The schedule makers of Major League Baseball gave New York baseball fans a major pick me up going into a Holiday Weekend scheduling the first installment of this years Subway Series.
It was the perfect weekend to draw a pretty simple and straightforward conclusion about the two clubs.
The Mets and the Yankees are two teams headed in opposite directions at the midway point of the year. The Yankees struggles have been well documented in this column over the last few weeks, but this past week at Yankee Stadium featured two of their worst home losses in a long, long time.
Before the Subway Series even began, the Yankees subjected their home fans through two Wednesday rain delays and turned a four run ninth inning lead into a seventh spot for the Anaheim Angels in the final inning.
It was a meltdown that seemed too over the top for Hollywood.
Following Wednesday’s nightmarish effort, Yankee Owner Hal Steinbrenner spoke to the media for the first time all season. He put the blame of the Yankees terrible first half of the players and basically ensured that there wouldn’t be in season wholesale change regarding their General Manager Brian Cashman and Manager Aaron Boone.
Well, so much for the Yankees backing up the comments of their owner.
They lost two of the three to the Mets, but the Yankee problems go beyond that.
The one trick pony nature to the right handed hitting lineup remains problematic, but over the weekend two of the greatest strengths have officially become two of their biggest problems.
In the first two months of the season, Gerrit Cole and Arodlis Chapman were legitimate Cy Young candidates.
Over the last month, Cole and Chapman have been abominable.
Sunday, Cole yucked up a 4-1 lead and couldn’t make it out of the 4th inning.
Chapman, after Wednesday night’s meltdown, surrendered a game tying homerun to Pete Alonso and did not register an out. The Yankees have enough problems, adding both Cole and Chapman to the list of issues only adds insult to injury. Bottom line, the Yankees at 42-41 are the biggest disappointment in baseball and look like a team going nowhere.
On the other hand, the New York Mets are a team that appears destined to play October Baseball.
The Mets have not had a perfect first half by any stretch, but they’ve been resilient, gritty and resourceful. Despite three months of offensive struggles, the Mets left the Subway Series with a comfortable first place cushion in a very mediocre National League East.
Over the past week, the Mets slumping lineup has finally started to show the signs of life that were expected at the start of the season.
The return of Brandon Nimmo to the lead off spot has lengthened the lineup and it’s only a matter of time before guys like Jeff McNeil and Dom Smith kick it into high gear.
The Mets may be fortunate to be in the National League East, but with the best pitcher on the planet combined with a whole lot of grittiness, they are in an excellent spot halfway through the year.
The first installment for the 2021 Subway Series was rather symbolic.
One team chugging along thinking about a path to the postseason, the other having trouble simply staying on the track.