No team worth their salt wants to fall to an intrastate rival.
But such was the case for the AL East-leading New York Yankees, who lost Game 1 of the famous Subway Series in the Big Apple against the NL East-leading New York Mets, 6-3, on Tuesday night.
Though the NY rivalry remains a series worth marking on the baseball calendar, the prevailing narrative this time around was the regular-season rise of the Mets.
Tuesday night’s matchup from Citi Field was electric from the jump, with the Yankees sending two scores into the stands in the first inning by Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, jumping to a 2-0 lead.
“You can feel the buzz around the city and certainly around the ballpark. Certainly fun to be a part of it,” shared Yankees manager Aaron Boone during the game.
Prior to the contest, the Yankees announced that Giancarlo Stanton was placed on the 10-day IL.
For most NY-only matchups, you’d expect the more regal franchise in the Yankees to coast their way to a win with a strong start.
But the Mets felt right at home.
In the bottom of the first, Mets All-Star Starling Marte sailed a home run to left field and kickstarted a scoring spree before inning’s end. “Polar Bear” Pete Alonso hit a double and brought in a runner to tie the score, 2-2. Alonso recorded his MLB-leading 83rd RBI of the season.
With the Mets one out away from closing the inning, Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer to give the vengeful team a 4-2 advantage.
At the bottom of the third inning, Francisco Lindor grounded to Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson. An errant throw to first from Donaldson struck a sprinting Lindor, extending the play and bringing in a runner to capitalize on the error. A base hit by Jeff McNeill in the eighth to bring home Marte improved the Mets to a 6-3 lead. Edwin Diaz tied it all neatly with a four-out save to give the Mets a win, and a modicum of bragging rights.
An atmosphere akin to October felt alive in the sold-out 41,922-seat venue on Tuesday. And in the end, the hometeam Mets (60-37) showed another sign that they’ve got the moxie to build something special out of a rare season.
The Yankees (66-32) return Wednesday for Game 2 of the Subway Series.