Another pitching injury, another loss:
The Yankees? recent plight probably does not generate much sympathy around Queens, not with their 26 World Series titles and their latest one captured at the hands of the locals. But if, if, if there ever were a time when Mets fans could, even for a fleeting second, look deep into their hearts and commiserate with their crosstown rivals, it might have been during the first four innings of yesterday?s game.
Yet again, a Yankees rookie pitcher, Darrell Rasner, left with an injury, only two batters into the game. A ball bounced out of the center fielder?s glove and over the fence for a home run. The second baseman forgot how to play second base.
But any Mets fan considering sending a condolence card to a buddy in the Bronx ripped off the stamp and threw away the envelope when the Yankees made a spirited charge that ended with the tying run at the plate and the Mets? closer, Billy Wagner, looking toward the sky with relief as the home team held on to win, 10-7, at Shea Stadium.
?It was an ugly game from start to finish,? Wagner said.
But nothing about this game ? not David Wright?s pair of two-run homers, Robinson Can??s three errors or the Mets? near implosion ? could alter what those around here already suspected: The Mets are a better team, and not only because of their record, which improved to 28-14, the best in the National League.
On Friday, they relied on timely hits and outstanding starting pitching to win the opener. Yesterday, their offense gave an 8-2 cushion to Tom Glavine, who was so nervous in the final few innings that he did not watch the ending.
?The way they were rolling, you just have that bad feeling,? said Glavine, who labored through half of his six-inning stint but notched career victory No. 295.
The Mets can complete a sweep tonight when John Maine opposes the 22-year-old Tyler Clippard, who will make his major league debut.
?It doesn?t matter who we play,? Mets Manager Willie Randolph said. ?We want to finish it off.?
And odds are they probably will.