Why A Yankees-Mets Matchup Is More Important Than The 2000 World Series
The temperatures may be cooling down, but baseball season is in full swing in New York City (pun ABSOLUTELY intended).
This is the first year since 2006 that both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets have a shot at extending their seasons into October. New York is abuzz with excitement over the potential of another Subway Series showdown in the World Series.
The last one, in 2000, ended in favor of the Evil Empire, as the Yankees shut down the Mets in a five-game series. However, the series was nothing short of spectacular, with emotions running high and some infamous moments, one of which included a broken bat and Roger Clemens.
The Fall Classic might have been memorable, but this weekend's showdown between the squads will prove to be far more important than the 2000 World Series. Although it's only September, the series already has an October-esque feel to it, as Citi Field prepares to host their neighbors.
But it is better than October in a few different ways.
This series is big for BOTH squads. The Yankees are fighting for their lives to stay within range of the playoffs, while the Mets are playing to prove themselves in the eyes of New Yorkers.
The Yankees have owned the city of New York for years, but this series gives the Mets a chance to actually take it back.
The Mets are 83-63 on the season, leading their division by 7.5 games. The Yankees are chasing the explosive Toronto Blue Jays, entering the final 17 games down by three games in the AL East.
The Mets are coasting into October, while the Yankees, who are just a measly 3-6 in their last nine games, are limping towards the finish line.
If there was ever a time to strike for the New York Mets, it would be now. This is their shot to really tear down the Yankees and take back a city that has been ignoring them for years, in favor of the 27-time World Champions.
Not only will this series be a preview of a potential World Series between the two, it will also highlight the future of both squads.
Young players will be showcased on both sides, and the depth of the Yankees-Mets rivalry will be insane for years to come.
All the pitchers post impressive stats, but the most impressive thing is that the average age of these starting pitchers is a jaw-dropping 25.
Matz, in four starts, has compiled a 3-0 record and a 1.22 ERA. And Syndergaard? At 23, he has won his last three decisions and recorded 137 strikeouts so far this season. And, of course, Matt Harvey, who is hailed the Dark Knight, is 12-7 with a 2.88 ERA. And that is just for the Mets.
For Yankee pitching, Tanaka is 12-6, while only allowing two runs in his past two starts. Pineda is continuing his season-long dominance with 137 strikeouts.
It's not just pitching that will be showcased; the field also has some stellar young players to show off.
The Yankees' Greg Bird, who replaced Mark Teixiera after a season-ending leg fracture, has blasted two home runs in his last two games, bringing his total to seven in 29 games in the major leagues.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has been hot at the plate as well, but he also puts on a show in the field.
We can expect no shortage of dazzling plays throughout the series from the fleet-footed shortstop.
Wilmer Flores of the Mets is one player to watch, both at shortstop and at the plate. In the last seven games, the 24-year-old has posted a .300 average. Centerfielder Juan Lagares has been a fine staple for the Mets in an otherwise-aging outfield, and has also beat up on the Yankees with a .500 BA.
The future of New York City will be on display throughout the weekend, which is exciting for both fans of these teams and fans of baseball in general.
Putting these young players under the spotlight will show us just who is ready for October to roll around, and who will fade away far before then.
This is arguably the biggest series for both teams this season, and may be one of the biggest series in the history of New York rivalry.
New York vs. New York: Yes, we've seen it before, but we've never seen it quite like this.