Loge13 is not a tremendous fan of interleague play, and especially the Mets/Yankees series.
It’s alot of artificial hype. The two teams don’t really seem to be into it, at least not now (We can talk about Piazza/Clemens some other time.).
There’s plenty of copy written about “bragging rights” but really, being 1st best or 2nd best in New York isn’t as important as winning championships.
Plus, interleague play has led to the unbalanced schedule, which means we only get to see most NL teams once a year. And those games will get played, no matter what the weather conditions are.
But now that I’m done griping, lets talk about this weekend.
Depressed Fan and I are going to size up this series. Here are my initial thoughts:
WHY THE METS WILL WIN
- Starting pitching. The matchups clearly work in the Mets favor. Pettite/Perez tonight. Rasner/Glavine Saturday. and someone named Tyler Clippard vs. John Maine Sunday. The Yankees rotation has been slammed with injuries, while the Mets have their top three starters going. Perez has been mostly dominant in his outings (he has never beaten the Yankees, though, in two career appearances against them…neither as a Met). If Perez loses, it’s because he beats himself and walks 10 guys. Meanwhile, most headline writers would love to see the Yankees win Sunday so they can refer to “The Yankee Clippard” ad nauseum.
- Momentum. The Mets are on a tear recently. They had a strong (5–2) west coast trip, then came home and beat up on the Cubs. Their 9th inning 5–run comeback yesterday resembled last year’s efforts, when this team looked indestructible…and they did it with 4 starters on the bench and Jason Vargas on the mound. The Mets are 1.5 games up on the Braves, who have to play in Boston this weekend. The boys would love to take 2 or 3 games this weekend and put some more distance between themselves and the Braves before they head to Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Yankees are floundering. A-Rod has cooled off. And Giambi may have made himself the story of the weekend thanks to this USA Today interview.
- Bullpens. The Mets relievers have posted a 2.98 ERA and 9 saves this year. They’ve only given up 9 home runs and opponents are hitting just .223 against them.The Yankee bullpen, on the other hand, has allowed 63 earned runs, for a 4.02 ERA. Most shockingly, they only have 3 saves on the year, all of them by Mariano, who has an unsightly 6.59 ERA.
WHY THE YANKEES WILL WIN
- Desperation. The Spankees need to turn it around, quickly, or someone’s getting whacked. They are 9.5 games back and flailing. Guys like Jeter still have the ability to put the whole team on their back and single-handedly win games.
- Experience. The Mets are down a few veteran starters. It’ll be interesting to see is Willie starts Ruben Gotay or Easley at 2nd, and if he gives recent call-up Carlos Gomez the start in left field. Gomez is red-hot (5–12, with 2 doubles). Can they handle the pressure of the subway series? The Yankees at least have veteran talent on the field, although guys like Abreu and Cano are slumping.
- Perez meltdown. We’ll know early tonight which Oliver Perez showed up: The work of art or the work-in-progress.
I say the Mets take two of three this weekend.