Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. New York Mets


A battle of aces - and initials - is scheduled for Sunday night.

Round 2 of the 2012 Subway Series kicks off (whoops, wrong sport) tonight at Citi Field.  The Yankees (41-27, 1st place in the AL East) take on the Mets (38-32, 2nd place in the NL East) beginning tonight at 7:10 PM.  The Yankees swept the Mets two weeks ago in the Bronx.

Mets closer Frank Francisco added extra fuel to the fire by referring to the Yankees as “chickens.”

“I can’t wait to strike out those chickens,” Francisco told the New York Post. “I want to strike out the side against them. I’ve done it before.”

What he means by “chickens” is anybody’s guess.  The Yankees don’t seem like a scared team.  Nor do they seem like they would be appetizing tossed over a salad.  But Francisco – and his 5.14 ERA –  is now in a position to put his money where his mouth is.

This weekend will also be an interesting contrast between homer-friendly Yankee Stadium III and the still-cavernous (but a little fairer) Citi Field.  How big of a difference does the ballpark make?  Or does good pitching and a talented lineup neutralize the ballpark factor?

Yankees Notes

  • The Yankees had won 10 straight games before losing 2 of 3 to the Braves in Atlanta.
  • On Wednesday, the Yanks (4) and Braves (5) combined for the most home runs in the brief history of Yankee Stadium III.  “Guys hit them good,” Curtis Granderson said. “Heyward’s ball in right, that is Yankee Stadium. It doesn’t go out in any other ballpark, but it goes out here. It had nothing to do with the weather.”
  • The Yankees paid tribute to Braves’ third baseman Chipper Jones, who will retire at the end of the year, by presenting him with the third base bag.

Mets Notes

  • Despite his high ERA and adventurous save on Wednesday, Francisco has only allowed 2 earned runs in his past 10 appearances.  During that span, he’s struck out 10 in 10.1 innings.
  • Ronny Cedeno is expected to rejoin the team tonight, his time on the DL complete.
  • In case you haven’t heard, R.A. Dickey has been awesome.  He has not allowed an earned run in 42 2/3 innings, and has a shot at breaking Dwight Gooden’s record of 49 straight when he goes on Sunday night.

Pitching Matchups

Friday 7:10 PM (Battle of the Noses): Jon Niese (4-3, 3.82 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.77 ERA)

Saturday 7:15 PM (Battle of the Nova): Ivan Nova (9-2, 4.32 ERA) vs. Chris Young (1-1, 3.06 ERA)

Sunday 8:10 PM (Battle of the Initials): C.C. Sabathia (9-3, 3.55 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.00 ERA)

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.