- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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But things didn't get out of hand until the baseball was in Chan Ho Park's right hand in the eighth inning.
Park allowed two runs in one-third of an inning, giving the Mets plenty of breathing room in the final two innings of their win over the Yanks in the opening game of Round 2 of the Subway Series.
The Yanks trailed 1-0 when Park entered the game, but that manageable deficit ballooned to 3-0 shortly after he took the mound.
Park opened the eighth with a walk to Ruben Tejada and allowed a double at the end of a nine-pitch battle against Jose Reyes. The righty then gave up scorching two-run double to Angel Pagan that scored Tejada and Reyes.
"The location [on] just a couple of pitches [was off], but that's the big leagues," Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said. "You can't make mistakes."
Park got David Wright to ground out to short and left the mound to a smattering of boos from the Bronx crowd. Those could serve as the soundtrack to Park's first season in the Bronx.
Friday night's awful outing was just another in a season full of them for the South Korean righty. Park has allowed a run in eight of his 15 appearances this season and given up a glaring 25 hits in just 19 innings.
"He's just not making pitches," manager Joe Girardi said. "He just didn't locate well enough to get people out. When you get behind the leadoff hitter and walk him, you're asking for trouble.
Girardi could have gone to righties Chad Gaudin or Dave Robertson, but he chose to go with Park, who had gone three straight appearances without allowing a hit prior to Thursday's game against the Phillies, when he gave up two hits in one-third of an inning.
"He was turning it around until the last couple games, you know, he'd had good outings," Girardi said. "We brought Chan Ho in to help us and he's another guy that we need to get going on a consistent basis."
There's plenty of Yankees who can be accused of inconsistency of late. They've lost three straight, with the offense getting shut down by Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and Hisanori Takahashi. Not exactly Hall of Fame candidates.
Maybe worse, the Yanks have now lost three of four to the Mets and are in danger of losing the season series for just the third time in the 13-year history of interleague play.
"I think guys might be trying to do a little too much because, as a whole, we're not doing what we know we're capable of," outfielder Nick Swisher said.
While the offense is in a three-game rut, Park (1-1, 6.16 ERA) has been hurting the Yankees for much of the season.
He was charged with a blown save and loss in the Yankees' season-opening, 9-7 loss in Boston after allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning, including a game-tying, two-run homer to Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the seventh.
Park had an interesting explanation for his struggles in Boston, blaming the poor outing on a case of the runs. He wasn't around after Friday night's game to talk about his latest poor performance.
Didn't matter, though. Another outing in which he allowed big hits in a big spot told you needed to know.