NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Amazin’!
The Mets were the talk of the town just a week ago – and not in a good way. Who could have thought a four-game set against the New York Yankees would flip the script?
The dark cloud is lifted — at least for now — as the Mets completed a Subway Series sweep over their crosstown rivals Thursday. Starting pitcher Dillon Gee struck out a career-high 12 and limited the Yankees to four hits over 7 1-3 innings to finish off the whitewash.
“The hardest thing I’ve done is try to keep these guys positive,” manager Terry Collins said after the 3-1 win. “It wasn’t about changing stances or shuffling bullpens. It was about trying to keep the guys in the clubhouse positive. Everybody goes through some bad times. You’ve got to work your way out of it.”
The Yankees began the week leading the AL East at 30-20. And the Mets, who had never won four straight over the Yankees, were fourth in the NL East at 18-29.
“You could sense there was tremendous frustration,” Collins said. “Guys were down. I heard some guys that I’ve known for three years now starting to say, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. I can’t do it anymore.’ And you can’t listen to that.”
The Yankees were outscored 16-7 in the sweep and went 5 for 23 (.218) with runners in scoring position. Mets starters were 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA.
“A big series like this in the Subway Series,” catcher John Buck said, “I think helps overcome a lot the feelings we were going through.”
The Mets extended a winning streak to five for the first time since May 5-9 last year. And the Yankees have lost five in a row in a single season for the first time since a six-game slide from May 11-16, 2011.
Collins issued a challenge — and the team stepped up.
“I tried everything that I knew to try and it wasn’t working: the pats on the back, the ‘hang with them,’” Collins said. “So you just had to say, ‘Hey look, it’s got to be now. It’s got to be stepped up right this minute,’ and they did it.”
Since the start of interleague play in 1997, the only Subway Series sweep had been by the Yankees, when they went 6-0 in 2003.
“It gives our fans some bragging rights,” said Mets captain David Wright. “I’m glad we’re able to give them that, because the Mets fans that came over here to the Bronx and supported us, they were loud and it was good to hear.”
The Mets will ride their high into a weekend series with the cellar-dwelling Miami Marlins. Meanwhile, the Yankees take their losing streak into a set against the rival Red Sox.
“You’re talking about the Yankees — 27 World Series,” said outfielder Marlon Byrd. “I think they were one game out of first place. They’re a tough team. They know how to play, so to come in here and show we can play against them was huge for us.”
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