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Mets sweep Yankees: Max Scherzer dominates, Starling Marte hits walk-off single at Citi Field

The Subway Series was a Subway Sweep. On Wednesday night,Max Scherzer and the NY Mets walked off the crosstown rival NY Yankees to summary the quick two-game sweep at Citi Field. The Mets won Tuesday’s game after falling behind early. Both NY teams will play another two games at Yankee Stadium the following month.

Starling Marte provided the walk-off single in the ninth inning. That came one inning after Gleyber Torres tied the overall game with a two-run home set you back right field.

Wednesday’s game was a reasonably low-scoring event through seven innings. The Mets took a 2-0 lead in to the eighth inning, Torres tied it to provide the Yankees life, then your Mets strung together three hits in the ninth to walk it off. The Mets have won six of the final eight Subway Series games and 14 of the final 24 dating back to to 2018.

The win combined with Atlanta Braves loss early in the day (PHI 7, ATL 2) provides Mets a three-game lead in the NL East, their largest since July 7. Despite having losing, the Yankees own baseball’s best record at 66-33. They’re 11 1/2 games up in the AL East.

Listed below are three things we learned out of this installment of the Subway Series.

Alonso lives for big moments

Was this a large series? In the grand scheme of things, not necessarily. It had been two games between non-division (non-league) rivals in July. But is sure felt just like a big series, big enough that both managers used their closer in the eighth inning at one point. The Citi Field crowd brought postseason intensity and in addition brought the very best out of Pete Alonso, who went 3 for 3 with a double and a walk Tuesday, then opened the scoring with a solo homer Wednesday.

“I’ve never played in a significant League playoff game before, but easily had to guess, that’s what it might be like,” Alonso told MLB.com following Tuesday’s win.

Alonso went 1 for 3 with the homer and a walk Wednesday, upping the tally to 4 for 7 with a double, a homer, and two walks in the two-game series. Even though it wasn’t a “big” series, by itself, the lights were bright and the baseball world was attending to, and Alonso rose to the occasion. He was the star at the plate in both games.

Actually, the very best of the Mets lineup starred in the series. Their 1-2-3-4 hitters — Brandon Nimmo, Marte, Francisco Lindor, and Alonso — went a combined 12 for 28 (.429) with three doubles and two homers in both games. All of those other Mets went 7 for 38 (.184) with two doubles and a homer.

Scherzer dominated Judge

Birthday boy Max Scherzer — he turned 38 on Wednesday — was dominant in his first ever Subway Series start, striking out six Yankees in seven scoreless innings. He owns a 2.09 ERA in 13 starts this year. The biggest of these six strikeouts was the final, when Scherzer struck out Aaron Judge with two on and two out to get rid of the seventh.

Judge went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts against Scherzer on Wednesday — he also struck out with two on and two out in the 3rd — and missed with all six swings he took against his slider. Scherzer totally dominated the AL MVP candidate, or even AL MVP favorite. Judge is currently 2 for 10 with six strikeouts against Scherzer in his career.

Sliders were a style for Scherzer forever — he threw 30 sliders among his 99 pitches — and they are a style all month. In five July starts, Scherzer has thrown 132 sliders among 466 total pitches, or 28.4 percent. He’s throwing his slider a lot more than ever before nowadays. Here’s Scherzer’s slider rate by month during the last five seasons:

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Max Scherzer is throwing more sliders than ever before nowadays. Brooks Baseball

It certainly is possible the uptick in sliders is really a blip — look at Scherzer’s slider rates the prior two months, for instance — however the gradual upward trend through the years suggests it is a veteran pitcher adapting. Adapting to his arsenal (which includes aged exceptionally well) and in addition adapting to modern hitters, that are more prone to swing and miss than these were even five years back.

Slider or no slider, Scherzer have not missed a beat since returning from his oblique injury earlier this month. He’s allowed five runs in five starts since returning and looks no worse for the wear. With the news headlines Jacob deGrom can make his next begin in the big leagues, the Mets will soon have their vaunted 1-2 punch together for the very first time. Scherzer was great Wednesday and contains been great all year. So have the Mets.

(And, incidentally, the six strikeouts Wednesday give Scherzer 41 on his birthday in his career. This is the most all-time, passing Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. The Big Unit fanned 39 batters on his birthday, Sept. 10, in his career.)

The Yankees need another starter

This is plainly obvious prior to the Subway Series, therefore the past two gamesjust reinforced it. Jordan Montgomery was tagged for five runs (four earned) in 2 1/3 innings Tuesday, then Domingo Germn danced around danger on the way to being charged with two runs in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday. Yankees starters will have a 4.31 ERA in June after posting a 3.05 ERA from April through June.

Montgomery’s outing was the 3rd amount of time in five games New York’s starter didn’t throw a lot more than three innings. Five times in 22 games this month the Yankees didn’t have more than four innings from their starter. It just happened five times in 77 games from April through June, and which includes one opener game that has been a short begin by design.

“I needed to be on the market, but I sucked,” Montgomery told MLB.com after needing 71 pitches to obtain seven outs Tuesday. “Obviously, I would have to be pulled. But I was prepared to throw as much pitches as necessary.”

Luis Severino will miss another couple of weeks with a lat strain and Jameson Taillon and Nestor Cortes have to have their workloads monitored down the stretch. At minimum, the Yankees have to generate a depth starter ahead of next week’s trade deadline to absorb innings in August and September. Ideally they might add a direct effect starter (hello, Luis Castillo) to be 1B to Gerrit Cole’s 1A.

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