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baseball

Mets and Yankees Already Headed in Opposite Directions

The Mets beat the lowly Nationals on Friday night, then dropped two in a row to spoil the weekend and lose their second straight series. Meanwhile, the Yankees lost their series opener to the Rays, who are expected to compete for the AL East title, before winning the last two games for a satisfying second straight series win. And so it begins.

The Mets' weekend came down to a couple of bases-loaded at bats: On Saturday, Rod Barajas's line drive to left would have won the game in the bottom of the ninth, but Willie Harris's diving catch with two outs ended the Mets' rally and the game. Then yesterday's game was decided by a first-inning Josh Willingham grand slam off Johan Santana that was originally ruled in-play, meaning poor Barajas got run over at home plate by big Adam Dunn for nothing. On the bright side, Jose Reyes is alive and well and playing shortstop.

As for the Yankees, after Javier Vazquez picked up right where he left off in 2004, they got two impressive outings from their starters: CC Sabathia came within five outs of a no-hitter on Saturday — thanks in no small part to some pretty excellent infield defense — while A.J. Burnett threw seven innings of two-run ball yesterday. Unfortunately, we missed out on the biggest drama of the weekend, because had Sabathia retired Kelly Shoppach for the second out in the eighth, Joe Girardi swears he would have pulled Sabathia anyway because of his rising pitch count, no-hitter or otherwise. Needless to say, Sabathia would have fought to stay in the game, which would have made for better television than Tim McCarver repeatedly explaining that he wasn't responsible for jinxing the no-hitter by talking about it.

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Photo: J. Meric/Getty Images; Al Bello/Getty Images