As both New York baseball teams prepare to battle for the first of two three-game sets this year, the only similarity that can be found between them right now is the state they play in.
An 11-1 start for the Mets seems like ancient history at the moment, as the team currently sits at 27-32, good for fourth in the NL East. During the season’s first two weeks, rookie manager Mickey Callaway seemed to possess the Midas Touch, as every move he made worked beautifully.
Since then not only has the team struggled terribly but every move Callaway makes, logical or outlandish, seems to backfire.
The Yankees, who started the year 9-9 had their own rookie manager, Aaron Boone, heavily critiqued during the team’s early struggles. Since then not a word has been said as they’ve put up a 31-9 record since their long-ago days of .500 ball.
The Mets need much more than just these three games to get back in the playoff race, but here’s what this series could potentially do for the little brother in New York…
After an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the last-place Baltimore Orioles, and a couple off days, the Mets have had a chance to rest and get healthier in time to host one of the best teams in baseball. The returns of Todd Frazier and Anthony Swarzak earlier this week give the team’s depleted bullpen and lineup a much-needed boost, as well as a chance for management to see how this team can perform when almost fully healthy.
Following the Subway Series, the Mets play 16 games in as many days against five teams who are all fighting for playoff spots in the National League. While those games may be more important than an interleague series, the confidence from beating one of baseball’s best squads will certainly help going into that stretch.
Lastly, the Mets are scheduled to throw Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard (in his first start off the DL) opposite Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German and Luis Severino. If the Mets turns things around, those are the guys that will be on the hill come October. This gives GM Sandy Alderson a chance to see if his theory of winning with starting pitching is one that can potentially overcome the lethal lineup of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton in a playoff scenario.
If the Mets can take two from the Yankees this weekend, then maybe there’s hope for saving the season over the next three weeks. If not, they might as well pack it in because while there’s no certainty that this series can save their season, it can definitely end it.