What a difference ten years makes.
Ten years ago, the Subway Series brought us a Yankees team touted to win another World Series and a Mets team playing second fiddle, trying to show their big brother they could play.
The current edition is similar in both aspects. The major difference is this Mets team is in a state of flux.
Their pitching staff is in shambles as they have lost or removed three of their starters from their rotation, and their offense is not producing.
The Mets’ team ten years ago sported one of the best defenses in the game, and an offense anchored by Hall of Famer, Mike Piazza.
Blast From The Past
Several of my favorite players from the 2000 team were on hand at Citi Field.
I was hoping Edguardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza, John Franco, Benny Agbayani, and Turk Wendell could channel some of their confidence to this year’s club.
Unfortunately, the Mets came up a bit short on Friday, just as they did in the 2000 World Series.
Hisanori Takahashi is starting to become one of my favorite members of the pitching staff. He has proved that he can come into any situation, throw strikes, and get hitters out.
The throwing strikes part is the key here. It is very refreshing to have a starter other than Santana or Pelfrey challenge hitters with strikes rather than nibbling all of the time.
Tak Terrific shut down a potent Yankees lineup for six innings, including five strike outs.
The turning point in the game came in the seventh inning.
Normally sure handed Alex Cora, threw a ball into left field on a chopper hit by Francisco Cervelli.
This allowed Nick Swisher, who singled in the previous at bat, to get to third as Cervelli advanced to second on the error.
Cervelli is wearing the oversized helmet David Wright sported last year due to a concussion.
When he hits, he is a dead ringer for Flinstones’ character, The Great Gazoo.
After the Cora error, Kevin Russo promptly lined a base hit to right field, driving in the only Yankee runs of the night.
The offensive woes continue for the Amazin’s.
They faced Javier Vazquez, a pitcher sporting an ERA over 8.00. Somehow, they made him look like Nolan Ryan. He struck out six Mets’ batters in six innings.
I have to give Vazquez credit. He appeared to have great control. From what I gather, walks were killing him. Of course, he figures out how to regain his control against the Mets.
The only thing stopping him from a complete game was a bunt attempt that caught his finger.
Jose Reyes and David Wright continued their struggles, each failing to reach base. Wright collected another two strikeouts.
Once again, the Mets mustered a bit of a fight in the ninth inning.
Jason Bay and Ike Davis were able to stroke back to back doubles off of Mariano Rivera, exciting the Citi Field crowd. David Wright then promptly grounded out to second ending the game.
Ike showed no fear facing the legendary Rivera which undoubtedly raised his rock star status in Flushing.
Big Pelf faces Phil Hughes in game two tonight.