The Yankees were coming off an ugly road trip, while the Mets finished their recent homestand by winning four of five.
Then the two teams met in The Bronx on Tuesday afternoon and the usual happened: The Yankees beat the Mets handily, 12-5, in the first game of a split doubleheader after Monday’s game was postponed due to inclement weather.
And while there have been many great moments over the years during the Subway Series, this was not among them, as the Yankees overcame a multitude of mistakes because the Mets made nearly as many.
Luke Voit provided the big blow, with a two-out, three-run homer off Zack Wheeler to give the Yankees the lead for good in the fourth.
It helped Masahiro Tanaka overcome a four-run third, as the right-hander allowed at least four earned runs for a third straight outing. Unlike his previous two starts, the Yankees won this one — mostly because the Mets played a brutal game and Wheeler was burned by homers yet again.
After Didi Gregorius’ opposite-field double with one out in the second, he scored on a Kendrys Morales single the other way to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Morales had just three hits in his previous 33 at-bats.
Tanaka, pitching on six-days’ rest following the birth of his daughter on Friday, retired the first six batters he faced until Amed Rosario reached on a throwing error by Gregorius to lead off the third.
Tomas Nido followed with a single to center to put runners on the corners with no one out.
A “Let’s Go Mets” chant broke out in the stands with Juan Lagares at the plate. Lagares hit a grounder up the middle and Gregorius made a diving stop on the play, but the ball popped out of his glove for an infield hit that scored Rosario.
McNeil then smacked the first pitch of the next at-bat out to right-center. The three-run shot gave the Mets a 4-1 lead, which proved to be short-lived.
Brett Gardner opened the bottom of the inning with a single up the middle. Wheeler made a nice bare-handed play on a DJ LeMahieu chopper and fired to second in time to get Gardner, but Rosario missed the base and Gardner was ruled safe after the Yankees challenged the play.
Aaron Hicks grounded to first, where Pete Alonso booted the ball, but he recovered and got LeMahieu at second.
Wheeler then fanned Voit for the second out and Gary Sanchez blooped a single to right, just beyond a diving McNeil, to drive in Gardner.
Where these unlikely Subway Series heroes are now
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The moments age but can never fade. Every approaching Subway…
The Yankees tied the game in the fourth when Gio Urshela hit his fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot that followed another single by Morales. Urshela had three hits in the game.
They took the lead later in the inning thanks in part to a costly two-base throwing error on a LeMahieu grounder to third. Hicks walked to bring Voit to the plate with runners on first and third.
After Wheeler got a visit from pitching coach Dave Eiland, Voit smashed a two-out, three-run shot into the bleachers in right to put the Yankees up, 7-4.
The Yankees added to their lead in the fifth, as Morales blooped a double to left that J.D. Davis couldn’t get to. Urshela then singled to left to score Morales. A triple by Gardner knocked in Urshela and chased Wheeler in arguably his worst outing of the season.
Tanaka allowed another run in the sixth on a Rosario’s RBI single.