four-game winning streak, and drops their season record to 39-33. Due to a win by the Nationals last night, they are now 3.5 games back of Washington in second place.

Probable Pitchers Sunday:

This is the pitching matchup everyone has been waiting for. Two of New York’s best pitchers will be going head-to-head in the rubber game of the series. R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.00 ERA) will look to continue his magic against CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.55 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:00pm.

Tags: Cc Sabathia Chris Young Game Recap Ivan Nova Jon Rauch Kirk Nieuwenhuis Matt Musico Mets Game Recap R.A. Dickey Raul Ibanez Rising Apple Yanks Homer Past Mets