Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Subway Series Game 1: Shades of Luis Castillo, but with better result for Mets

It's been five years since the Luis Castillo game, and it still gives me nightmares. During the ninth inning of last night's Subway Series opener, it was starting to look like deja vu all over again.

Five years ago, the Mets let the first game of the Subway Series, 8-7, in the bottom of the ninth. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira reached base, A-Rod popped up to Castillo, and I still don't want to think about what happened next. 

Last night, the Mets led the first game of the Subway Series, 9-7, in the bottom of the ninth. Once again, Jeter and Teixeira reached base. But there would be two crucial differences between 2014 and 2009.

In 2009, the game ended when Met infielder Castillo muffed what should have been an easy play. 

In 2014, the game ended when Met infielder Lucas Duda made a great play on a sharply-hit grounder by Brian McCann, starting and finishing a double play.

The other difference was Teixeira's health.

In 2009, Teixeira scored the winning run from first because he was hustling all the way when A-Rod hit what looked like a game-ending pop out.

But in 2014, a hobbling Teixeira could only make it to first when he hit what should have been a double. Teixeira was immediately removed for a pinch-runner.

If Teixeira had made it to second, the tying run would have been in scoring position. Duda would not have been able to get the force at second to start the double play. The inning would have continued after McCann's at bat, and the way Farnsworth was pitching, the Yankees would have had a good chance to give Met fans more nightmares.

Instead, the Mets have now beaten the Yankees five straight.

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