There was an unmistakable buzz reverberating around Citi Field Sunday night. A much-hyped pitching matchup between R.A. Dickey and CC Sabathia was supposed to be the perfect way to put a bow on the 2012 version of the Subway Series.
But the duel fizzled out like a used sparkler, with neither factoring in the decision, as the Yankees beat the Mets, 6-5, before a Citi Field record crowd of 42,364.
Sabathia had his defense to blame for that, as four of the five runs he allowed were unearned. But Robinson Cano -- who booted a routine grounder to help the Mets score three unearned runs in the sixth and tie the score at 5-5 -- made up for it with his bat. He smashed a tiebreaking homer to the left of the apple in centerfield off reliever Miguel Batista (1-2) in the eighth, and Boone Logan (2-0), David Robertson and Rafael Soriano made the lead stand up.
So much for the pitchers' duel.
"I thought R.A. just had the one bad inning, really, and he threw the ball pretty well and CC gave up some unearned runs," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It seems like a lot of times you'll talk about what a great pitching matchup it is, and that's what happens. Then there will be other days when you don't talk anything about the pitching matchup and it's a 2-1 game. It's baseball and it just shows you the human part. It just shows you that as good as R.A. has been, he's human."
After taking two of the three games in the second installment of this year's Subway Series, the Yankees finished with a 5-1 record against the Mets and improved to 54-36 against them in the regular season.
The Mets outhit the Yankees 12-7 Sunday night, but the Yankees outhomered the Mets 15-4 in the six games.
Dickey saw his impressive streak of not allowing an earned run snapped at 442/3 innings in a four-run third. Nick Swisher drilled a three-run homer and Mark Teixeira knocked in a pair of runs for the Yankees.
"We just felt like when this game was coming up, it was all talk about Dickey and no talk about our lineup or CC or what we have to offer," Swisher said. "So for us to go out and play the way we did for these three games, that was big for us."
He added: "Not bad for a bunch of chickens."
Dickey's command just didn't seem to be there as he threw only 59 of 92 pitches for strikes. He surrendered five runs -- four in the third inning -- allowed six hits and three walks, struck out three, threw his first wild pitch of the season and hit a batter.
"I didn't have a great knuckleball, I don't think," Dickey said. "It was just kind of coming out wobbly a little bit. I kept searching for it through the innings. To give up five hits, to a team like that, in six innings, you don't expect to give up five runs. But they have the capability of one swing accounting for [runs].
"I wish I had that pitch back. It didn't quite live up to the billing, but golly, I'm so proud of our guys. We scrapped and clawed. We can build off that."
Cano's game-winning blast was a crusher.
"I never had it in my mind that I wanted to hit it out or anything like that," said Cano, who thought he was going to face lefty Tim Byrdak instead of Batista. "He's been in the league for so long, I was just trying to get a hit . . . I just hit it and started running."
Sabathia allowed nine hits in 52/3 innings, and two of the Yankees' three errors cost him four unearned runs. He allowed Ruben Tejada's sacrifice fly in the third and David Wright's two-out RBI single in the fifth before hitting a bit of trouble.
Trailing 5-2, the Mets scored three runs in the sixth to tie it. With one out, Justin Turner reached base on Cano's error and Ronny Cedeño singled. A two-out walk to Vinny Rottino, who pinch hit for Dickey, loaded the bases and Andres Torres drove in two runs with a single.
Cory Wade relieved Sabathia with runners on first and third, and Tejada singled to left to tie the score at 5-5. David Wright walked to load the bases but pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out with the bases loaded, ensuring that neither Dickey nor Sabathia would get the decision.
"It's certainly a surprise, as well as he's been pitching," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Dickey. "It happens. It's just one of those things."