Subway Series: Round One goes to Yankees

Don’t let it be said the Yankees can’t win playing National League baseball.

The Subway Series moved from the small confines of Yankees Stadium across the East River to Queens and the cavernous Citi Field, where the Bronx Bombers showed they can play small ball as well. The Yankees won, 5-1, in a game in which they had three sacrifice bunts (two by pitchers), a 5th-inning pinch hit and, most starkly, no home runs.

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Ivan Nova (8-4) started and went five innings, allowing seven hits and one earned run. Nova was pinch hit for in the bottom of the 5th by Jorge Posada with two runners on base and a 3-1 lead. Mets starter Jon Niese wiggled out of the jam.

Niese (7-7) went six innings and surrendered three earned runs – all in the first inning – on nine hits. Niese settled down after it looked like the Mets might be in for a disastrous performance. In that first inning, Nick Swisher led off with a single, followed by a Curtis Granderson single and Mark Teixeia two-run scoring double. After an Alex Rodriguez groundout, Teixeira scored on a double by Robinson Cano. Niese allowed just three hits over the next four innings though. He struck out seven.

The last game the Yankees hadn’t hit a home run in was a week ago against Colorado.

In the top of the 9th, Rodriguez learned just how big Citi Field is. He posed on a long, towering shot to centerfield, which hit the wall in center and resulted in an RBI double.

The crowd of 42,020 was the largest in Citi Field history.

The second game of the series is a national broadcast at 4:10 p.m. on FOX. Dillon Gee, who has been the best starter for the Mets this year at 8-1 with a 3.32 ERA, starts for the Mets against Bartolo Colon. Colon (5-3, 3.10 ERA) is starting his first game since June 11. He was placed on the DL after straining his hamstring in that victory. He won his last three starts before going on the DL.

What we saw

1. Hit parade

The Yankees banged out 11 hits, including four doubles. They didn’t hit any home runs and didn’t need them. The criticism for hitting too many home runs is foolish, but at least for tonight those fans were pacified. They got their small ball and they got a win.

2. Jeter who?

Derek Jeter is likely to return Monday – after a rehab stint in Trenton this weekend – but his replacement Eduardo Nunez went 4-4 tonight. It was his first ever 4-4 game. His defense hasn’t made anyone forget the Captain, but he’s done an admirable job replacing him on offense.

3. Reyes safe … but out

In the bottom of the 7th, Reyes led off with a single. He advanced to second on a Turner sac fly, but when he tried to advance to third on an errant throw he was thrown out at third base. Only problem, umpire Jerry Layne blew the call. Reyes was clearly safe on replay, but Layne was out of position, screened by Alex Rodriguez. The play was a big one for the Mets, who were trying to rally off the soft underbelly of the Yankees bullpen – in this case Cory Wade.

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