When the Mets were 5-13 and we were all accepting our fates as the punch line of New York, not one of us die hards was looking forward to this July version of the Subway Series. We all pretty much assumed the Yankees would be running away towards another 90+ win season (they are), and the Mets would be in the middle of a fire sale, already looking towards 2012 (They are not!).
Instead, the Amazins are shocking the city and making a push to get in the wild card race as we approach the All-Star break. Coming off a great 4-2 road trip against two first place teams, the Mets now come home for a Subway Series that has a lot more juice than we thought it would have. And this is not JUST a weekend for bragging rights- these games are huge for the orange and blue and their standing in the National League as well.
But no matter how well the Mets are playing, the Yankees are still the Yankees. They provide a brutal lineup that can change a game at any point- from top to bottom- with one swing. Derek Jeter, arguably the biggest Mets killer of them all, will not be in uniform, but that doesn’t mean the Bronx Bombers won’t be firing on all cylinders. This will be an entertaining series for sure, but it will also be a very tough one. It will be quite a test for this feisty 2011 Mets team.
7/1/11- Jon Niese (7-6, 3.67 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (7-4, 4.26 ERA)
7/2/11- Dillon Gee (8-1, 3.32 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (5-3, 3.10 ERA)
7/3/11- R.A. Dickey (4-7, 3.77 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (7-6, 3.28 ERA)
Mets Player to Watch: Jose Reyes
The Subway Series may not mean as much as it did in the 90′s, but it is still the big stage locally. On the big stage you want your best players thriving, and there is no doubt that the Mets best player is Jose Reyes. Number 7 comes in hotter than any Mets player has ever been entering a series with the Yankees, and has pretty much carried the offense for an entire month. He is on his way towards an MVP campaign, and has been getting multiple hits every single night. Mets fans should expect nothing less this weekend, where Citi Field’s vast outfield lends itself to triples from Jose.
Yankees Player to Watch: Mark Teixeira
Citi Field is a very tough place for hitters, and only the true boppers can have sustained success hitting it out of the park. But Mark Teixeira is one of those power hitters who can do it, and may have a series with more than one bomb. Tex is tied for the Major League lead in homers with 25 round trippers, and many of them would have been way out of Citi Field, or any other stadium for that matter. He is having an MVP type season of his own, and comes in with 4 homeruns in his last 25 at-bats. Teixeira has not yet gone deep in 6 games at Citi Field, but that drought may come to an end this weekend. It’s up to the Mets pitchers to be careful when facing the Yankee slugger.
I will be on vacation for this series, staying in Jamaica with my entire family (most of them Yankees fans), but I will keep an eye on this series one way or another. Hopefully my resort has FOX and I can see some of Saturday’s game.
This is a big series for the Mets mentally, but also just to keep their winning ways going. The pitching matchups actually look pretty good for the Mets, as they miss both CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, but the Yankees lineup always scares me.
I am very thankful Derek Jeter will not be able to get his 3000th hit in our home park, and also just happy he won’t be able to get his usual 9-14 from the dish.
I will be back from vacation in a week, when I hope the Mets will STILL be over .500, STILL in the wild card picture, and STILL playing winning baseball. Let’s beat the Yankees 2 out of 3…