The Subway Series is always a weird and wonderful time in New York. A buzz fills the air - though, today that might just be the hope that The Rapture could leave us behind and a little better off - and fans express their allegiances with hats, jerseys, t-shirts, cursing arguments in the street. It's great. But, it goes without saying that the level of buzz has been a little muted in the past few years, what with the Yankees being so awesome generally and the Mets being so pathetic generally. As a Mets fan, I'm all too aware of this trend.
But, for this first meeting between the two teams from the Big Apple, the posturing is different. The Mets, while certainly not a good team, are making a little bit of a run of it lately. Injury-plagued like always, this team is doing a lot with a little so far this season. When D. Wright went out with a diagnosed stress fracture in his back, some fans may have lost what little hope was left, but the week since has shown some fight in this team that you can't help but be impressed at. Typical Buffalo rationale for following a garbage squad, I know. Don't like it? Kill yourself.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm not alone in feeling that this Subway Series may not be the mismatch that it probably should be and that I thought it was destined to be as of three weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, though, The Yankees roster is absurdly stacked from the top down, and the Mets don't get the benefit of forcing the Yanks' AL pitchers to bat since this game is in the Bronx. I'm not going to pretend that the Yankees should lose this series, or even a game of this series, with the squad that they've purchased. But, facts are facts, and the Bombers aren't playing all that great ball lately. They sit only 2.5 games above the Mets in terms of standings, and - despite their three game winning streak coming into tonight's game (two of which were against the Orioles, though, and don't count) - they've had a rough go of it this month with recent series losses to the Sox (SWEEP!! Hooray Sox!), the Tigers and Royals. Sure, they still took out the Rangers in the midst of all that, but those boys from fact Texas are simply in a slow, downward spiral after their hot 6-0 start.
As for the Yankees, the story is that team just isn't hitting well. Their leading player (at least amongst their usual starters) in terms of average is Robinson Cano, and he's sitting at .288. Jeter and A-Rod are at .257 and .261, respectively, Not really what we've come to expect. Curtis Granderson is playing alright - he's second in AL with 14 HRs and 3rd in AL with 32 RBIs - but his .270 average is still below where you want all of these guys on the supposedly deadly Yankees batting order. In fact, with Texeira as the best Yank in terms of OBP, and with him sitting at 15th in the AL, and A-Rod coming in at 33rd, there should be more than a little concern amongst Bomber fans.
Starters, according to MLB.com, are projected to be RA Dickey (1-5, ERA of 5.08) and Freddy Garcia (2-3, ERA of 3.22). With the recent troubles at the plate for the Yankees, I expect Dickey's knuckler to create some problems, and am hopeful for a series-opening win.
Game Prediction: Mets 6, Yankees 2.
Series Prediction: Mets take two - one tonight plus a big win for Big Pelf in Sunday's rubber match.
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