NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda saved the day in the Subway Series opener.
With Brian McCann's sharp grounder seemingly poised to scoot into right field for an RBI single that would have moved the tying run to third base in the bottom of the ninth, Duda dived to his right and snagged the ball.
He then initiated an interesting double play for the final two outs of a 9-7 win against the Yankees in the Bronx.
New York Mets
“He hit the ball pretty hard, and I just got lucky,” insisted Duda, who also had a game-tying, broken-bat single in the eighth. “I stuck my glove out and that was it. It was pretty tough. He hit the ball pretty well. Like I said, I just got lucky and stuck my glove out and snagged it.”
Because the Mets were playing an overshift on McCann, David Wright ended up being the middleman on the 3-6-3 double play. Wright has not been a regular shortstop since high school but looked like a natural at the position on the turn.
“I enjoy it. I take some ground balls over there occasionally because I know we shift [on] so many guys,” Wright said. “I’m kind of glad I did, because I feel a little more comfortable over there when it’s the bottom of the ninth and first and third with one out. I’m glad I take some extra work over there.”
Kyle Farnsworth got into trouble in the ninth, allowing two baserunners before being bailed out by the double play.
Terry Collins said he did not consider using Jenrry Mejia for the ninth.
Mejia, in his return to the bullpen, had recorded the final out of the seventh and also tossed a scoreless eighth.
“I knew that question was coming, as it always does,” Collins said. “... His first night after three days' rest and throwing 100 pitches, I thought an inning-and-a-third, he got us to the ninth, is all he was going to do.
“I’ll tell you, he handled the conversation we had today extremely well,” the manager continued about Mejia's reassignment to relief. “He said, ‘I’ll do the best I can. I want to start. But I want to pitch in the big leagues. This is my role.’ He did an outstanding job. ... You know, we’ve got to be careful with him. We’ve got to make sure he gets the proper rest and we don’t overdo it with him, but he was very good.”
Said Mejia: “In 2010 I was in the bullpen. It’s not going to be that hard, because I know how to prepare and be ready.”
If there was a concern Monday, it was the continued struggles of Bartolo Colon, who allowed seven runs (six earned) in 5⅔ innings. He surrendered a grand slam to Brett Gardner -- the eighth homer he has allowed in 49⅓ innings this season.
“There’s still too much season left to go,” Colon said through an interpreter after his ERA climbed to 5.84. “I’m not worried yet.”
Said Collins: “I just see him make some mistakes in the middle of the plate, which he normally doesn’t do.”
The Mets slugged a season-high four homers, including a decisive two-run shot by Chris Young in the eighth.
“Part of being here,” Collins said with a laugh, referring to the friendly Yankee Stadium dimensions compared with the Mets’ home ballpark. “The Chris Young ball is not high enough to get out of our place, I don’t think. This atmosphere creates intensity and it creates focus.”
“In this ballpark, the game is never over,” Wright said. “There’s no lead that’s safe here.”