Eric Chavez's ppinch-hit solo home run gave the Yankees the lead and the bullpen was excellent once again to make it stand. (Image: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE)

In a Pinch: Chavez's homer breaks tie, bullpen dominates as Yankees top Mets 4-3

Through six innings of play, it looked as though the New York Yankees were on the way to their fourth consecutive loss. Instead, they used the strength of a Raul Ibanez three-run homer and a pinch-hit solo blast from Eric Chavez in the seventh inning to take the lead. The Yankees bullpen was marvelous again tossing three and a third scoreless innings with eight strikeouts as the Yankees held on to beat the New York Mets 4-3.

The Yankees offense was kept in check by Mets starter Chris Young for six innings. Young used mostly a mid-80s fastball and an occasional slider to keep the Yanks off the board. In the seventh, the Yankees would quickly erase the Mets 3-0 lead. Mark Teixeira worked a walk to start the frame and Nick Swisher followed with a double. Ibanez finally managed a big hit against Young, lining a 84-mph fastball just over the right field wall to tie the score.

The Mets brought in reliever Jon Rauch after the home run and he got Russell Martin, who left the game with a stiff back, to strikeout. Joe Girardi called on Chavez off the bench to pinch hit for Clay Rapada. Chavez poked an opposite field shot just within the left field foul pole to put the Yankees on top.

Ivan Nova threw 5.2 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out seven. The no-decision broke a string of five straight decisions ending with a win. The Mets scored on a third inning solo shot from Kirk Nieuwenhuis, a RBI ground out by Josh Thole and a RBI-single by Young.

The Yankees bullpen continued their masterful season, though with a little drama in each of the last three innings. In the bottom of the seventh, Cody Eppley allowed a lead off double to Jordany Valdespin, who then moved to third on a ground out by David Wright. Girardi brought in lefty Boone Logan to face power-hitting Lucas Duda. Logan struck out Duda on three straight sliders and then set down Daniel Murphy on strikes in four pitches stranding Valdespin.

David Robertson, making his third appearance since coming off the disabled list, made it interesting with two walks wedged between three strikeouts. Rafael Soriano allowed a one-out single to Wright in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Mets two chances with the tying runner aboard. Soriano struck out Duda, who again failed in a clutch spot and got Murphy to fly out to the warning track in right field to end the game.

The Yankees (42-28) increased their lead in the American League East to two and a half games over the Baltimore Orioles and ensured a winning record in this year’s Subway Series with their fourth win against the Mets. The Mets (39-33) fell to three and a half games behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East.

The Yankees are obviously feeling good after last night’s win and hope the momentum will translate into tonight’s marquee pitching matchup of the series featuring Yankees ace CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.55 ERA) and Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.00 ERA). Sabathia is coming off his first complete game victory of the season and holds a career 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA against the Mets.

The Yanks will need another solid effort tonight from Sabathia in order to stay close as Dickey is riding a six-game string not witnessed very often. Dickey has turned in a truly remarkable season and had been virtually untouchable of late. During the six-game span, he is 6-0 with a 0.18 ERA. He’s struck out 63 batters in 48 2/3 innings against only 5 walks. Dickey has not allowed an earned run in 42 2/3 straight innings, tossing two-straight one-hitters in the process.


Tags: Boone Logan CC Sabathia Chris Young Clay Rapada Cody Eppley David Robertson David Wright Eric Chavez Ivan Nova Joe Girardi Jon Rauch Jordany Valdespin Lucas Duda Mark Teixeira New York Mets New York Yankees Nick Swisher Rafael Soriano Raul Ibanez Russell Martin Yankees

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