The Mets took on the Yankees on Wednesday night in the first game of two at Citi Field during the 2014 Subway Series and the third game of the series overall.
In the first inning, Montero allowed a bloop single to Brett Gardner but kept his composure and retired the next three batters in order. In the latter half of the first inning, with Daniel Murphy having reached first base on a single to left field, David Wright drove a ball to the track that would have surely been out of Yankee Stadium but ultimately was caught by Alfonso Soriano. This would be the most offensive noise the Mets would make all game as they recorded just three hits after the first inning.
Montero walked the first batter of his big league career in the top of the second inning and with two outs and Solarte on first, Brian Roberts laced a line drive to left fielder Eric Young Jr. who haphazardly dove for a ball he probably should not have; a mistake that was even more magnified with Tanaka on deck and defensive whiz Juan Lagares riding the pine in favor of EY.
Fast forward to the top of the fourth inning when Montero had the chance to complete a 1-2-3 frame for the third straight inning but fell short once again when Yangervis Solarte ripped a frozen rope down the right field line for a solo home run. Brian Roberts followed with his second triple of the night but the inning eventually came to a close after Tanaka grounded out to Daniel Murphy.
Chris Young led off the bottom of the fifth inning by ripping a line drive through the hole on the left side but was eventually erased on a careless play where he tried to catch Tanaka sleeping by stealing second base before the pitch was thrown.
Mark Teixeira spoiled Rafael Montero’s sixth and final inning of the night with a towering leadoff home run to right center field. However, Montero retired the next three batters in order to cap an otherwise decent start. In six innings pitched, Montero allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three.
Carlos Torres came on in the top of the seventh inning to replace Rafael Montero and retired the first two batters before Brett Gardner beat out a slow chopper to Murphy on a close play. He then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Derek Jeter then hit a weak ground ball about five or so feet in front of home plate that Anthony Recker adamantly called for but Carlos Torres refused to get out of the way of. Recker’s throw to first was off line as a result and Jeter ended up with an RBI.
The mental mistakes the Mets made tonight proved a moot point as Masahiro Tanaka handled the Mets offense with ease. He allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout, striking out eight without walking a batter.
Overall, it was not a bad first start at all for Montero as he only allowed seven baserunners in his six innings. His main problem was the inability to put hitters away as multiple Yankee hitters repeatedly fouled off his two strike offerings. He also left a few fastballs up in the zone with Solarte and Teixeira making him pay. However, Montero’s performance was definitely something to build on.
The Mets will take on the Yankees at Citi Field tomorrow night at 7:10 PM for the final game of the 2014 Subway Series. Jacob deGrom will make his big league debut for the Mets while Chase Whitley makes his first start of the season for the Yankees.