The only good thing to come out of Bud Selig inventing interleague play in the 1990’s is the crosstown rivalries. Almost every team in Major League Baseball has a rival that plays in the other league and never got a chance to face them prior to the invention of interleague play. For the Yankees, their National League rival is without a doubt the San Diego Padres. Just Kidding, of course it is the team that I think still plays baseball in Queens. The Mets are completely opposite of the Yankees in every way possible. The Yankees are a model franchise for all other teams and the Mets are the franchise that other teams do not want to be like. The two New York teams will face each other for a four game home and home series this week. The series means a lot for one of the teams and the other is going to use this series to evaluate their players.
The Yankees go into this series with a game and a half lead in the first Wild Card and the Mets are very mediocre and one of the biggest disappointments of this season. At the start of this season it was supposed to be polar opposite of what is actually happening right now. If you had asked me on Opening Day, which team was in prime contention to be a postseason team and the other team was using this series to see how their young prospects react to this big stage, I would have guessed that the Mets were on their way to the postseason and the Yankees were evaluating their young players. I even predicted in April that the Mets would win the World Series and the Yankees would finish fourth in their division, so I am as surprised as anyone with how this season is playing out for both New York Baseball clubs.
The Yankees are currently in a very important stretch of their schedule, as they are in the middle of a 10-game stretch in which they are only playing teams that they are fierce rivals with and all the games are going to be on the biggest stage possible. Over the weekend the Yankees faced their other rival, the Boston Red Sox at home and the series has to be looked at as a disappointment for the Yankees. The Red Sox are the only team ahead of the Yankees in the AL East, and the Bronx Bombers could have used this past weekend to narrow the gap between them and the team up north. The Yankees held a lead in all three games, but only managed to win one of them. On Friday night, they won a game that they would have never won in the past years, coming from behind in the bottom of the eighth inning and snatching a victory. It looked like the Yankees had all the momentum in the world going into Saturday and they had their best pitcher, Luis Severino on the mound. The offense provided an early lead for Sevy, but he had one of the worst games of his career and could not get the win for the Yankees. Last night was going to be a loss for the Yankees with the best pitcher in the American League, Chris Sale on the mound for the Red Sox. The Yankees could not get anything going against Sale and only managed to get one run off of him. The Yankees lined up Jordan Montgomery for the game last night, and the young rookie rose up to the big stage and was able to keep the Yanks in the game, giving up only one run in five innings. The bullpen did its job in the sixth, seventh, and eighth inning waiting for the offense to gain the lead. The Yankees were able to gain the lead in the bottom half of the eighth inning and with Aroldis Chapman slated to pitch the ninth inning, it looked the Yankees were going to steal another game and go on to steal this series from the Red Sox. It just was not Chapman’s night last night, he struggled and gave up a game tying home run in the ninth and then was charged for the eventual game winning run in the tenth inning. Chapman has blown two saves against the Red Sox this season and has an ERA over eight against them. You have to wonder if he is gassed or just has the yips against the Sox.
Which leads us to the start of the Subway series tonight. The Yankees must win the series to keep pace with the Red Sox, who are among the hottest teams in baseball. The Red Sox and Yankees play again next weekend, so the Yankees have to fix their holes this week against the lowly Mets. The Mets are plagued by injuries and have already traded many of their assets in order to build for next season, so there is not that same juice as past years for this rivalry series. The Yankees have the better starting pitcher in three of the games and they have to win three if not all four games this week. If I were a gambling man which I am not, I would say that the Yankees lose this series because they are a fraud team. The AL Wild Card race is getting very tight and more than a handful teams are in contention for the two spots, so the Yankees need to get their act together or they will be on the outside looking in on the postseason.
Majority of the blogs about the Yankees have been the same, in that I say they should fix their holes and then predict that they will get things right but they do not. However, I am completely different on social media, I am extremely pessimistic during games and declare them dead atleast three times per game. You should do a good thing to start of this week and hit the follow button on Twitter and Facebook