He trotted in from heart discipline when Starling Marte’s line drive landed harmlessly within the left-field grass. He briefly glanced on the pile of joyful Mets making an attempt to squash Marte at first base. Citi Area hadn’t truly waited for the ball to hit the bottom earlier than the home-team portion of the 43,693 who’d stuffed the yard for the second straight night began celebrating this 3-2 Mets win.
Aaron Decide reached the dugout, shook his head softly. Two Yankees followers behind the third-base dugout applauded earlier than Decide disappeared into the clubhouse. It was the Yankees’ tenth loss in 15 video games. They’re 11-13 in July. There are not any alarm bells but, not 11 ½ video games clear within the AL East.
Nonetheless, a man can get used to successful daily, simply as a man can get used to hitting a house run daily. It’s principally been that sort of yr for Decide. Simply not this time.
“We’re still one of the best teams in the game,” he mentioned, after expressing delight on the Yankees’ acquisition of ex-Red Sox core player Andrew Benintendi, these days of the Royals. “I wouldn’t choose our season after a few weeks.
“Fifteen games doesn’t determine a season. If we win 12 out of 15 people will start asking again what’s gone so right. It’s a long season we have.”
And Aaron Boone, whose tone this yr grows extra defiant in occasions of disaster: “We’re unfazed. We know where we’re going.”
It was an aggravating night for the Yankees and a vexing night for Decide, who hasn’t had too a lot of them this yr. He went 0-for-5, stranded 5 runners. 3 times he struck out towards the Mets’ Max Scherzer, who was splendid throughout seven five-hit innings.
Within the seventh, Scherzer and Decide teamed up for maybe essentially the most electrical sequence of a New York baseball summer time that has been chockablock with them. The Mets led 2-0 — although it felt prefer it ought to’ve been extra like 4-0 or 5-0 — and Scherzer had simply walked DJ LeMahieu to place runners on the corners with two out.
In that second, we reached the primary apex of the baseball season.
In that second, we had Scherzer versus Decide, sure future Corridor of Famer towards possible MVP. Ace towards slugger. Famous person versus celebrity. Typically, even essentially the most attention-grabbing baseball video games can really feel like they occur at half-speed. You then get Scherzer versus Decide. And you would’ve lit up town.
Scherzer received the duel, fanning Decide on a nasty slider, his 99th pitch of the night, then he pumped his fists and high-fived each teammate on his means by means of the dugout. But it surely felt just like the Yankees would possibly’ve caught a break, too: Scherzer clearly had emptied his tank towards Decide, figuring there was no cause to not. It meant the Mets wanted to go to the bullpen.
And 5 pitches into the underside of the eighth, 2-0 had turn into 2-2 on a Gleyber Torres blast off David Peterson, a top quality pitcher who regarded completely petrified by the second. What it meant was Decide would get yet one more crack towards the Mets, this time within the ninth, this time towards Seth Lugo, this time with LeMahieu at first.
This time, the Yankees followers within the crowd lifted their voices to the sky. The Mets followers … properly, should you may describe what a collective gulp seems like, that might outline it finest. Decide hasn’t simply been good this yr, he’s damaged hearts late in video games. And Buck Showalter knew that higher than anybody.
“Nobody handles him,” the Mets’ supervisor mentioned, “you just try to contain him.”
Lugo did that. He received two fast strikes, wasted a curve, then went with a slider. Decide made strong contact. However the ball hopped straight to Francisco Lindor at quick. The Mets had contained him yet one more time. Ten minutes later they had been dog-piling at first base.
Robust night on the workplace for Decide. Robust stretch of the season for the Yankees. And a troublesome project, eyeball-to-eyeball with Scherzer.
“He’s one of the best in the game for a reason,” Decide mentioned. “You can’t expand the zone too much. I’ve got to stay in my zone but he made me expand it and made great pitches.”
The Yankees shall be effective, and Decide shall be, too. By the point these groups meet once more subsequent month the Yankees are sure to look very completely different, with Benintendi and Giancarlo Stanton within the fold, and who is aware of who else. Decide shall be there, too. And he’ll be aiming at some snug partitions and gaps. See you in August.