Javier Vazquez threw six innings of one-hit ball and Kevin Russo collected his first Major League RBIs with a two-run double in the seventh inning. The Yankees won the opener of the Subway Series at Citi Field, 2-1.

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Initial Reaction:

After being skipped in the rotation twice and making his first start since May 12, Vazquez held the Mets hitless into the fifth inning. He was dealing, but was forced to leave the game in the seventh after being struck in the right index finger while trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt. The Yankees feared the worst when Vazquez took off his bloody batting gloves in the dugout, but X-rays came back negative. It’s only a bruise, everyone can exhale now. Javy threw 70 pitches, 46 for strikes, in his best start of the season, walking two and striking out six.

Utility man Kevin Russo found his name in the lineup tonight – a place where he might find his name more often. Russo got his first hit of the year, and later his first Big League RBIs on a seventh-inning two-run double to right.

Positives From The Game:

Back Where It Started: Pitching against an NL club again, Javy needed to be the stopper tonight after three straight losses to division rivals Boston and Tampa Bay. He cruised through six innings, allowing just three batters to reach base.

“Big Night”: That’s basically all Joe Girardi had to say about Kevin Russo, and that sums it up perfectly. With all the injuries to the Yankees this season, bench players have great opportunities to step up and show what they can do. Making his first big league start, Russo (born in West Babylon, NY, and a Yanks fan) went 2-for-3 and saw 14 total pitches, driving in the team’s only two runs. Yep, pretty big night.

(A Little) Mo Like It: Seeking his first save since April 30(!!), Mariano Rivera entered in the ninth inning and recorded the first two outs of the inning. David Wright grounded out to end the game, but not before Jason Bay hit a double to left and Ike Davis hit a double to drive in Bay. In his last three outings, Rivera has been hit surprisingly hard. No reason to panic – we’re talking about Mariano Rivera here – and great to see Mo chalk one up in the save column after three weeks.

Joba Rules Again: After a pair of dreadful outings, Joba threw a pair of huge strikeouts to end a seventh inning threat, then worked a completely uneventful eighth. Five batters faced, three strikeouts, one ground out, one harmless fly ball.

Negatives From The Game:

Eight Men Out: The Yankees left eight runners on base tonight, twice coming away empty with runners at second and third and one out. In the third, Mets left-hander Hisanori Takahashi struck out Derek Jeter with one away and induced a Brett Gardner groundout, and in the fourth he struck out Nick Swisher and got Francisco Cervelli to fly out. Plenty of missed opportunities.

Interesting Facts:

7: Number of times Kevin Russo has played left field in his pro career.

6: Russo is the sixth player from the Yankees’ 2006 draft to make it to the Majors.

40: Over the last five games, the Yankees had allowed 40 runs. Tonight, just one.

What’s Next?: The Yankees look to take the second game of their three-game set in Queens.

Saturday, 7:10 P.M., FOX: Mike Pelfrey (5-1, 3.02 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (5-0, 2.25 ERA)

Last Start:
Pelfrey: Win, 7.2 innings, 2 earned runs, 3 strikeouts
Hughes: ND, 5 innings, 5 earned runs, 3 strikeouts

Career:
Pelfrey vs. Yankees: 2 starts, 1-1, 5.40 ERA
Hughes vs. Mets: 0 starts, 2.1 IP, 0.00 ERA