For the first time in what seems like forever, both New York MLB teams look to be headed to the playoffs. While both the Mets and Yankees have looked very impressive throughout the season, the two clubs have used very different formulas.
The Yankees, who many experts and fans believed destined for a 3rd straight year with no postseason to show for it, have come out and proved all of their hecklers wrong.
While the primary reason for many people to believe that the Bronx Bombers were headed for a down season was because of their star players aging, like the 40 year-old Alex Rodriguez who was coming off a full-season suspension due to steroid abuse. To much surprise, A-Rod was the MVP of the team this year. Rodriguez is the crowd favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year and has showed incredible numbers throughout the season, with 32 Home Runs and 83 RBI’s. Brian McCann is another Yankee playing well above those in his age class. The former Atlanta Braves catcher, whom NYY signed as a free agent during the offseason, was thought of as insignificant, but has since proven his worth.
The Yankees continue to show that the experience these players bring is well worth it, and that they still play at a high enough level for their team to be a World Series contender.
The loss of Derek Jeter, arguably the greatest shortstop (at the very least) to ever play the game, had many fans worried. The Pinstripes didn’t have any legitimate replacement, but prior to the season they recieved Didi Gregorius in a trade. While a decent shortstop, many believed Gregorius would not be able to overcome the fact that he was replacing a legend. This seemed correct at first, as he had a rough start this year. Surprisingly, his playing turned around halfway through and Didi is beginning to look like a worthy successor.
The Yankees now seem destined for the playoffs at the #1 Wild Card spot. They utilized a team filled with aging superstars and a very mediocre rotation to its full potential.
When ESPN asked 88 experts to predict who would win the NL East division this year, 85 said the Washington Nationals, 2 said the Miami Marlins and just 1 predicted the right team, the Mets. Before the season even started, Bryce Harper, the superstar Left Fielder for the Nationals asked “Where’s my ring?” It certainly looks like he won’t be getting one.
The Mets were confident in their talented pitching staff, but when Zach Wheeler went down during the offseason, fans began to doubt the rotation. But with young studs Jacob Degrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergard, and veteran Bartolo Colon, they were good enough to keep them in the playoff picture heading into the All-Star break. Then the Amazin’s got that great slugger that they were looking for in Yoenis Cespedes in a trade with the Detroit Tigers. Since getting Yoenis the Mets have been the best team in the National League and have easily cruised their way to the lead. Cespedes has been stunning since joining the Mets and is a large reason for their dominance.
Following the infamous Wilmer Flores “non-trade” the whole team was playing extremely well and it seemed like nothing could slow them down. Agent Scott Boras had other plans though. As the Mets were on an incredible run, Boras told the press that ace pitcher Matt Harvey had a limit of 180 innings, something that manager Terry Collins knew nothing about. Baseball media went into a frenzy following the announcement, and it seemed like fans were turning against Harvey.
The Mets continued winning games despite this. Fans have eased up and all seems well headed into the postseason.
Both teams have made the playoffs together in only three years: 1999, 2000, and 2006. While the possibility of another Subway World Series is extremely unlikely, as a New Yorker, it’s an exciting time in the world of Major League Baseball.
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