Who says there aren't any big series in May? Perhaps if you live in any other city in the world other than New York you may think that's true. Not here, not now, not ever.
I begrudgingly admit that the greatest rivalry in all sports is the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox. Nothing else comes close. There are those rivalries that are older, even some that have played more games against each other, but none of them have captured the passion nationwide as those rivals have.
For me, a devoted Met fan for life, I like nothing better than to see the Sox maul the Yanks at every opportunity.
For the past three years or so a new heated rivalry has arisen on the New York sports scene. Just around 90 miles south on the New Jersey Turnpike you get off exit three and in a little less than 10 minutes you are in the parking lot at Citizens Bank Park, home of the yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know, so why repeat it, the Philadelphia Phillies.
This website has certainly heated up the rivalry, as fans on both sides have argued back and forth all winter and spring long who will wind up on top of the NL East in 2009. Did someone say the Marlins? Heaven forbid. That's not good Hollywood, been there, seen that.
Tonight in the city of brotherly love, yeah right, both teams off to a non spectacular start square off against each other in the first of 18 games this season.
Let the fun begin.
First up, the visiting New York Mets: What a mess. 9-12. Lackadaisical is the best way I can describe my team. The team first attitude which seemed so apparent in spring training seems to have disappeared, missing in action, or plain just hasn't shown up. The boo birds are out in force and the blame is everywhere. Jerry did this, he didn't do that. David can't hit, cant throw, can't stop striking out.
I could go on forever but in the sense of brevity, this team needs to find their identity fast or they might find themselves 10 games behind by the end of May.
Tonight, they put the ball in the hand of Mike Pelfrey against Chin Ho Park. On paper the matchup favors the Mets, and they need to get on the board early and often because two things are very apparent. One, the Mets don't score late and two, the Phillies always score late.
Game One—a tossup. High scoring for sure; the last team to score wins. Bet the over.
Saturday pits definitely the two most extremes of each team. For the Phillies it's the 46-year-old youngster Jamie Moyer, who has the best assortment of smoke and mirrors in baseball today. This guy taught David Copperfield his magic. I watch this guy in awe. Everybody should be hitting the crap out of the ball. Funny thing, nobody is.
Again, we had better get to him early. If not, and Ollie is being Ollie, this game will be over by the fourth inning.
Game Two—definite edge Phillies.
On to Sunday. John Maine vs. Joe Blanton. Off his last performance, Maine certainly looks like he has perhaps turned the corner from his surgery and rehabilitation, showing some of the stuff that made him a 15 game winner just a year and half ago. On the other side, we see Joe Blanton, whose herky jerky motion would make any batter beware in the box.
Game Three—slight edge again to the Mets.
Let's take a look at the home team for just a moment. Remember they are, yeah, yeah, yeah, enough already. Listen Christian, Cody, Scmidtters, Bryn, Brian, Shay, and the rest of you guys, I already said you have the team to beat, but you haven't scared anybody yet either.
11-9 isn't all that bad but Cole is hurt, Myers is our Ollie, and Jimmy can't hit his weight. The rotation is far from right so you have to be at least a little concerned.
However, as long as Chase is unconscious out there and Ryan is smacking the ball and Ibanez is the player I wanted in New York, these games are going to be a war, worthy of a rivalry to rival the rest.
Good luck, I think we're both going to need it.
This article can also be found on The Mets Police, Dom D's Mets Fan Blog, and Take the 7 Train.
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