The Yankees and Mets found a fairly unique way to celebrate the closing of their respective stadiums Saturday, doubleheaders for both teams at home. It has happened twice before in 1997 and 1982 with the Yankees splitting both times and the Mets splitting once and being swept once. Saturday’s results fell along historical precedents.
In game one of the Yankees series, Tampa pounded New York 7-1. James Shields kept the Yankees off the scoreboard until the ninth and Mike Mussina was ineffective and sabotaged by a lack of defense. The one bright spot was Derek Jeter, who got three hits.
Across town, the Mets had their own setbacks in the first game of their doubleheader. Johan Santana carried a shutout into the eighth, but he was visibly tired as he started the inning. After allowing the first two runners on, Santana was lifted and the bullpen proceeded to implode, allowing three runs as the Mets fell 3-2 in the opener.
The Yankees took the field again at 7pm and jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. But, Sidney Ponson was ineffective and allowed a grand slam in the 4th to put the Yankees behind 4-1. Tampa had their own defensive problems in the 7th, throwing away an almost certain double-play ball, and the Yankees took a 5-4 lead. They added an insurance run in the 8th and while the Rays threatened in the ninth, Mariano Rivera shut the door and gave the Yankees a 6-5 win.
The Mets jumped out early in the nightcap with David Wright hitting his 29th homer in the first and Fernando Tatis adding a RBI to give New York a 3-0 lead. That was all Jonathon Niese needed as he dominated the Braves in his second big league start. Niese pitched eight shutout innings and struck out seven as the Mets cruised to a 5-0 victory.