NEW YORK (AP) — Clumsy defense cost the Mets in the Subway Series again.
In a matter of minutes, New York made three crucial errors that led to a four-run second inning for the Yankees in their 9-1 victory Friday night at Citi Field.
Third baseman David Wright and shortstop Alex Cora uncorked wild throws before first baseman Nick Evans fumbled away a grounder. All those miscues were too much to overcome against Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who was on top of his game against a depleted lineup.
"Where we are now injury-wise, I've said it: We've got to play pretty mistake-free baseball to win," Wright said. "And obviously, we didn't get that tonight. You make those kind of mistakes and CC has the stuff that he had tonight, your chances aren't very good."
The only Mets infielder who didn't make an error during the inning was second baseman Luis Castillo.
Of course, two weeks earlier, it was Castillo who dropped what would have been a game-ending popup by Alex Rodriguez, allowing two runs to score and giving the Yankees a 9-8 win at home.
This time, the mistake-prone Mets made three errors in an inning for the first time since May 20, 2004, when first baseman Mike Piazza, shortstop Kaz Matsui and third baseman Todd Zeile were the culprits in the ninth inning of an 11-4 loss to St. Louis.
"We've played pretty good baseball lately. It's unfortunate that we choose tonight to have that game, but you're going to have games like that," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "Their big guy was very good."
Melky Cabrera led off the second with a slow bouncer to third that Wright barehanded and threw past first, allowing Cabrera to reach second. It was the 10th error of the year for Wright, a Gold Glove winner each of the past two seasons.
One out later, Ramiro Pena hit an opposite-field double to left, driving in the first run. Sabathia, who hadn't batted in a game since last Sept. 28, singled up the middle on the next pitch for his 14th career RBI.
Brett Gardner looped a single down the left-field line, with Sabathia huffing and puffing his way to second. Johnny Damon then hit a sharp grounder to Cora that could have been an inning-ending double play. But the shortstop threw the ball into right field, allowing Sabathia to score.
Mark Teixeria grounded to first, and Evans booted the ball with both his glove and bare hand, knocking it into foul territory as Gardner scored for a 4-0 lead.
"I caught it and I looked at home, looked at the runner too soon, and just lost control of the ball," Evans said. "I should have worried about catching the ball first."
A walk to Rodriguez loaded the bases, and fans applauded when Robinson Cano hit a soft liner to Castillo for the second out. Cabrera's grounder to second ended the inning.
"There was a point there, I started laughing," Mets starter Mike Pelfrey said. "I think CC probably hit the hardest ball that inning.
"It's crazy when that happens. You want the ball to get hit to those guys. They make great plays all the time. That was just weird."
Castillo received derisive cheers in the seventh when he caught consecutive bases-loaded popups without a problem.
But by then, it was too late for the Mets to salvage another night of sloppy defense.
by the associated press