Eduardo Escobar touched home plate, threw off his helmet and began the sprint to second base to celebrate with his teammates.
The player they were chasing was Starling Marte, who delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning Wednesday night that gave the Mets a 3-2 win over the Yankees at Citi Field for a two-game sweep of the Subway Series brought.
The Yankees own the better record for first place. But at least for now, the Mets own bragging rights around town.
“I like playing against teams that like to win and also like to compete and fight because it pushes us as players to reach a new level,” said Marte, who wore a green sombrero to his locker as the Mets offensive player of the game. “I like to show these skills, especially against these good teams.”
Escobar’s leadoff double in game nine against Wandy Peralta fueled the winning rally. Tomas Nido sacrificed Escobar for third place and Brandon Nimmo got an infield single before Marte, who had struck three times earlier in the game, finished it off.
The Mets won their third straight win and extended their NL East lead over the Braves to three games.
Gleyber Torres livened up the Yankees with a two-run homer on David Peterson in the eighth game that tied them 2-2. It came after Max Scherzer manhandled the Yankees for seven shutout innings on his 38th birthday.
“In situations like this you have to want the ball and go out there and play against the best,” said Scherzer. “The Yankees are obviously one of the best teams in the AL for a reason. It’s fun when they come to your park and face them, and you want to beat them. They respect how good they are. That’s the best way to measure yourself.”
Left Peterson led Anthony Rizzo early in game eight before Torres fired over the right fence. The smash was the 16th of the season for Torres, who competed with an .846 OPS in his last 18 games. Peterson was booed as he left the field after beating Matt Carpenter. Seth Lugo replaced Peterson and fired 1²/₃ scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
The Yankees went 0-to-7 with runners in goal position and left them hitless in situations like this for the series in 15 at-bats.
Scherzer notably owned Aaron Judge, whom he beat three times. The last of those showdowns came in the seventh when Scherzer fed Judge a fourth slider in five pitches to beat him with the ties on base. Scherzer stormed off the field to a jubilant Mets dugout, where his night work was being celebrated.
“Max was ‘wow,'” said manager Buck Showalter. “Sometimes I’ve caught myself watching his competitions out there.”
Overall, Scherzer allowed five hits and walked two with six strikeouts and a hit batter to drop his ERA to 2.09. In five starts since returning from the injured list — missing almost seven weeks with a tight skew — Scherzer has amassed a 1.39 ERA with 45 strikeouts and four walks.
Scherzer faced his first major Test in the third when Judge hit with two runners on base – Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu each had a single – and two outs. Scherzer threw five pitches to Judge and knocked out the slugger with a fourth slider at-bat.
The Yankees had another shot against Scherzer in the fifth after Josh Donaldson doubled and Kyle Higashioka made a two-out walk. But Scherzer pulled LeMahieu back on a line to Francisco Lindor, preserving the Mets’ two-barrel lead.
Pete Alonso’s homer in front of Domingo German, who led the second, got the Mets going. The homer was Alonso’s 26th of the season and extended his MLB lead in the RBIs to 84, a night after hitting base four times in a Mets win.
“That’s Pete, he’s just a consistent competitor,” Showalter said. “There are many similarities between him and Max. They never have a day off in competition. I’ve never had a woe is me moment with Pete. He just keeps crunching and embracing those expectations of the things he’s capable of.”
Lindor delivered a broken-bat RBI single against German in the third inning that gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. Nido doubled leading the inning.
German lasted 4²/₃ innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. The right-hander was removed on 82 pitches in the fifth inning. Lindor and Alonso both went into the innings but were left stranded when Lucas Luetge pulled Daniel Vogelbach back.
“As I got to first base, I said to Alonso, ‘This feels like a potential World Series matchup, it would be pretty cool,'” Carpenter said. “He said, ‘I’d like that.’ “