As was readily apparent when the Mets put men on second and third before Randy Johnson had even thrown five pitches, yesterday, the 16th anniversary of Andy Hawkins' 4-0 no-hit loss, just wasn't the Yankees' day. David Wright doubled those two runners home to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead. The Yankees would tie it up in the third after Alex Rodriguez delivered a bases-loaded single for the first run, but the tying run scored on a double play off the bat of Jorge Posada and Andy Phillips flied out to strand Jason Giambi at third with the go-ahead run.
Johnson, who had looked so good in his last three games (20 1/3 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 22 K), gave the lead right back and then some, following the Yankees' aborted rally with a four-pitch walk to Wright. A Julio Franco single and a walk to Chris Woodward of all people loaded the bases and a first-pitch single to left by Ramon Castro plated Wright and Franco as Melky Cabrera's throw tailed slightly up the first base line. After Johnson battled Eli Marrero for his second strikeout of the inning (Randy needed 13 pitches total for the two Ks), Jose Reyes delivered the third single of the inning into left field to plate Woodward as Cabrera's throw sailed far over the head of Jorge Posada and all the way to the backstop allowing Castro and Reyes to move to second and third. Paul Lo Duca then followed with yet another single to left as both Castro and Reyes scored. That made it 7-2 Mets and a Marrero homer off Johnson in the sixth pushed it to 8-2. The eight runs off Johnson were the most he's allowed in a single start since 2003.
Meanwhile the Yankees were busy killing every rally they mustered against Mets starter Steve Trachsel. In the bottom of the first, yet another misguided hit-and-run attempt turned a no-outs, first-and-second situation for Jason Giambi into a two-outs, man on second situation for Rodriguez when Giambi took a 3-2 pitch low and away for strike three and, with no one standing in the right-handed batters box, Johnny Damon was thrown out by ten feet on his way to third. Rodriguez walked, but Posada flied out to end the inning. As I already mentioned, Posada's double play cut short the game-tying third-inning rally. In the seventh it was Jeter who hit into a double play with men on first and second and no outs. Giambi followed by grounding out to strand the Miguel Cairo at third.
The Yankees finally got one back in the eighth when Rodriguez, who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs and a walk, led off the inning with a solo homer off the disgruntled Aaron Heilman, but that was all they'd get. 8-3 Mets.
Rookies T.J. Beam and Matt Smith mopped up admirably, Smith having now thrown ten scoreless innings to start his major league career. With that, every member of the Yankee bullpen save LOOGY Mike Myers, who has yet to appear in this series, has thrown a minimum of one scoreless inning in the past two days for a collective line of 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Myers, meanwhile, hasn't allowed a run since surrendering a three-run home run to David Ortiz on May 1 and currently sports a 0.68 ERA.
Finally, I've just noticed that T.J. Beam's full name is Theodore Lester Beam. Better hope he never plays on a team with David Jonathan "J.D." Drew. These men are rebels. Together they could destroy our fragile initialing system altogether.