Mets fortunes soaring entering Subway Series at Yankee Stadium
The juice is back in the Subway Series.
After several lean years of competition between the Mets and Yankees, the three-game set that opens Friday at Yankee Stadium is shaping up to be anything but a Bombers blowout.
A third of the way through the season, the Mets and Yankees are each gunning for the top spot within strong divisions. Entering Thursday night, the Mets (32-26) were 1 1/2 games out of the NL East lead, and the Yankees (31-24) were only 1/2 game out of first in the AL East.
Rob Castellano of the Mets blog AmazinAvenue.com said that although the Yanks are still the team to beat, the Mets simply can't be ignored this season.
"This is probably the first one I can remember that the Mets are really taking the back page," Castellano said. "This is still a Yankees town, but for a week there it almost felt like the tide was shifting a little bit back to the '80s, when people said this was a Mets town."
The prime example of the Mets' success is Johan Santana, who takes the mound Friday one week after tossing the first no-hitter in Amazin's history. Travis Goldman, manager of Yankees blog PinstripeAlley.com, is impressed.
"I think most people were expecting the Mets to be a laughingstock again this year," Goldman said, "but now they are coming in with almost equal records, so there's more fire in the series."
Still, he added: "This series has always meant more to the fans than it does to the players. Winning will just mean bragging rights for fans for a few weeks."
Indeed, fans on both sides said they seem more excited about this series than those in the past because of the Mets' impressive season.
"I don't think anyone expected the Mets to be competitive into June, and it always adds to the excitement when both teams actually have a shot at taking the series," said Felissa Allard, a 32-year-old diehard Mets fan from Flatiron.
"No one wants to go and sit there and watch one team blow out the other. People want a competitive game . . . and the bragging rights."
Yankees fan Craig Caruso is equally surprised that the Mets are competitive, but said it still probably won't matter in the end.
"The Mets being actually good does add a little World Series-type excitement," he said, "but the Yankees will always be just too good."