Wednesday was most likely not a groundbreaking or season-turning day for either the New York Yankees or New York Mets, but it does serve as a reminder that a 162-game season is truly a long one, with highs and lows hiding around every corner. Things were certainly going well for the Yankees, so well in fact that they didn't always need to actually catch the ball for an umpire to make an out call, which DeWayne Wise's phantom catch proved in Tuesday's victory over the Cleveland Indians. And the Mets were traveling on an opposite road, the road to nowhere, the one where even though they clearly tagged out a base runner, the umpire ruled him safe, as we saw happen in Tuesday's loss to the Chicago Cubs. And to make matters worse, Ike Davis was booted from the game for arguing the call.
But in the blink of an eye, or one game of 162, on Wednesday, the two teams reversed fortune, at least for one day. Though the Yankees went on to defeat the Indians, Andy Pettitte, whose unretirement was a rousing success and a godsend for the Bombers, broke his ankle and will be sidelined for approximately six weeks, while CC Sabathia was also placed on the disabled list after straining his groin on Sunday night. Pettitte brought stability and serenity to the starting rotation, with everyone else falling into place lately. Now the question marks return, or at least Freddy Garcia does, along with 24-year-old Adam Warren (who will make his first major league start on Friday). Sabathia should only miss a few starts, but with two rotation stalwarts gone temporarily it will test the depth of the Yankee organization. And it will possibly show how much Pettitte's unanticipated return became a necessity. Though the Yankees will surely survive those two losses.
The Mets, on the other hand, finally ended their four-game losing streak, with a 17-1 shellacking of the Cubs on Wednesday. After two sloppy losses that followed two defeats keyed by bullpen failures, the blowout was just what the team needed. Daniel Murphy hit his first (and second) home run of the season, Ike Davis continued his long upward climb and finally stepped over the Mendoza Line, David Wright and Scott Hairston kept on with their productive years (nine total RBIs) and Jon Niese tossed seven strong innings. It's only one game, but it's a 17-1 game. One in which they didn't throw the ball all over the field or make base-running blunders or have a relief corps blowing a lead. One that they needed before things got truly out of hand.
Wednesday was just one game, one day of a long season, and the Yankees even won their game. But both games were a lesson in not taking success for granted when a team is cruising and not panicking when nothing is going a team's way. There could always be a broken ankle or a 17-1 win waiting on any given day.