Both the Mets and the Yankees are coming into this weekend’s subway series with records neither fan base is happy about. The water cooler has not been bearing witness to any smack-talk as it usually does this time of year. Rather, Yankee fans and Met fans seem to be avoiding each other, hugging the shadows not wanting to be noticed.
Frankly, both teams have stunk it up this season. Each team finds themselves in third place in their division, a place where no one would have guessed either team would be at this point of the season. Each team is starting to show signs of life though.
The surging Yankees have gone 7-3 in their last ten games. The Yankees pitching prospects have not performed as they would have liked this season. With Wang, Hughes and Kennedy going down, the Yankees have had to convert Chamberlain to a starter, and fill the other two rotation spots with other unproven commodities. The Yankees have an Oliver Perez of their own in Darrell Rasner, who has given up 9 runs in the past week. Apparently, Perez and Rasner will look to see who can give up the most runs when they face each other on Sunday.
The difference for the Yankees fortune has been their (more) productive bats. The team’s batting average is 20 points higher than the Mets’ (.274 v. .254). If we thought that Carlos Beltran has been on fire, take a look at Derek Jeter. It seems as though Jeter has been gearing up to continue his career devastation of the Mets as he has been hitting .455 (10 for 22) in the past week alone. Rather than run through Jeter’s career stats versus the Mets, I’ll just say that we can’t let him beat us this weekend.
The series kicks off with a Bi-Borough, Day-Night Doubleheader. Game one features a matchup of Mike Pelfrey and Mike Giese. Giese has a 1-2 record with a 0.64 ERA. The line on Giese is that he is one for efficiency. One route to victory for the Mets could be to jump on this guy’s pitches. Pelfrey could help by throwing a solid outing. Big Pelf has shown to be a gamer in his last few starts, working out of jams when needed. Game two features Pedro Martinez facing up with Sidney Ponson, who will look to leave his Texas issues in the past and prove he belongs on the Major League level.
The highlight game of the series looks to be on Saturday when Johan Santana will face up against Andy Pettitte. While Santana has not proven to be the ironclad stopper fans have hoped for, and he certainly has not gotten the run support he deserves thus far in his tenure, he has definitely pitched better than Pettitte this year, who has posted a 4.04 ERA to this point with a record of 8-5.
The Mets hope to receive a shot in the arm this series with the proposed return of Ryan Church to the lineup. The team is definitely in need of his bat and his arm. It just might be the push the Mets need to get over the hump.
The Mets have a tendency to play up to good teams, and leave their bats at home for the subpar teams. For once this season, I hope they actually continue this trend. The Mets face three good teams over the next twelve games. In addition to the Yankees, the Mets will take on St. Louis and Philadelphia in that stretch. This could be a good opportunity to show their moxie and possibly gain some ground.