The final day of the 2009 matchup between the Yankees and Mets started with a batting cage-side shouting match between Brian Bruney and the Mets' cartoonish caricature of a closer, Francisco Rodriguez. The day ended with the most brutal beating in Subway Series history. But not in the way those early events would seem to have dictated. Instead, the Yankees answered the bell with their bats targeted on Mets' pitching, not their employees, ripping ace Johan Santana for nine runs on nine hits in only three innings, for easily the former Cy Young Award winner's worst start of the season. Derek Jeter — and his 4-for-4, two-RBI day — was at the forefront of the assault as the Yankees made a definitive statement concerning which is the strongest team in New York and which is the strongest league in baseball.
After Santana got around a lead-off single by Jeter in the first — to retire Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, and A-Rod in that order — it seemed that Johan was relatively on his game. But when backup catcher Francisco Cervelli opened up a vein in the Mets' collective body, the blood flowed like sieve for the next seven innings with no tourniquet in sight.
Cervelli's double scored the first two runs in a four-run second inning. Had the Yanks stopped there, that production alone would have been more than enough to keep Santana down on the mat for the game. But the Yanks weren't feeling like taking a day of rest on a violent Sunday in the Bronx.
Without recording an out in the fourth inning, Santana was obliterated for another five runs, giving up a two-run homer to traditional Mets-killer (and lefty) Hideki Matsui and a two-run single to the Captain, before being mercifully rescued from the game by Mets' manager Jerry Manuel.
Needless to say, the guest treatment for replacement sacrificial lamb Brian Stokes was no less forgiving. Damon immediately doubled in Cervelli, A-Rod scored Jeter on a fielder's choice double-play, Cano blasted a two-run shot scoring Rodriguez, and the hot-hitting Melky Carbrera continued his torrid pace, doubling in Matsui and Nick Swisher, before being thrown out at third to bring the inning to a frenzied close. And when the dust settled in the Yanks new digs, the scoreboard read a scorching 13-0, Santana was well into his post-start shower, and the Mets' lay bleeding, broken, and battered, without no chance at retribution against a masterful AJ Burnett.
The Yankees offense was in championship form on Sunday, and displayed their prowess against arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Nick Swisher and A-Rod were the only Yankee starters not to get a hit and Matsui was the lone contributor that did not record a multi-hit game (even though he did hit the aforementioned two-run dinger). And while Swisher and A-Rod were unable to join the parade with their bats, they were able to contribute three runs scored between them.
The offensive explosion allowed the Yankees to clear their bench, giving everyone a shot at the dish with plenty to consume. The light-hitting Ramiro Pena got himself a hit and RBI and even Franciso Cervelli — known far more prominently for his glove work rather than his bat — ended up with an eye-popping 3-for-5 day with two runs scored and an RBI of his own. The dominance was en masse, huge for the Yankees coming out of off the brutal series in Boston and the loss to the Mets on Saturday. If absolutely crushing one of the greatest left handed pitchers of all time — in his home town if not in his home park — isn't enough to re-infuse confidence into a struggling lineup, than said lineup lacks a heartbeat for the game.
Perhaps the only drawback for the Yankees on Sunday was that they didn't get a shot at the spastic K-Rod, as the Mets had no use for their closer in the 15-0 loss. One can assume this factor won't force the Yankees to lose much sleep. K-Rod, in referencing Bruney's statement that it is embarrassing to watch Rodriguez's antics on the field said, "He better keep his mouth shut and do his job and not worry about somebody else. If it came out from somebody big, I might pay attention to it. But somebody like that, it doesn't bother me."
Funny thing is, that's exactly what the Yankees did. Sure, some words were exchanged pre-game, but when it came time to settle their differences on the field the Bombers didn't make like Brad Penny and throw at anyone, and they didn't squawk like K-Rod and have a seizure on the mound. They simply proved that they are the severely superior team, owning the Mets' best pitcher, shutting out their vaunted offense in the band-box that is the new Yankee Stadium, and thoroughly beating the hell out of K-Rod's team in the much more affective metaphorical fashion. And they did it with the class and the dignity that befits the Yankee way. Hopefully Joba Chamberlain can derive the same lesson from this display that K-Rod had to learn the hard way, caged up in a 'pen where — judging from his on the field antics — he looks like he belongs.