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Our Subway Series Prediction: Yankees, Yankees, Mets

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It isn’t just the economy and the ticket prices that will produce all those empty seats at Yankee Stadium tonight. The Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have taken much of the wind out of this season’s first Subway Series.
 
As we go to press, you can still go to the Yankees web site and grab some foul pole limited view seats for tonight’s game at $150 a pop, but good seats will cost you $900 (plus an  inconvenient $23.45 convenience fee!). A little more reasonable pricing can be found on Stubhub, currently offering bleacher tickets for tomorrow’s game in an auction starting at $25 each.
 
But be honest: if you were going to pay that kind of money, wouldn’t you rather see the Yankees play the Red Sox or the Mets play the Phillies? Well, maybe not after the faceoffs of the past few days…
Still, no matter how deflating this week’s games were, the upcoming
Yankees-Mets games are not the old Mayor’s Trophy charity exhibitions
we had before interleague play. If, for instance, you’re a Yankee fan,
you have to figure that the combination of winning two of three from
the Mets and a Phillies sweep or even two of three from Boston at
Citizens Bank park this weekend would restore some lost momentum.
 
The
odds seem pretty good that the Yankees can take at least two of three,
most likely the first two. Joba Chamberlain, who goes tonight for the
Yankees, has been pitching very well of late, only 3-1 for the season
but solid in two no-decision starts. He’s no Dwight Gooden yet, but his
strikeouts-to-walks ratio of two-to-one (55-28) is starting to
foreshadow greatness. Livan Hernandez, on the other hand, has been
living on borrowed time. Though he’s won five of six decisions, he’s
given up 74 hits in 67.1 innings, and even Jerry Manuel remarked on his
energy loss after 100 pitches against Washington. This is a good time
for A-Rod (.625 with three home runs in 16 at-bats) to break out of his
slump against Livan.
 
Saturday the odds are even better for the
Yankees with Andy Pettitte (6-2) going against a pitcher to be named
later, who will be filling in for John Maine who, in an ominous sign
for the Mets, is complain of fatigue in his shoulder.  Right now the
reports are that it will be lefty Fernando Nieve, who hasn’t started a
major league game since 2006 when he was with Houston. The other option
is Jonathan Niese, not exactly tearing things up at Buffalo in
Triple-A.
 
We regard Sunday night’s game as a lock for the
Mets. Johan Santana is simply the best pitcher in baseball. And games
like this is what he came to New York for. A.J. Burnett is an overrated
bust — no cream pie for you, pal.
 
It’s a little early for
team assessments, but we have a strong feeling that the Mets — despite
their slightly inferior series record (31-27)  to the Yankees 34-26) —
are the better team. The Mets, after all, are playing without both Jose
Reyes and Carlos Delgado (who, if you’re wondering, is reportedly
riding a rehab bike but won’t be swinging a bat in three weeks). 
Without those two, the Mets are a team with two great hitters — David
Wright at .362 and Carlos Beltran at .341, who will probably finish the
season with the highest batting averages of any teammates in Mets
history — and seven dwarves. The rest of the lineup is batting under
.260 with just 25 home runs. If the Yankees handle Wright and Beltran,
the Mets don’t score.
 
We asked Ron Darling if he thought this
Subway Series has the same sizzle as in previous years. He said, “No,
but it would have if the Yankees had beaten the Red Sox and the Mets
had beaten the Phillies. But I guarantee you that the fans are going to
be up for this, but I also get the feeling that more than a few will be
checking their cell phones for the Red Sox-Phillies score.”
 

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