The second installment of the Subway Series takes place at Yankee Stadium this weekend.
New York Mets at New York Yankees
The New York Mets come into this series as the hottest team in baseball, after picking up a sweep of the Indians with a 6-4 victory on Thursday night. “We’re doing a lot of good things,” manager Jerry Manuel said. Much of their recent success has come against two of the worst teams in the American League (Baltimore and Cleveland), but now the degree of difficulty goes up with 10 straight against the Yankees, Tigers and Twins. “Right now, we can play with anybody,” shortstop Jose Reyes commented. “Right now, we’re playing very good.” OF Jason Bay will be a key player in the series, going 7-for-10 with two home runs versus the Yankees in May. He is batting .402 with five long balls and 23 RBIs in 25 games against the Bronx Bombers since the start of the 2008 season. The Mets are 8-1 during interleague play this year (+790), with the eight victories being the most in the majors.
Mets SP Hisanori Takahashi is 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 20 appearances (five starts) this season (+120). The left-hander is an even 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA in seven outings (two starts) away from Citi Field (+10), but picked up his first road victory on June 12th against the Baltimore Orioles. He went seven innings and allowed just a single run on six hits in that contest. Takahashi has appeared in 14 nighttime games this season (four starts), going 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA, compared to a 4.30 daytime ERA. In his only career start against the Yankees (-100), he tossed six shutout innings on May 21st at Citi Field but didn’t receive a decision in the 2-1 loss.
The New York Yankees enter this latest installment of the Subway series off a series loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. “We swung the bats well the first day and they shut us down the next two,” Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said after Thursday’s loss. “Sometimes pitchers are going to get the best of you. We really couldn’t get much going.” The Yankees enter tonight’s game leading the majors in runs scored and are second with a .279 team batting average, but the first four batters in the lineup when a combined 1-for-15 on Thursday. New York has dominated right-handed pitchers this season (29-14), but has been far from it against southpaws (12-11, -1,100). The club is first all-time in interleague wins with a 138-99 record, including a 5-4 mark in 2010 (-220).
Yankees SP Javier Vazquez is 6-5 with a 5.43 ERA in 11 starts this season (-330), as he gets set for his 25th career start against the Mets. The right-hander is 10-8 with a 3.24 ERA in those outings against the crosstown rivals (+380), managing to strike out 145 batters and walking just 35 in 161 innings of work. He last started on June 12 versus Houston, recording the win in a 9-3 victory, matching his season-high with seven innings on the hill. Vazquez is making his third interleague start this season and owns a 12-13 record with a 4.61 ERA in 38 career interleague outings. He has made 15 interleague starts against the National League, going 5-3 with a 5.03 ERA.
Bettors will be familiar with the Yankees winning 10 of the last 12 home series in this rivalry, but the team is just 9-9 versus the Mets at home since 2004. The Bronx Bombers have also had trouble against teams with a winning record this year, posting an even 13-13 record (-580), which is a vast difference from their 128-93 record in that situation the last three years.