Luis Castillo should have received a pie in the face — for two reasons, giving the Yankees their 21st walk off win and for being a goat.
His dropped pop fly in the bottom of the ninth with two outs helped the Yankees defeat their cross-borough rivals, the Mets, 9-7 last night.
The Yankees were on their way to their fourth straight loss in the ninth when there were two on base and A-Rod popped up a 3-1 pitch to short outfield in the second base area. Castillo fumbled the catch, using only one hand and dropped it and the two runners scored to win the game.
The Yankees started the scoring on a Robinson Cano solo homer in the second. Then the Mets took a 2-1 lead with two-runs off Joba Chamberlain in the third. The Yanks came right back to make it 3-2 on a two-run homer by Mark Teixeira, his league-leading 20th on the year.
Then two innings later the Mets regained the lead with four runs in the fifth to make it 6-3. The Yanks scored one in the bottom of the fifth on a Derek Jeter homer, and then three in the sixth on a three-run homer by Hideki Matsui to take a 7-6 lead. This is the second time Matsui has hit a homer on his birthday.
The Mets then tied it with a run off David Robertson in the seventh, and then once again regained the lead in the eighth on a two-out RBI double by David Wright, this time off Mariano Rivera.
Then the mayhem of the ninth inning started. Francisco Rodriguez got Brett Gardner to pop out to the catcher for the first out. Derek Jeter lined a single up the middle to put the tying run on base. Johnny Damon then worked the count to 3-and-2 but struck out for out number two. Jeter stole second on the strikeout. The Mets then intentionally walked Mark Teixeira to face Alex Rodriguez. After working the count to 3-1 A-Rod missed a meatball – 94 mph right down the middle of the plate – and hit was should have been a game-ending pop out to second, but Castillo dropped it. Then, to make matters worse, he decides to throw the ball to second base allowing the hustling Mark Teixeira to score the winning run all the way from first.
Give a lot of credit to Tex for hustling his butt off, but if Castillo had gotten the ball and immediately thrown home there’s a good chance Teixeira would have been out. Folks, let that be a lesson to always run hard, even with two outs and a pop fly is a near-sure out.
Joba Chamberlain started and was very bad. He had absolutely no command of anything. Not only did he have no command, but also his velocity wasn’t great either. Of his 100 pitches ( four innings) just 52 were strikes.
Brett Tomko followed with a rough outing out of the pen. He allowed four runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning, with two of the runs coming on a Gary Sheffield homer.
On the offensive side the Yankees once again struggled with men in scoring position, going just 2-for-9 for the game. During their winning streak, the Yankees had decent RISP, but lately on their slump, the RISP has gone down greatly. This team is madly inconsistent.
Game two of the Subway Series is today. Our sister Melanie will be attending her first of three Yankee games in a span of 5 days today. I’ll be asking her to give us a recap. Game is at 4:10pm, with Andy Pettitte and his 6-2 record on the mound facing just-called-up Fernando Nieve.