Kiner-Falefa Steals Home! But Yank Bullpen Coughs Up Win. Mets 4 Yankees 3 in 10

It would have been a great win.

Gerrit Cole was tremendous and in line for a win — getting the better of Justin Verlander in a pitcher’s duel. To top it off, Isiah Kiner-Falefa stole home in the 7th inning to give the Yankees and Cole a 3-1 lead.

But Jimmy Cordero and Ron Marinaccio allowed 3 singles, a walk, and a hit by pitch in the bottom of the 7th to cough up the lead.

The Mets won in 10 when the Yankees didn’t advance their inherited runner from 2nd — Anthony Volpe swinging away leading off instead of being told to bunt — and the Mets did score their runner on a walkoff double by Brandon Nimmo.

At a packed Citi Field on a beautiful June Wednesday night.

“It was back and forth tonite,” said Gerrit Cole afterwards. “We just ended up not being able to push over the final deciding run or being able to hold them off just enough — but it was a good battle between two good teams. As far as atmosphere tonite — it was electric — playoff type; fun, back and forth, crowd into it. It was just a great game to be a part of.”

The Yankees drop to 39-30, 9 behind Tampa and 4 behind Baltimore. The Mets improve to 32-36, 10 games behind Atlanta.

1. Cole Tremendous — Perfect into 5th

Gerrit Cole came in with a 7-1 2.83 record and he was dominant. He had a perfect game going into the 5th.

In the 5th, Francisco Lindor led off with a double, but Cole got a fly out and strike out. With 2 outs, Tommy Pham doubled for a run and Mets 1-0 lead.

The Yanks tied it in the top of the 6th, but in the bottom of the 6th Cole allowed consecutive singles to lead off the inning, to Mark Vientos and Brandon Nimmo. Cole then reared back and struck out Starling Marte, and got a fly out and line out to end the inning.

When the Yanks scored 2 in the 7th Cole was in line for the win, but ended up just improving his ERA to 2.75. His line: 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 8 K’s, 0 walks.

2. Verlander Tremendous

Meanwhile Justin Verlander was just as tough on the other hill. He came in 2-3 4.85 but looked like the Justin Verlander who shut down the Yankees in game 2 of last year’s playoff series against Houston.

Verlander allowed a leadoff double to Billy McKinney in the 2nd, but otherwise was perfect too into the 6th. Like Cole, he didn’t walk a batter.

The Yanks finally got to him in the top of the 6th — a leadoff double by Jose Trevino, and a 1-out RBI single by Jake Bauers. Tie game 1-1.

3. Kiner-Falefa Steals Home!

The Mets brought Jeff Brigham out to pitch the 7th with Verlander at 105 pitches. And immediately the Yankees got their first walk — Josh Donaldson leading off. Brigham then hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch.

DJ LeMahieu however, struck out and Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a double-play grounder to shortstop that Francisco Lindor fielded, flipped to Jeff McNeil for an out at 2nd, but McNeil’s throw to 1st was in the dirt and couldn’t be handled by 1st baseman Mark Vientos — it went for a throwing error and Donaldson scored! Yanks 2 Mets 1.

And then … Isiah Kiner-Falefa Stole Home! Yankees 3 Mets 1!

4. Yanks Bullpen Blows It

But then the Yankee bullpen did the same thing the Mets bullpen did: Jimmy Cordero came in and allowed a leadoff single, and then with 1 out another single, and then with 2 outs — a walk to Vientos — loading the bases.

The Yanks were an out from getting out of it. Aaron Boone brought in Ron Marinaccio — who does tend to walk batters. Marinaccio hit Brandon Nimmo with a pitch to force in a run, then went 3-0 on Starling Marte before getting a strike and putting a 92-MPH fastball over the plate that Marte knocked into left for a game-tying single.

Brandon Nimmo was caught off 2nd on the play for the final out. The Mets appealed but lost the challenge.

5. Kahnle & Abreu Did Good

Tommy Kahnle pitched a 1-2-3 shutout 8th with two strikeouts.

Albert Abreu pitched a 1-2-3 shutout 9th with 1 strikeout.

6. Yankees Don’t Bunt; Nimmo Walks It Off

The game was marked by the Yankees’ refusal to bunt:

  • In the top of the 8th, Anthony Volpe led off with a double against old friend Adam Ottavino. Yankee fans know Ottavino can be very tough when he is on (and be extremely wild and hittable when he is off). In a 3-3 tie in the 8th inning, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman in the broadcast booth were anticipating the Yankees might bunt Volpe to 3rd with nobody out but they didn’t — Jake Bauers swung away and struck out.
  • In the 10th, Volpe was the leadoff batter — a good bunter — but the Yankees didn’t have him bunt the inherited runner Kyle Higashioka to 3rd. Instead he swung away and struck out. Jake Bauers then flied to center — a fly that may have been deep enough to score the runner if he had been bunted to 3rd. The Mets then intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton and got Josh Donaldson to ground out to end the inning.

The Mets also refused to bunt their inherited runner over in the bottom of the 10th — Abreu struck out Vientos swinging. One out — runner on 2nd still.

Manager Aaron Boone then relieved Abreu with Nick Ramirez who gave up an RBI double on 2nd pitch to Brandon Nimmo for the old ballgame. Boone has that touch.

The Boxscore

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