NEW YORK -- Just as the Mets made their intentions clear in loading up for a playoff run, the crosstown Yankees' Trade Deadline mantra was always transparent. The Yankees have made no secret of their desire to play their brightest, youngest players over this season's final two months, with an eye toward rapidly developing the Bronx's next consistent winner.
There will be some rough evenings along the way. But Wednesday provided the Yankees a glimpse of what's possible, when Luis Severino pitched 4 1/3 strong innings in relief of Chad Green, Gary Sanchez recorded his first career hit and the Yankees rolled to a 9-5 win over a Mets club still struggling to find its offensive rhythm.
It was hardly youth alone that buoyed the Yankees; 36-year-old Mark Teixeira broke the game open with a three-run homer in the second inning off Steven Matz, reaching base safely in all four of his plate appearances. But the kids did their part -- particularly Severino, who allowed his only hit on a bunt single, also striking out new Mets acquisition Jay Bruce with the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh to help seal the victory.
"He did an outstanding job," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "His slider, obviously we've talked about, has been better. But I thought his fastball command has been better and he even threw a few changeups, and I think that can get better, too. But tonight I think is the best I've seen [him]."
Bruce finished hitless for the second consecutive night to begin his Mets tenure, while Matz struggled to the tune of six runs in six innings. Though Green did not make it out of the fourth for the Yankees, allowing three runs, the Mets proved unable to claw back late.
The Mets have not won consecutive games since July 6-7, going 8-14 since that time to fall behind the Dodgers, Cardinals and Marlins in the National League Wild Card standings.
"It's pretty frustrating because we've had to battle through a lot of things," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "And we have been. We've just gotten ... inconsistent. It's pretty frustrating, but it's the game, and we've still got to fight through it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Sevvy steps up: Severino might not be starting games, but he proved he can still pitch the pivotal innings. Severino replaced Green in the fourth inning with two on and promptly stranded them with a strikeout of slugger Yoenis Cespedes. But Severino's most impressive under-pressure at-bats came in the seventh when, after a walk, a single and an error loaded the bases with no outs, he allowed just one run and preserved the lead. Severino allowed one run and struck out five.
"They have a great hitter over there," Severino said about his outward displays of emotion after his strikeouts. "With two men on, when you strike out a guy like [Cespedes], you get emotional. Also with [Michael] Conforto, we got out of a jam over there. When I get an out like that, I'm going to be like that." More >
New cleanup hitter, same problems: Even though Bruce chalked his success with runners in scoring position in Cincinnati up to "selection bias," the Mets hoped he would be able to solve their season-long woes in that category. A significant chance unfolded for him in the seventh inning, when Bruce came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs, his team trailing by three. But the newest Met struck out looking, leaving James Loney to plate the team's only run that inning on an RBI groundout.
"I try not to put too much pressure on hitting with guys on, runners in scoring position, quote unquote 'big spots' like that," Bruce said. "It didn't work out there. Obviously, I would have liked to at least put the ball in play. But I'm guessing it's not going to be my last opportunity." More >
Tex tees off: In what has been perhaps the most disappointing season of his career, Teixeira hasn't had much to smile about. Wednesday was one of those few occurrences though, as the first baseman slugged a tiebreaking three-run home run in the second inning and reached base four times. Things have begun turning around for Teixeira of late, as he has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games, with three of his 10 home runs coming since the All-Star break.
"Right-handed I haven't had much power this year," Teixeira said. It's been really difficult right-handed. But it was a good swing. So hopefully more will come."
Wall-scraper: Things at least began swimmingly for the Mets, who took an early lead on Curtis Granderson's leadoff homer that barely cleared the right-field fence. It was Granderson's 18th leadoff homer as a Met, giving him sole possession of the franchise lead back from Jose Reyes (17).
Teixeira sparked a brief kerfuffle in the fifth inning, when a Matz pitch struck him in the left leg, sending the Yankees' first baseman tumbling to the ground. As he walked to first base, Teixeira began screaming at Matz, while players from both benches scattered onto the field. But the incident passed without becoming physical.
Two innings later, Teixeira drew the ire of Mets reliever Hansel Robles, who believed the Yankees' first baseman was stealing signs while on second base. After walking Teixeira, Robles allowed a second walk and an RBI single before departing. He openly criticized Teixeira after the game.
"I've never gotten inside of someone's head just by standing there. That's a talent, I guess." Teixeira said. More >
FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM
Cespedes, who has been playing through a strained right quad since July 8, tweaked the muscle in his final at-bat of the game, a strikeout against Tyler Clippard. The Mets decided afterward to place him on the 15-day disabled list. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Mets:Bartolo Colon (9-6, 3.58 ERA) will wrap up the Subway Series for the Mets on Thursday, taking the mound for a 7:05 p.m. ET game at Yankee Stadium. Colon, who played for the Yankees in 2011 before becoming better known as a Met, is one of 128 players to appear for both franchises.
Yankees:Nathan Eovaldi (9-7, 4.78 ERA) will take the mound for the Yankees, trying to put his underwhelming track record against the Mets behind him. In eight career starts against the Mets, Eovaldi has a 4.98 ERA and a WHIP of 1.41.