Horrible Night in New York as Yanks and Mets Both Drop Vital Games

KP WeeSenior Writer IAugust 26, 2008

What a Tuesday night in the major leagues.

Both New York teams choked, and while the Mets are still very much alive, the Yankees are running out of time, facing a huge deficit.

Still, you have to wonder about the psychological affect Tuesday's collapse in Philadelphia will have on the Mets.

Can they recover from such a debacle?

The Mets were cruising with a 7-0 lead over the Phillies after just three-and-one-third innings as they battered the normally reliable Jamie Moyer.

All signs pointed to the Mets, already 9-4 versus the Phils this season, to continue their dominance.

But it was the Mets' own old-timer, Pedro Martinez, who couldn't get the job done, giving up five runs right back in the next couple innings.

Martinez even surrendered a two-run bomb to Ryan Howard, who, despite having 35 home runs, is hitting just .227 and is on pace to shatter his own ML strikeout record of 199. (Why isn't Howard being scrutinized even more? 200 strikeouts in a single season? Yikes.)

Mets reliever Luis Ayala then gave up the tying run after getting the first two outs to start the ninth. Jayson Werth singled and pinch-hitter Eric Bruntlett doubled him home, as the Mets completed their choke job.

Chris Coste's game-winning RBI single in the 13th won it for the Phillies, 8-7, and capped off a 4-for-4 night.

With the loss, the Mets fell a half-game back of the Phillies, winners of five straight, in the NL East.

How will the Mets recover from this meltdown?

Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Boston Red Sox are making their last ever visit to "the House that Ruth Built." Of course, that's assuming the Yankees won't make it to the 2008 postseason. (Actually, if Boston isn't careful, they could find themselves on the outside looking in, too, as their lead in the wild-card race over Minnesota is slim.)

The Yanks lost, 7-3, and are nine-and-one-half games behind the AL-East leading Tampa Bay Rays and six games back of the Red Sox for the wild card.

And the story of the night was Alex Rodriguez's 0-for-5 performance.

Baseball fans and A-Rod bashers have always maintained that the Yankee third baseman never delivers when it matters most, with his big hits and homers coming only when the score was 10-3 or 4-9.

And A-Rod proved those naysayers right, choking in a big game against Boston.

Rodriguez struck out to end the game, capping off an embarrassing night. Prior to that, he had grounded into two DPs, including one with the bases juiced.

All told, seven stranded baserunners for A-Rod.

He even committed an error on the field, too.

The Yanks were supposed to win, especially with Andy Pettitte on the mound, and the Red Sox throwing knuckleballer Tim Wakefield—who was just coming off the DL and was 0-5 with an ugly 8.91 ERA in his previous half-dozen outings vs. the Bombers.

But the Yankees—led by A-Rod—choked, scoring just three runs against Wakefield and getting just two hits off the bullpen in the final four frames.

Anyway, an awful night for both NY clubs.