On a night where the Mets needed their pitching to respond, Jason Vargas gave the Mets a quality outing for the third-straight time on Tuesday.
The Yankees' bats were on fire in Game 1 of the doubleheader, putting 12 runs on the board and jumping all over Zack Wheeler.
But just as he's done in his last two outings against the Dodgers and Giants, Vargas was locked in on Tuesday night, giving the Yankees six solid innings in their 10-4 win over the Yankees.
"This is who we signed. This is who we wanted," Mickey Callaway said after the game. "Obviously, he had his struggles at the beginning of last season. He settled into basically what he's doing now the second half or the last eight or nine starts during the season last year.
"This is who he is. This is who he's been. This is who we signed, and it's just good to see. You want your fifth starter out there doing what he's doing."
The veteran lefty extended his scoreless innings streak to 17 innings before giving up three runs in the third inning. The Yankees strung together a series of timely hits and worked at-bats in the inning, but Vargas was able to make sure that the Yankees never got that big blow, maintaining the Mets' lead.
"I was really just trying to keep the ball down as much as possible," said Vargas, who struck out three Yankees while scattering seven hits. "Once I started to get runners on, just with the ability to get the ball out of the ballpark here, especially down the right field line. I think the game plan was just to keep forcing the issue and staying down. It was either going to be us or them in that inning.
"I think that third inning got them fairly aggressive, and we were able to get back into a rhythm of things and making pitches down in the strike zone. It worked out for us. We were able to get some swings early."
Vargas evened out his record to 3-3 on the season. In his last three starts, he's lowered his ERA from 5.22 to 3.68, the second-lowest of any Mets starter, trailing only Jacob deGrom's 3.45. He's eaten innings for the Mets as well, tallying 22.0 innings over those last three starts while allowing just four earned.
Historically, Vargas has always had trouble against the Yankees. He entered Tuesday's game with an 0-7 career record against the Bombers with a 6.84 ERA. But he put all of that behind him on Tuesday, giving the Mets another strong start before the team heads back home for a four-game set with the Cardinals.
"It's always nice pitching well," said Vargas. "It's nice pitching well at Yankee Stadium. There's a lot of history that goes along with the organization, so it's nice to pitch well here."