Tony Gwynn: Trouble in the Bronx
“You know the importance of winning the intercity series. There’s nothing like it,” winning pitcher Tom Glavine said. “It’s hard not to get amped-up for the Yankees. They’re a measuring stick.”
Glavine won his fifth straight start by pitching six strong innings and Wright hit a mammoth shot out of Shea Stadium, helping the Mets take two of three from their crosstown rivals. All three games were decided by one run.
“Both teams put on a pretty good show,” Wright said.
The Yankees stranded 15 runners.
“We had them on the ropes,” manager Joe Torre said.
Derek Jeter hit a two-run single for the Yankees, who rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the ninth against Wagner on Saturday and won 5-4 in 11 innings.
But Mets manager Willie Randolph went right back to Wagner—as he said he would—and the All-Star closer entered to cheers from the crowd of 56,205.
“I was pretty shocked. I don’t know if it was Yankee fans rooting for me,” Wagner said. “Whatever, it felt pretty good.”
Wagner worked out of a jam for his ninth save in 12 chances. Pitching for the third straight day, he gave up two singles in the ninth, but retired Miguel Cairo on a grounder to end it. The hard-throwing lefty struck out two.
“I wouldn’t say making amends, but I was showing that I’m good enough to go back out there after taking a whipping,” Wagner said. “I guess I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to do better than I did yesterday.”
Wagner earned the win Friday night with splendid work in the ninth.
“I didn’t think I’d play such a key role,” he said. “I’d say it passes all expectations because what’s the chances of having this much excitement in three games?”
The Yankees now head to Boston on Monday night. The NL East-leading Mets host second-place Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Glavine (7-2) gave up two runs and seven hits in his 282nd win. He walked four and finished with four strikeouts, pushing his career total to 2,401, tying Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for 35th place.
Glavine also became the second seven-game winner in the NL, joining Arizona’s Brandon Webb.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to the season,” Glavine said.
The Yankees loaded the bases with none out in the eighth, and Jason Giambi’s sacrifice fly cut it to 4-3. But Duaner Sanchez got Alex Rodriguez to ground into an inning-ending double play, handing the lead to Wagner.
“Every inning we had opportunities to break the game wide open,” Rodriguez said.
Glavine’s defense let him down in the fourth. Bernie Williams led off with a high popup into a whipping wind, and it dropped no more than 50 feet from home plate. The 37-year-old Williams hustled it into a gift double—his second of the game. With the bases loaded, Wright misplayed Jeter’s two-out bouncer toward third into a two-run single.
Rodriguez then hit a hard liner to left, and Cliff Floyd made a leaping catch to keep the score 2-0.
Delgado and Wright made up for their miscues in the bottom half. After Lo Duca and Carlos Beltran singled, Delgado hit Small’s next pitch into the right-field bullpen for his 15th homer and a 3-2 lead. He raised his fist as he rounded first.
Wright then teed off on a 1-1 pitch, driving it over a tent behind the left-field bleachers and beyond the back wall that separates Shea Stadium from its parking lot. The ball bounced high off a concrete walkway and finally disappeared from view at an estimated 445 feet.
“That’s about a $20 cab fare,” Delgado said. “I’m a big fan of home runs, so let me tell you, that was a nice one.”
Kaz Matsui and Jose Reyes turned a nifty double play to end the fifth, Jeter grounded into an inning-ending DP with two on in the sixth and Aaron Heilman escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh when Kelly Stinnett bounced out.
Small got his pitches up the second time through the order. He allowed four runs and seven hits.
“It was just that inning. I didn’t locate the ball where I wanted to, and it cost us,” Small said.
The Yankees put Chacon (left calf) on the 15-day disabled list after the game and purchased the contract of OF Terrence Long from Triple-A Columbus. … Injured RF Gary Sheffield (left wrist and hand) is slated to play a rehab game for Double-A Trenton on Monday and could rejoin the Yankees in Boston. “He’ll get his timing with us,” Torre said. … The Mets and Yankees meet again in the Bronx from June 30 to July 2. … Floyd left before the eighth with discomfort in his left shoulder, but expects to play Tuesday.