Major Leagues: Yankees 15, Mets 0
By Mike Fitzgerald
NEW YORK ó Johan Santana was way off track in the Subway Series.
Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees hammered Santana in the worst start of his career, routing the Mets 15-0 on Sunday for the biggest interleague blowout between the Big Apple rivals.
“Today was a terrible day and that’s about it,” Santana said. “I didn’t locate my fastball today the way it’s supposed to be located.”
Jeter went 4 for 4 and the Yankees got two-run homers from Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano in a nine-run fourth inning, chasing Santana early to take two of three in a testy series at Yankee Stadium.
Once the first pitch was thrown, the Yankees provided all the fireworks.
They needed only four innings to set a season high for runs in a game, building a 13-0 cushion for A.J. Burnett (5-3). The Yankees finished with 17 hits, three by No. 9 batter Francisco Cervelli, and pulled several stars before the seventh.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel wasn’t around at the end, either. He was ejected by plate umpire Jim Wolf for arguing after David Wright took exception to a called third strike in the sixth.
It was the Yankees’ largest shutout victory since beating Toronto 15-0 in the opener of a doubleheader on Sept. 25, 1977 ó and their biggest at home since routing Detroit by the same score on Aug. 4, 1953.
“When you’re going up against a guy like that you raise your level because you know that he’s one of the best,” Nick Swisher said. “Obviously, if you want to be the best then you’ve got to beat the best. And today we got a good piece of him.”
Santana (8-4) didn’t look right all day. The velocity on his fastball was down, around 89-90 mph, and he was touched up for four two-out runs in the second.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner walked Swisher leading off the fourth and Matsui followed with his 10th home run. Melky Cabrera lined a double, Cervelli singled and Jeter made it 7-0 with an RBI single that finished Santana, who walked slowly off the mound and removed his cap before reaching the dugout.
Asked if he’s worried about his ace, Manuel said: “Not really. Everyone hits a bump in the road every now and then.”
Johnny Damon greeted Brian Stokes with an RBI double and Jeter scored when Alex Rodriguez grounded into a double play. That closed the book on Santana, who allowed a career-high nine runs and nine hits in three-plus innings ó matching his shortest start. His ERA spiked from 2.39 to 3.29.
After giving up four earned runs in his first seven outings this season, the left-hander has yielded 26 earned runs in his last six starts.
Santana said he had some back problems a month ago, but now he feels OK.
“I battled through some soreness here and there before, but I feel fine,” he said. “I think I’m fine. You start the season with those numbers and everyone expects you to keep (them) that way.”
The last time Santana was lifted so quickly without a rain delay was May 23, 2004, when he went three-plus innings in a 17-7 loss for Minnesota against the Chicago White Sox.
Cano doubled twice and drove in three runs. Damon also had three RBIs for the Yankees, who won the series opener 9-8 when Mets second baseman Luis Castillo dropped Alex Rodriguez’s two-out popup in the ninth inning.
“It’s the Subway Series. You’re going to see some strange things,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.