Saturday, May 21, 2011

Preview: 2011 Regular Season Game 45 - Mets at Yankees (Subway Series)


NY Mets (22-22) at NY Yankees (23-20), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: NY Mets - Chris Capuano (3-4, 4.78) NY Yankees - A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99)

The Yankees have lost six straight at home for just the second time since 1990. The has the Mets on the verge of winning just their third series ever in the Bronx as the two New York clubs continue their Subway Series tonight at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees came into last night's series opener having won three straight, but were dealt a 2-1 setback for their seventh loss in 10 games. They also dropped their sixth in a row at home for the first time since an eight-game slide in the Bronx from May 16-26, 2003.

With the Mets taking the opener, a victory tonight would improve them to just 3-11 in the 14 all-time series versus the Yankees in the Bronx. The two clubs split their six meetings a season ago, with each team winning its home series.

Knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey held the Yankees to just four hits -- one a homer by Mark Teixeira -- over six innings to win his first game since April 3, snapping a five-decision losing streak.

"That's always a challenge," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said of Dickey's tough pitches. "No one knows where it's going."



Daniel Murphy homered off Yankees starter Freddy Garcia for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and rookie Justin Turner had three hits and an RBI to help the Mets win their third straight and for the seventh time in nine games. At 22-22, the Mets are back at the .500 mark for the first time since they were 4-4 on April 9.

Turner drove in a run for a sixth straight game, tying the franchise rookie mark set by Ron Svoboda from Aug. 22-26, 1965.

"We've been playing some pretty good baseball and we've got some momentum right now," Turner said. "We've been playing pretty confident. Our pitching staff's been unbelievable. I can't even describe how good they've been."

After the Mets' Francisco Rodriguez converted his 15th straight save chance to end the game, the Yankees fell a half-game behind the Red Sox for second place in the American League East.

They'll look to make up some ground tonight and also hope that A.J. Burnett can shake off a rough outing from his last time out, but an interleague start might not be the best way to do it. The right-hander lost all three of his starts versus the National League a season ago, allowing 19 runs in 10 1/3 innings for a 16.55 earned run average.

In the process of rebounding from a disappointing 2010 season, Burnett carried a 4-2 record and 3.38 ERA into Monday's start with Tampa Bay. Handed a four- run lead, the 34-year-old gave up a season highs of six runs and three homers over 5 2/3 innings of a 6-5 setback.

"I've got to pick us up right there," Burnett said. "Take nothing away from the Rays, they're a good-hitting team, but I had way too good of stuff tonight. I was locating early, mixing early, and it just got away. You can't allow that to happen."

Burnett has made 18 career starts versus the Mets, going 4-6 with a 3.36 ERA.

Taking the hill for the Mets will be Chris Capuano, who snapped a three-start losing streak with a win at Houston on Sunday. The left-hander gave up two runs on six hits and three walks over five innings, striking out six.

Capuano is 3-4 with a 4.78 ERA in nine games (seven starts) this year. While 5-4 with a 5.34 ERA in 12 career interleague appearances, the 32-year-old lost his only other start versus the Yankees back on June 8, 2005 while with the Brewers. Capuano was drilled for seven runs -- five earned -- over four innings on that day.
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