You know it’s a weird game when a team makes three errors and wins by seven runs.
The first game of the double header between the Yankees and Mets was not the crispest game ever played. The teams combined for five errors, with several other plays that could have been, but were ruled hits.
It was certainly not a boring game, however. There were three lead changes, four multi-run innings, and four combined home runs. Masahiro Tanaka picked up the win despite allowing five runs, four of which were earned. When the dust settled, the Yankees won 12-5, but getting there was an adventure.
The Yankees opened the game’s scoring in the second inning. To start things off, Didi Gregorius continued his hot hitting since returning from the IL by doubling. Kendrys Morales then brought him home with a single to put the Yankees up early.
On the other side of the coin, Gregorius’ defense has been suspect since returning from the injured list. That led to the Mets immediately answering back in the third. Ahmed Rosario reached to lead off the inning after Gregorius made a throwing error. Two batters later, after a Thomas Nido single, Gregorius made a diving stop but couldn’t complete a play on a Juan Ligares single—allowing a run to score. Things then got much worse when Jeff McNeil homered, putting the Mets up three.
It didn’t take very long for the Yankees to start chipping away at that. In the third, Gary Sanchez got a single to drop just in between a couple of Mets fielders, scoring a run. The big inning, however, came in the fourth. With Morales on first after a single, Gio Urshela homered, thus evening things up. Then it was the Yankees’ turn to benefit from an error.
With two outs in the inning, DJ LeMahieu hit a ground ball to third. Todd Frazier fielded it cleanly, but made a throwing error of his own. Zack Wheeler then walked Aaron Hicks on four pitches, bringing Luke Voit to the plate. Voit gave the Yankees the lead again, crushing a 412 foot home run. At this point in the game, there were 11 runs scored and only seven were earned.
That lead would only grow in the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Morales kept the frame alive with a double. Urshela then picked up his second run-scoring hit of the day, bringing him home with a single. Next up was Gardner, who plated another run with a triple. While it wasn’t an error, that one was also helped a bit by a defensive miscue, as Michael Conforto’s attempt at a diving catch failed.
The roller coaster that was this game continued in the sixth when the Mets got a run back. Dominic Smith led off the inning with a double, and a couple batters later, he scored on a Rosario single.
The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the seventh thanks to yet another Urshela RBI. To cap things off in the eighth, Sanchez massacred a baseball 422 feet for his 20th home run of the season.
Other than that one run in the sixth, the Mets’ offense was mostly held in check after the third. Tanaka ended up rebounding to get through 6.2 innings. Tommy Kahnle and David Hale wrapped things from there, allowing just two runners over the final couple innings. Thankfully, the Yankees’ offensive output allowed the Yankees to save most of the integral bullpen pieces ahead of the second game later.
With that, we’ll see you in a few hours for game two.