2000 Game Recap: Yankees Expose Mets Weakness

Well, after the Mets beat up on the Yankees, the Yankees returned the favor tonight by getting to the weak point of the Mets – the back-end of their pitching staff. It was almost very clear from the beginning Bobby Jones didn’t have it, and the Yankees pounced.

The Yankees were up 2-0 quickly on a pair of RBI doubles from Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez in the first. However, the Yankees would not be up for long as Jay Payton homered in the second, and Robin Ventura hit a two run homer in the third off of Andy Pettitte to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.

Unfortunately, Jones had not quite settled in. Paul O’Neill homered to tie the game at 3-3. As much as Jones was struggling, Pettitte was as well. He couldn’t keep this game tied as he allowed the Mets to take the lead again in the fifth.

Todd Zeile doubled home Piazza. After Robin Ventura reached on a Martinez error, it was Payton again with an RBI single increasing the Mets lead to 5-3. Those would be the last runs the Mets scored while the Yankees offense just took off from that point.

Things appeared safe enough in the fifth. There was a runner on first with two outs. That’s when the Yankees onslaught began. First, O’Neill hit an RBI double, and Williams followed with an RBI single. When Martinez singled, Bobby Valentine went to his bullpen to bring in Pat Mahomes. While Mahomes has been good all year, he wasn’t today allowing a three run homer to Jorge Posada.

In the sixth, Mahomes allowed a solo homer to Derek Jeter. At that point, it was 9-5 Yankees. Realistically speaking, the game was still within reach. That would not be the case for long as Dennis Cook imploded in the seventh allowing four runs.

While the Mets offense had their way with Pettitte, they were not up to the task to do the same to the Yankees bullpen. After Pettitte pitched seven, Jeff Nelson and Mariano Rivera each pitched a scoreless inning to secure the Yankees 13-5 victory.

While yesterday might’ve been a glimpse at how the top end talent on the Mets may very well be better than the Yankees, it is clear the Mets pitching depth is an issue. Time and again, Jones does not have it, and the bullpen has been shaky in those middle innings. That becomes an ever increasing issue when you have a pitcher in Jones who is just not guaranteed for anything more than 4+ on any given night.

Game Notes: Payton is red hot hitting four homers over his last eight games. He is hitting .448 over that stretch. Since coming off the DL, this was the first time Jones was unable to last at least five innings in a start.

Editor’s Note: With there being no games to begin the season, this site will follow the 2000 season and post recaps as if those games happened in real time. If nothing else, it is better to remember this pennant winning season and revisit some of the overlooked games than it is to dwell on the complete lack of baseball.