“Today was a terrible day and that’s about it,” Santana said. “I didn’t locate my fastball today the way it’s supposed to be located.”
Jeter went 4 for 4 and the Yankees got two-run homers from Hideki Matsui(notes) and Robinson Cano(notes) in a nine-run fourth inning, chasing Santana early to take two of three in a testy series at Yankee Stadium.
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez(notes) shouted at Yankees reliever Brian Bruney(notes) in left field during batting practice and the two were separated by teammates. The confrontation came one day after Bruney and Rodriguez exchanged barbs through the media.
“It’s over. Turn the page. That’s it,” Rodriguez said.
Once the first pitch was thrown, the Yankees provided all the fireworks.
They needed only four innings to set a season high for runs in a game, building a 13-0 cushion for A.J. Burnett(notes) (5-3). The Yankees finished with 17 hits, three by No. 9 batter Francisco Cervelli(notes), and pulled several stars before the seventh.
It was the Yankees’ largest shutout victory since beating Toronto 15-0 in the opener of a doubleheader on Sept. 25, 1977—and their biggest at home since routing Detroit by the same score on Aug. 4, 1953.
“When you’re going up against a guy like that you raise your level because you know that he’s one of the best,” Nick Swisher(notes) said. “Obviously, if you want to be the best then you’ve got to beat the best. And today we got a good piece of him.”
Santana (8-4) didn’t look right all day. The velocity on his fastball was down, around 89-90 mph, and he was touched up for four two-out runs in the second.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner walked Swisher leading off the fourth and Matsui followed with his 10th home run. Melky Cabrera(notes) lined a double, Cervelli singled and Jeter made it 7-0 with an RBI single that finished Santana, who walked slowly off the mound and removed his cap before reaching the dugout.
Asked if he’s worried about his ace, Manuel said: “Not really. Everyone hits a bump in the road every now and then.”
Johnny Damon(notes) greeted Brian Stokes(notes) with an RBI double and Jeter scored when Alex Rodriguez(notes) grounded into a double play. That closed the book on Santana, who allowed a career-high nine runs and nine hits in three-plus innings—matching his shortest start. His ERA spiked from 2.39 to 3.29.
After giving up four earned runs in his first seven outings this season, the left-hander has yielded 26 earned runs in his last six starts.
Santana said he had some back problems a month ago, but now he feels OK.
“I battled through some soreness here and there before, but I feel fine,” he said. “I think I’m fine. You start the season with those numbers and everyone expects you to keep (them) that way.”
Pitching coach Dan Warthen said Santana’s arm feels good.
“We just have to find out what the delivery issue is right now,” Warthen said, adding that Santana had a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand that healed a few starts ago. “Since that’s healed, that’s when the ball started cutting, so I just wonder if he has changed his grip by accident in some way.”
The last time Santana was lifted so quickly without a rain delay was May 23, 2004, when he went three-plus innings in a 17-7 loss for Minnesota against the Chicago White Sox.
Flashing a sharp slider, Burnett allowed only four singles in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked four in rebounding from a rough start Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
The right-hander pumped his first after escaping a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the third.
“I felt in sync the whole game. I was free out there,” Burnett said. “I was just letting it go.”
Cano doubled twice and drove in three runs. Damon also had three RBIs for the Yankees, who won the series opener 9-8 when Mets second baseman Luis Castillo(notes) dropped Alex Rodriguez’s two-out popup in the ninth inning.
“It’s the Subway Series. You’re going to see some strange things,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The injury-riddled Mets have lost four of five.