The two New York Baseball teams have surprised everyone in 2015. For the first time since 2006, the New York Yankees and New York Mets are competing for playoff honors at the same time. This makes this three game series at CitiField the most important series between the two since the 2000 World Series.
The Yankees (80-65), via the offensive firepower of the comeback man Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeria, came out blasting and even had control of the A.L. East until Toronto took it from them last month.
The Mets, who had top line pitching, was offensively poor, until the great trade that brought power hitter Yoenis Cespedes. He has changed the atmosphere around the Mets since that day. Also the return of David Wright has been a shot in the arm.
The Yankees are 3.5 games behind Toronto with less than twenty games to go. The season ending injuries to Mark Teixeria and Nathan Eovaldi has slightly derailed the ship. But young talent has kept them from free falling out of division contention. In this week alone Slade Heathcott and the surprising fill in at first, Greg Bird has provided crucial power homers recently. Luis Severino has emerged as a top line starter since he was brought up. Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann has also added the ling ball to the Yankee attack.
The key to Yankee success is the home run added with strategic starting pitching that has held up with Tanaka, Pineda, and a resurgent C.C Sabathia and getting leads for Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller to hold. The Mets (83-63) have left the favored Washington Nationals in the dust.
They are eight games up and the difference is confidence. They always had the pitching. It was the lack of offensive depth to protect Lucas Duda. They got it with the addition of the Cuban Cespedes, who has hit 17 home runs and 42 RBI’s in 43 games since joining the team in a trade from Detroit. They moved Curtis Granderson to leadoff and with young talent like Michael Conforto and veterans Juan Uribe and Michael Cuddyer has brought hitting depth. The bullpen, a weakness, has been strengthened by the addition of Tyler Clippard, who has 19 saves.
The Subway Series will have playoff implications and should give an indication of where New York’s two teams will be heading as the 2015 season closes. There is definitely more respect between the two teams as their fortunes are interwined this weekend.