Mo Nails 500th Save, 1st RBI

June 29, 2009 – 12:28 pm

NYY 4, New York Mets 2. The Yankee offense finally came back down to earth, as Livan Hernandez and the Mets bullpen limited them to just 4 hits. But alas, the Mets are such a bumbling bunch these days that even excellent pitching is not enough to get them in the win column. In the first inning, two defensive blunders by first baseman Daniel Murphy turned what should have been a 1-run inning in to 3 runs, which it turns out is all the Yankees would need. (We should note in Murphy’s defense that he is not a first baseman by trade, but only playing there because of all the injuries to starters — so even this goes back to the Mets injury woes.) The Mets did try to give the Yankees a lot more runs — in both the 6th and 8th innings they walked the bases loaded, but the Yankees were unable to convert either gift in to runs. In total the Mets walked 11 batters, but the Yankees were not able to plate a single one of them.

Gardner TriplesBut as it turns out, perhaps there was a method to their madness, as by keeping the score close the Yankees set up Mariano Rivera for his career 500th save. A very historic night for arguably the best closer to ever play the game.  And to top it off, how fitting was it that Rivera got his first RBI ever, an RBI walk in the top of the 9th off none other than Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez. There’s no denying that Rodriquez is also one of the top closers in the game today. But there couldn’t be a bigger contrast between the two in terms of the dignity, humility, and respect for the game that Mariano shows and Rodriquez seems totally incapable of. And that’s what really makes Mo the best of the best ever — a true class act both on and off the field. Kudos to Mo.

Not to be overlooked, though, was yet another pretty good outing from Chien-Ming Wang. His sinker still doesn’t appear to have the same movement that it did before his injury last year, and his control doesn’t seem to be quite as good either. But if you look at his stats over the last three games to what he did in 2008, things are starting to line up pretty well. BAA is .267 compared to .249 last year, WHIP is 1.44 compared to 1.32, ERA is 4.70 compared to 4.07. Not quite as good as 2008, but getting there. And surprisingly, his GB/FB ratio over the last three games is 1.78 compared to 1.21 — an indication that maybe the sinker is working pretty good. So maybe by second half of the season the Wanger will be back in 19-game winning form? Let’s hope so.

Photo: Newsday

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