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Mets hosting Yankees a 1st chance to show Subway Series gap has closed

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Mets Yankees Subway Series preview
(AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

In the 25 years of interleague play, we’ve never seen a version of the Mets and Yankees’ Subway Series rivalry that we will experience beginning Tuesday night (7:10 p.m. ET) at Citi Field. 

The Yankees are making mincemeat of the American League East, holding a 12.5-game division lead while sitting at 35 games over .500 — a remarkable feat considering they’ve played fewer than 100 games this season. 

That’s more of the expected half of this rivalry, though, even if the Bronx Bombers are performing at a 110-win pace that would tie the legendary 1927 team for second most in franchise history.

What makes the 2022 version of the Subway Series all the more intriguing is that the Mets are doing their darndest to keep pace with the high-powered Yankees.

The NL East leaders — albeit by a much slimmer margin than their crosstown rivals’ cushion — are 22 games over in what has been one of the best first halves in franchise history.  At their current 100-win pace, it would be just the fourth time ever that they’d reach the triple-digit mark. 

Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

But zeroing in on this week’s two-game set in Queens, this is the first time ever that the Mets and Yankees are meeting in the regular season where both teams are at least 20 games over .500.

There’s this sort of new kids on the block feeling surrounding the Mets given the franchise’s leap toward relevance over the past two seasons since the entrance of owner Steve Cohen. Not only is the organization churning out results as a big-market team should, but they’re also acting like it on the free-agency and trade markets — a place in the Big Apple that was monopolized by the Yankees for much of the Amazins’ 60 years of existence. 

This isn’t to say that the Mets are going to make New York and blue and orange baseball town — you would need 1986 parameters for that to happen — but this series at Citi Field is the first opportunity for Buck Showalter’s men to show that they belong on this big stage with their big-city counterparts. 

A split or a sweep at least provides the inkling that the Mets can hang with the big boys of baseball. Especially after they were run over by the Houston Astros last month.

“This is the New York Mets vs. the New York Yankees. This is going to be a great moment for New York,” Mets slugger Pete Alonso said. “This is a moment where the city can come together over the game of baseball. Obviously, you have a side you pick, but this is going to be a really fun time for the city of New York. So Im really excited.

“You have two excellent teams that are in first place playing against each other so it’s going to be a really great environment and these will be two highly contested games.”

For more Mets coverage, visit AMNY.com

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