Yankees Face Santana in Subway Series Opener

Elizabeth Benson@gobibsContributor IIIJune 8, 2012

NEW YORK - MAY 17:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets leads off second base against Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees on May 17, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It's that time again in the Major League Baseball. Summer is about to officially begin, baseball is in full swing and the second round of Interleague matchups are set to begin.

The New York Yankees face the New York Mets in the Subway Series this weekend, with the series opener taking place tonight.

As the MLB.com's Bryan Hoch stated:

The Subway Series has been around since 1997, but as Mark Teixeira said, it's still one of the crown jewels of Interleague play. The years when Joe Torre had to downplay the matchups with the Mets are long gone, and now it seems like the Yankees look ahead to the packed houses in the Bronx and Queens with a certain level of amusement – if not outright excitement.

“To me, the Mets series and the Red Sox series are the best series at Yankee Stadium,” Teixeira said. “The fans are so into it, especially this year with the Mets having a great year. Facing Johan [Santana] [today] is going to be electric in his first start after no-hitter. It’s going to be a great atmosphere at the ballpark.

“I’ve said Interleague in general has run its course. Playing Pittsburgh and Seattle in July just doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the Subway Series makes sense. I would love to continue to play the Mets at least one series every year because the fans deserve that.”

The pitching battle will see Hiroki Kuroda going up against Johan Santana. Santana is coming off a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, which marked the first no-hitter in the New York Mets' history.

After a disappointing outing by ace CC Sabathia in Friday night's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, which wasn't backed by the normal offensive contribution, the Yankees will be looking forward to replicate the stellar performances by Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova, who were all backed by solid performances at the plate by the team, earlier this week.

Despite facing injuries to key players, their continued struggle with runners in scoring position and with the delayed return of Brett Gardner, the Yankees have found a way to stay in the hunt and are right there in contention to take over first place in the AL East.

Therefore, the Yanks look to Kuroda to kick start a successful Subway Series tonight. Kuroda has a 4-6 record and a 3.82 ERA going into tonight's game against the Mets. Meanwhile, Johan Santana has a 3-2 record with a 2.38 ERA. With all eyes in the baseball world on New York tonight, the struggling Kuroda needs to shine on the mound.