By Mike Steffanos
Mets 7 - Yankees 6
David Wright's 2 out, ninth inning walkoff hit beat Mariano Rivera and the Yankees in a game where the Mets had come from behind all night. Jeremi Gonzalez started the game for the Mets and put them in a big hole early. The Yankees scored 4 runs in the first inning on 5 hits and 2 walks. It probably would have been worse if Alex Rodriguez didn't get thrown out at second on a stupid baserunning play. Still, the Mets came up in the bottom of the first down big against the Big Eunuch.
Reyes led off the game with a terrific AB, finally drawing a walk. Lo Duca dumped a soft single to right, and Beltran followed with a very hard home run to left-center. Just like that, the Mets were back in it.
Both pitchers tossed scoreless second innings, but Gonzalez fell right back into trouble in the third. A leadoff walk to Alex Rodriguez and a single by Kelly Stinnett put runners on first and third with no outs. Robinson Cano hit a long sac fly that Beltran was able to run down at the fence to put the Yankees up 5-3. After Bernie Williams struck out for the second out, Melky Cabrera hit a single, then the light-hitting Randy Johnson managed a single that Reyes made a terrific play on to keep it in the infield and not allowing Stinnett to score. Still, the bases were loaded and Johnny Damon had a chance to blow it open against the struggling Gonzalez. He only managed a weak fly out to Jose Valentin in left, letting Gonzalez off the hook.
In the bottom of the third, David Wright singled with 2 outs, and Nady hit a home run to right-center that tied the game at 5. With new life, Gonzalez came back and immediately gave up a leadoff double to Jeter. Willie had seen enough, and brought in Darren Oliver to face the Giambino. Oliver came in with the usual can of gasoline, plunking Giambi, striking out A-Rod, but then allowing Stinnett to beat him with a single to put the Yankees up by a run. Cano hit the ball hard lining out to Beltran, and Reyes made another terrific play keeping Bernie Williams' single from getting into the outfield. Again the Yankees left the bases loaded when Melky Cabrera grounded out to Wright at third.
The Eunuch stranded Reyes and Lo Duca to keep the Mets off the board in their half of the fourth, while Oliver managed to pitch a 1-2-3 fifth. In the bottom of the frame, Kazuo Matsui had a terrific at-bat against Johnson with Wright at second and 2 outs. He fell behind 1-2, but worked the count back to full before pulling a single between Jeter and A-Rod to tie the game at 6.
At that point the bullpens took over. Heilman was amazing -- pitching the 6th, 7th and 8th innings without allowing a Yankee baserunner while striking out 3. Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth kept the Mets off the board for 3 innings. Wagner came in to pitch the top of the ninth and did it in style, striking out the Giambino, A-Rod and Stinnett. Torre countered with Mariano in the bottom of the ninth. Lo Duca doubled with one out, but Rivera struck out Beltran on a nasty cutter. The Yankees elected to walk Delgado, who had some good numbers versus Rivera, and pitch to David Wright. Rivera got ahead of Wright, but the Mets third baseman worked the count back to even and then drove Rivera's next pitch over Damon's head for the game winning run.
Thoughts on the game
The Mets played a really good fundamental game at the plate and in the field. Reyes was terrific, with a hit and two walks and some great defense. Delgado saved Reyes on a really nice dig of low throw. They had long, productive at-bats of the type that have been in short supply lately.
Wright had 3 hits, including the game winner. He hasn't been driving in many runs over the past couple of weeks, but the one he drove in today was sweet.
Lima Time is up After the game Willie Randolph announced that Jose Lima has been designated for assignment. The AP is saying that relief pitcher Anderson Garcia has been called up to take the roster spot. Another move will have to be made when a starter is needed Wednesday.
Pedro versus Mussina tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 on FOX. God, I hate their baseball coverage...