NEW YORK – When David Wright signed his big contract to stay with the New York Mets, he cited the exciting young pitchers in the minor leagues as one of the main reasons for remaining with the beleaguered ballclub.
He got a pretty good glimpse of two of those arms against the Yankees.
Jacob deGrom pitched seven stellar innings in the Mets' 1-0 loss to the Yankees on Thursday, a night after Rafael Montero was effective for six innings — both efforts coming in their major league debuts.
"It's amazing. You can't say enough good things about those two guys," Wright said. "DeGrom's performance tonight was spectacular. Some of the guys that got on third were complimenting on both those guys and that's good to hear from a good lineup."
The Mets were stifled by two Yankees' rookies, losing 4-0 to high-priced Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka before the unexpected impressive outing by Chase Whitley that helped the Bronx Bombers earn a Subways Series split after two slugfests at Yankee Stadium.
Wright had a chance to make the Mets winners when he came to the plate in the eighth with runners on first and third and two outs.
David Robertson was brought in on a double switch that lifted shortstop Derek Jeter from his final regular-season game against the Mets. He then got Wright to ground out to Jeter's replacement, defensive whiz Brendan Ryan to end the eighth. Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
"I just told him I'm going to make a double-switch. It's where we are in the lineup; that's how you do it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the conversation on the mound in the eighth. "He understands."
Alfonso Soriano's RBI double in the seventh broke up a scoreless duel at Citi Field between starting pitchers making their major league debuts.
Rookie reliever Dellin Betances struck out six straight before Adam Warren took over to start the eighth and struck out Juan Centeno. Warren then allowed a walk, struck out Eric Young Jr. and Daniel Murphy hit a grounder off the end of his bat down the third base line for a single to put runners on the corners.
"We gave ourselves a couple innings with guys in scoring position with two outs but very rarely have we put ourselves with runners in scoring position with less than two outs, and that's kind of where you want to be," said Wright, who struck out three times. "We haven't quite been able to do that."
In a matchup of late-round picks in the 2010 draft, Whitley (15th round) pitched two-hit ball for 4 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking two. DeGrom (ninth round) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking two.
"It was unbelievable to watch that guy," Whitley said. "He pitched a heck of a game."
In addition to a commanding performance on the mound, the 25-year-old deGrom helped Mets pitchers end an unusual record for futility. He lined a single to center field in the third inning to end the staff's 0-for-64 start to the season.
The Mets had long passed a century-old record established by the St. Louis Browns. They went hitless in 45 at-bats in 1914, according to information provided by the Mets from the Elias Sports Bureau.
Jeter was honored by the Mets before the game. He received several subway-themed gifts, including a "Cake Boss" creation and a No. 2 mosaic made of subway tiles. The Mets Foundation gave Jeter a $22,222.22 donation to his Turn 2 Foundation.
Jeter drew a warm ovation when a video tribute was shown on the center-field scoreboard after the national anthem and rounds of applause before each at-bat.
But he did little at the plate. He lined into a double play in the third with runners on first and second. Then with two on in the eighth, he hit a grounder to shortstop Ruben Tejada, who threw home for a tag play at the plate to keep the score 1-0.
Six weeks shy of his 40th birthday, Jeter left after an 0-for-4 night dropped his batting average to .254.
"It was awesome facing those guys. I watched Jeter growing up, playing," deGrom said. "I couldn't ask for a better team to make my debut against."
Soriano lined a double to left-center and Brian McCann scored from first, sliding home as Tejada's relay forced Centeno, the catcher, to leap for it. McCann reached when first baseman Lucas Duda failed to scoop Wright's relay on a potential double-play grounder — Wright was overshifted from third base for the lefty-hitting McCann.
Up until then, the Yankees had little success against the shaggy-haired deGrom. The former college shortstop was initially called up to pitch out of the bullpen, but got the start in place of Dillon Gee, who pulled a lat muscle.
The 24-year-old Whitley was not even on the Yankees' 40-man roster this winter, but with starters CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova all injured, he got the call after just 13 Triple-A starts over three seasons.
NOTES: Jeter finished with a .364 career regular-season average against the Mets with 13 homers and 44 RBIs in 360 at-bats. ... Mets C Travis D'Arnaud was placed on the 7-day concussion list.