NEW YORK (AP) -- Kaz Matsui proved there was another shortstop in
New York who could spark his team.
"This kid has had a heck of a career in Japan," Mets manager
Art Howe said. "I've seen what he can do when he's going good, and
tonight was just a glimpse of that."
Derek Jeter started for the Yankees, a day after a dangerous
dive into the stands sent him to the hospital. The All-Star
shortstop came back with a purple welt under his eye, a bandage on
his stitched-up chin and a bruised shoulder, and threw himself
headfirst into second base on a steal as if nothing had ever
"They killed us tonight," he said.
Steve Trachsel (8-6) did not allow an earned run over seven
innings in stopping the Yankees' five-game winning streak. Mussina
(9-5) left for a pinch-hitter in the sixth with the Mets ahead 7-0.
Neither side attributed the rout to the Yankees' draining, 5-4
win in 13 innings over Boston on Thursday night.
"You can't use hangover as an excuse. We just didn't play
well," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Said Trachsel: "Couldn't tell you what they did in their last
The Mets evened the Subway Series at 2-all this year, and none
of the games have been close. Richard Hidalgo homered and added an
RBI double, and every Mets starter had a hit and scored.
The sellout crowd of 55,068 was already in an ornery mood after
a 42-minute rain delay, during which a group of Broadway performers
standing near home plate sang show tunes so loudly they got booed.
But Mets fans soon had a lot to cheer about. After Jeter made a
nifty play in the hole to get Matsui for the second out in the
opening inning, Mike Piazza singled just past third baseman Alex
Cliff Floyd followed with a high fly that left fielder Hideki
Matsui dropped on the warning track for an error that scored a run,
and Hidalgo doubled for a 2-0 lead.
"It's a tough way to start a big game in a big series,"
Mussina said. "It was a tough night all around."
Struggling at the plate and in the field for most of the season,
Kaz Matsui then took over in setting career highs for homers and
RBI in his rookie year.
"Little by little, I'm able to adjust. But this was just one
game," he said through a translator. "I don't think I could say
I'm on a hot streak."
Matsui launched a three-run homer in the second inning and hit a
two-run shot off Bret Prinz in the sixth. The second drive prompted
his first-ever curtain call, in front of fans who recently booed
him at home.
Despite the hits and a couple of fine plays in the field, Matsui
was not about to act like a superstar -- when he crossed the plate
after his second homer, he bent down to pick up his own bat and
take it back to the dugout.
Matsui said he'd seen Jeter's stellar catch, calling it an
"excellent play." Matsui, however, politely declined to compare
himself to Jeter.
Trachsel held the Yankees to three hits, and both runs off him
were unearned. Gary Sheffield scorched a grounder through third
baseman Ty Wigginton's legs for a two-base error and Rodriguez had
a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Trachsel was tagged by the Yankees in an 8-1 loss last weekend
in the Bronx. He kept up a familiar pattern, improving to 7-2 with
a 1.59 ERA at Shea Stadium while searching for answers on the road.
"I haven't been able to find anything," he said. "There's not
one glaring thing definitely sticking out."
Mussina, who hadn't lost since April 22, had been 5-0 against
the Mets, including a victory last Sunday. The Yankees had hoped
he'd pitch deep into the game after Thursday night's adventure, but
he never found his rhythm.
Jeter went 0-for-1 with a pair of walks. Many Mets fans dropped
their partisan ways for a moment when he came to bat in the first
inning and gave him an ovation.
All of Matsui's previous five home runs this season came
leading off the first inning. ... Hidalgo has homered in two
straight games and has four homers in five games. ... Jose
Contreras starts Saturday for the Yankees. Last Sunday, in his
first start since his wife and two daughters defected from Cuba, he
pitched shutout ball into the seventh against the Mets and struck