Mets blow past bombers 9-4, close in on sweep

Yes, somehow the Mets continued their winning streak on Wednesday night in the Bronx. They took the lead quickly and didn’t look back en route to a 9-4 win. John Buck, Marlon Byrd, and even Ike Davis had two RBI each, and Jeremy Hefner got the win while pitching a quality start. Here’s the box score. Check before for the details.

The Mets scored five runs against David Phelps in the first inning
The Amazins waited until the ninth inning to finally cross the plate on Tuesday night, but on Wednesday they wasted no time at all. Ruben Tejada — one of two Mets who are reportedly candidates for demotion if they don’t start playing well ASAP — led off with a line drive single and Daniel Murphy smashed a double to right-center field to drive him in. After Phelps walked Wright and struck out Duda, John Buck came through with an opposite field single to score the Mets’ third run. Phelps then seemed to lose control of the game with a walk of Rick Ankiel, but that really should have been the end of the rally. Marlon Byrd hit a ground ball to third base that could have easily been turned into a double play, but Jayson Nix booted the ball, allowing Wright to score while recording no outs. All hail David Adams.

Finally, Ike Davis — the other Mets player who is reportedly marked for demotion if performance does not improve right away — lined a single past shortstop Reid Brignac to bring home two more runs. That was it for Phelps, who was removed in favor of Preston Claiborne. Claiborne retired the next two batters to finally end the inning.

Byrd hit a little baby home run in the third inning
The short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium nearly victimized the Mets in the bottom of the second when Reid Brignac hit an apparent pop-up that Byrd was forced to field on the warning track. In the very next frame, Byrd lobbed what looked like a routine fly ball to the same part of right field that ended up bouncing off the top of the wall and into the seats. Brennan Boesch made a nice leaping attempt at a catch, but Brett Gardner had used up all the Yankees’ defensive magic earlier in the week.

Jeremy Hefner didn’t totally collapse in the sixth inning
If the Yankees were going to mount a comeback, the bottom of the sixth was the time to do it. Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay got things started with a single and a double, respectively, to set the table for Boesch, who hit an innocent ground ball to shortstop. Tejada made things dicey by paying too much attention to Hafner at third base and hesitating on the throw to first. By the time Tejada threw over to first, Boesch was safe, a run was in, and the Yankee Stadium crowd was back in the game.

Hefner could have unraveled then, but he kept pounding the strike zone and got a pop-up from Ichiro to quell the Yankees’ momentum. Nix was able to continue the rally with an RBI base hit through the left side, but Hefner responded with two more fly outs to escape the inning.

Brennan Boesch led everyone with three hits!
Boesch hit a solo home run off of Hefner in the fourth inning to put the Yankees on the board. He also batted in the next run for the Bombers on the infield single to Tejada. Boesch’s first hit came on a single up the middle in the second inning, and he’s now hitting .271/.300/.542 in 48 at-bats this season. It will be interesting to see if Boesch is in the lineup again tonight or if the Yankees opt to bring back Vernon Wells, who was playing very well for them until a recent slump.

Scott Rice made his 30th appearance of the season
Rice is on pace to best Pedro Feliciano’s 92 appearances from 2010, which is the last year that Feliciano pitched in the major leagues. Hopefully Rice doesn’t suffer significant arm damage like Feliciano did after that fateful season, but it appears that Terry Collins has learned nothing from the way Jerry Manuel abused his own lefty specialist.

Against the Yankees, Rice pitched 1.2 innings even though the Mets were up by five runs when he entered the game. He’s being put into games about as often as Feliciano was in 2010, but Rice is pitching significantly longer than Feliciano did when he’s on the mound. The 25.2 innings that Rice has thrown this season put him on pace for 81.2, which is 17.2 more than Feliciano’s career high.

The Mets play the Yankees for the final time this season on Thursday night at 7:05. Dillon Gee will start for the Mets opposite Vidal Nuno of the Yankees.

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