Two weeks ago today, the Mets endured one of the toughest regular season losses in franchise history when Luis Castillo dropped a pop-up with two outs, allowing the tying and winning runs to score in the ninth inning for the Yankees.
Everyone was wondering how the team, but more specifically, Castillo would respond.
Castillo has responded even better. He has yet to make an error since the drop and is hitting .323 (11 for 34) in that span, raising his season average to .284. The Mets are now 33-26 when Castillo starts, and 4-8 when he doesn’t.
The Yankees, on the other hand, are struggling. Before taking the last two games of a three game set against the Braves, the Yankees had lost 6-of-9, including 2-of-3 against the Marlins and lowly Nationals.
The problem? Before last night’s game against the Braves, the Yankees $275 Million man, Alex Rodriguez had gone three for his last 27. That’s a whopping .111 batting average.
As I wrote in my weekly column this past week, if the Yankees are going to contend in the best division in baseball (the AL East), they need Rodriguez to turn it around fast.
As evidenced last night, the Yankees win when A-Rod hits. Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with four RBI and the Yankees won 11-7.
That being said, the Yankees still find themselves four full games back of the division-leading Red Sox.
Player to Watch: C.C. Sabathia, SP.
Sabathia strained his left bicep and had to leave his last start against the Marlins early. He will make the start tonight in the series opener.
We’ve seen Sabathia struggle at times this season without an announced injury. It will be interesting to see how he responds tonight with the Yankees looking for anything that could be hampering his motion.
The Subway series is usually the Interleague series to watch, and this weekend should be no different.
The pitching matchups and game times are as follows:
Friday, June 26th, 7:10 pm
Yankees: C.C. Sabathia (6-4 3.71 era)
Mets: Mike Pelfrey (5-2 4.74 era)
Saturday, June 27th, 7:10 pm
Yankees: A.J Burnett (5-4 4.24 era)
Mets: Tim Redding (1-2 6.08 era)
Sunday, June 28th, 8:10 pm
Yankees: Chien-Ming Wang (0-6 11.20 era)
Mets: Livan Hernandez (5-2 4.05 era)
A few side notes:
Alex Rodriguez, who was supposed to sit one game a week leading up to the All-Star game, will start in all three games this weekend.
John Maine and Oliver Perez are set to make rehab starts for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets A-club.
Carlos Delgado picked up a bat Wednesday for the first time since having hip surgery in May.
The Yankees lead the all-time series 39-30, the Mets, however, have a one-game advantage over the last three seasons (8-7)