What it means: While the two local teams might have similar records, on this night, they didn't look to be at the same level, as the Yankees crushed the Mets 9-1 in the first of six Subway Series games this month. Johan Santana made a different kind of history this Friday night, and the Yankees' Hiro -- Hiroki Kuroda -- stole the night from the Mets' no-hit hero by flirting with a no-no himself.
Hiro-no? Almost, as Kuroda baffled the Mets for 5 2/3 innings before Omar Quintanilla lined a single to left-center. Previously, the Mets had had one baserunner after Derek Jeter booted Josh Thole's grounder in the fourth. Kuroda allowed just one more baserunner, a walk to Lucas Duda in the seventh. Easily Kuroda's best outing of the year -- seven innings, just one hit and a season-high seven K's.
Cano hitter: Santana's bid for his second straight no-hitter ended as soon as he released an 88 mph fastball to Robinson Cano in the second inning. Cano jumped all over the BP fastball and lost it in the right-field seats, with Alex Rodriguez aboard, to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. An inning later, Cano did it again: same pitch, same situation, same result.
Belly-to-belly-to-belly: The Yankees hit back-to-back-to-back homers off Santana in the third inning. Nick Swisher followed Cano's second dinger with a shot into the left-field seats, and Andruw Jones followed Swisher with a line-drive HR down the left-field line. It was the first time in Santana's career he had allowed three straight home runs in an inning.
The Binder Rules: Raul Ibañez rarely starts against left-handers -- just seven times all season -- but Joe Girardi put him in the lineup against Santana, for a very good reason: Ibañez was batting .348 lifetime (16-for-46) against him. And sure enough, Ibañez singled in his first at-bat to raise his average versus Johan to .361.
Captain Collapse: With his 0-for-4 night, Derek Jeter is now 0-for-his-past-17, and if you count the two double plays he has grounded into, he has made 19 straight outs. His batting average, up to .404 as recently as May 4, is now down to .314. According to Elias, only twice has Jeter had longer hitless streaks -- in 2008 he was 0-for-18, and in 2004 he was 0-for-32.
Kick save and a beauty! Daniel Murphy's seventh-inning line drive caromed off Kuroda's heel and flew high into the air, where it was caught by A-Rod for a highly unusual 1-5 putout. It was Kuroda's last batter of the night. He was taken for an X-ray, which was negative, and the Yankees announced he had a left foot contusion.
Thank God there's Mets fans: And StubHub, for that matter. The Yankees announced an attendance of 48,566, which was -- get this -- only the second sellout of the season.
What's coming: The great Ian O'Connor is writing a column about Santana's encore. Multimedia star Andrew Marchand is handling Kuroda's big night. He'll also be on with Bill Daughtry on ESPN 98.7 FM in the 11 p.m. ET hour. I'll be writing a column on Cano, don'tcha know, who put on a Reggie-like show in his first two at-bats tonight. Mike (Amazin') Mazzeo will be handling the Mets' side of things.
Tomorrow: Phil Hughes (5-5, 4.96 ERA) faces Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.48) in the middle game of this three-game set, first pitch at 7:05 p.m.