An eight-pitch at-bat sent Phil Hughes home empty-handed on Monday night.
Hughes lost a lengthy battle to Mets third baseman David Wright by serving up a game-tying homer in the Mets' eventual 2-1 win. On the eighth pitch of an at-bat in the seventh inning, Wright crushed a ball to left-center to tie the game at 1-1 and leave Hughes with a no-decision.
"I pitched OK. Made a bunch of mistakes, but that's part of the game. You're going to have to battle," Hughes said. "With a 1-0 lead, I have to do a better job of trying to get through that part and just wasn't able to do it."
With the Yankees nursing a 1-0 lead in the seventh, Wright led off and fouled off four of the first seven pitches to put the count at 2-2. Hughes, having retired Wright on an inside fastball earlier, tried to go inside again -- but he left his pitch over the plate and Wright jumped all over it.
Hughes, aided by great defense, had one of his best starts of the year as he gave up just four hits and one run while striking out six, but Wright's at-bat kept him from potentially earning the win.
"Just trying to make quality pitch after quality pitch," Hughes said. "Eventually, sometimes, you're going to miss a little bit."
NOT AN ISSUE: When Daniel Murphy gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in the eighth with a go-ahead single against David Roberston, he violently slammed his bat to the ground in a tomahawk motion while running to first. Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not have an issue with Murphy's reaction.
"It is an emotional game. Some guys are going to show more emotion outwardly than other guys," Girardi said. "I only have a problem if I feel a guy is doing it to show up the other guy. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary."
STEWART'S FINE: Yankees catcher Chris Stewart slipped while attempting to retrieve a passed ball in the eighth, but said he was fine afterward. He was sidelined recently with a strained groin.
NOT REALLY SURE: The Yankees' offense once again stalled as it managed just one run and couldn't sustain any rallies against Mets starter Jonathon Niese. Stewart, who hit into a crushing inning-ending double play in the second, couldn't really explain why Niese shut the Yankees down.
"I don't know. I felt I saw good pitches against him, felt like we were in good counts. I couldn't tell you," Stewart said. "Personally I put good swings on him.
"His ball kind of moves different directions occasionally. He'll cut it, two-seam it and just maybe kept guys off balance and just threw good pitches to good part of the plate. ... Tip your hat to him, he did a good job tonight."
NOT FIRST ANYMORE: With the loss, the Yankees are no longer in first place in the AL East, as they have fallen a game behind Boston. It marks the first time since May 8 that the Yankees are not at least tied for first place.