Mets Host Yanks In The Highly-Anticipated 2022 Subway Series By Rich Coutinho , The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com
The Mets and Yankees have both enjoyed successful seasons so far–at least when they are not playing the Astros–and they will clash at Citi tonight in the first game of this year’s in-season Subway Series.
Despite both teams sitting in the penthouse of the divisions they reside in, they both have some question marks as we approach the trading deadline in a week or so. The Yankees continue their home run assault but injuries plus an ineffective Aroldis Chapman have left the bullpen in need of some additions, and they could sure use another starting pitcher in the rotation.
Meanwhile, starting pitching is not an issue for the Mets as Jacob deGrom should return shortly while Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt provide no relief for the opponents as they have all performed at a high level. The Met bullpen could use some help but not in the closer role as Edwin Diaz is the best in that role in the entire sport. The bridge to Diaz has experienced some uncomfortable moments but with Trevor May working on a rehab coupled with the solid innings of Adam Ottavino could be just what the doctor ordered especially if Seth Lugo finds his stuff in the next few weeks.
Of course, the big things we all will be watching will be the middle of both of these lineups as Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor have the most RBI of any duo in baseball and we all can readily see the home run acumen of Aaron Judge who is doing his best to carve out a long term mega million deal once this season is in the record books.
As good as the Yankee offense is and it is certainly high octane, do not discount this Met offense which despite the recent struggles, can carve out big innings because bats like Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Jeff McNeil get on base creating scoring chances. While the Yanks power the way to victories, the Mets papercut their opponents even getting big RBI knocks from unknowns like Luis Guillorme and Tomas Nido who hit so well in the clutch.
In my humble opinion, the Astros and Dodgers have played the best ball this season, but the Mets & Yanks have a punchers chance against those two squads. For the Mets, if Scherzer and deGrom are healthy no team will want to face them in October especially with Mr. Automatic –Edwin Diaz waiting to close out the game.
There is quite frankly a bigger gap between the Astros and Yankees but the Mets will have a tough time winning the NL East as the Braves keep winning. It will come down to head-to-head matchups as they currently lead the Braves by 3 in the loss column.
Conversely, the next big game the Yankees play will be Game 1 of the ALDS and ramping up the game could be challenging for them as that pressure will be something that they have not experienced all year.
They will get a small taste of that the next 2 nights–facing Taijuan Walker and Max Scherzer–likely a better tandem than they faced all year. And in Pete Alonso they will have to contend with the leading run producer in the sport.
The Mets will need to tame the long swing of Aaron Judge and I do think Walker and Scherzer have the portfolio to deal with him because the slider and splitter could work on Judge in a ballpark that is more conducive to long fly outs than the minor league dimensions of Yankee Stadium.
And let’s not forget that the last 2 games these teams played featured the Yankees trying to steal Met signs and paying for it dearly on a Francisco Lindor 3 homer night. And don’t think the Met players have forgotten that. It is ironic that the team that has cried over and over again over the Astros “Cheating” were caught during that 2-day period last year.
These are the backstories that make The Subway Series so special. Let’s get it on.