Sweeping The Subway

Jeff Weaver (4-6) finally showed what kind of pitcher he can be and, helped by three Yankee homeruns, guided the Bronx Bombers to a victory over the NewYork Mets, 5-3. Hideki Matsui connected on a go-ahead homerun in the third inning to help the Yankees complete the first-ever Subway Series sweep. The Yankees won all six games against their cross-town rivals and now have exclusive bragging rights in the city.

In the first inning, the game looked like it would be yet another poor outing from Weaver, who hadn't won a start since May 15. Weaver allowed two runners to reach base with only one out, but got Cliff Floyd to pop out for the second out. In stepped Jeromy Burnitz, who clubbed a three-run homerun on Weaver's first pitch.

Weaver looked visibly angry after the homerun. Perhaps the losing feeling was finally too much for him to bear, and he managed to channel his anger into something useful. For the next five innings, Weaver was literally unhittable, retiring 13 batters in a row until Floyd slapped a double to lead off the seventh.

Unfazed, Weaver retired the next three batters that the Mets sent up and finished his night on an extremely high note.

The Yankees got back all of the runs that Weaver had given up on one swing of Jason Giambi's red-hot bat. With Derek Jeter on second base and Alfonso Soriano on third, Giambi took Al Leiter's pitch to deep left-center for a towering homerun.

Two batters later, the white-hot Hideki Matsui hit a line-drive homerun off of Leiter to untie the game. Jorge Posada capped the scoring with a homerun directly after Matsui to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

Weaver finally notched a victory, lasting seven innings and allowing just three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three batters. He retired the final 16 of 17 batters in what was definitely his best start in a good while.

Leiter (8-5) suffered the loss for the Mets, allowing five runs in six innings on seven hits and six walks and striking out three batters. The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Leiter.

Chris Hammond struck out the side in the eighth after allowing a hit to lead off the inning, and Mariano Rivera came on to pitch a perfect ninth and earn his fourteenth save. Rivera has been used extensively in the last week, and will likely need a day or two of rest.

Since Interleague play began in 1997, neither the Yankees nor the Mets had ever swept the other in a three-game series, let alone the entire season series. The Yankees took advantage of some very hot hitting and pitching that was just good enough to beat the Mets out on a few occasions. For the series, the Yankees outscored the Mets 39-19, but the games felt closer than the scores indicated.

Yankee fans couldn't have asked for a better way to end the series, with Jeff Weaver finally seeming to come out of his all-too-long funk. Next, the Bombers head down to Baltimore for a three-game set with the Orioles. Andy Pettitte (8-6, 4.80) will take the mound for New York in game one, which is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Baltimore's Sidney Ponson (10-4, 3.76) will defend his home turf.

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