Each team hosts one three-game series every year, and as the series approaches, the unavoidable flashbacks to memorable moments in this rivalry, such as the Mike Piazza—Roger Clemens bat throwing incident , begin.
As the players and fans gear up for subway series Round Two, there’s more on the line than just bragging rights. Both teams have playing well recently, with the Yankees having won seven of their last 10, and the Mets remarkably riding a streak in which they have won 10 of their last 11 games, including seven in a row.
However, there are causes for concern on both sides of the field. The Bronx Bombers have dropped two straight to the Phillies.
Alex Rodriguez has still not returned to the field, a fact emphasized last night by a fielding error by Ramiro Pena, A-Rods replacement, that led to a Philadelphia run in the fourth inning.
Other causes for concern include the recent spate of shaky starts by A.J. Burnett, and the consistently bad pitching by Joba Chamberlain, whose ERA, after allowing three runs last night, has ballooned to 5.72.
The Mets, meanwhile, have finally won multiple consecutive games on the road for the first time since July 2009.
They are playing inspired baseball, and giving their fans something to believe in, only half a game out of first place in the N.L. East.
However, before Mets fans get too excited, recall that the Mets time and again go on winning streaks in which they appear virtually unbeatable, only to go on a losing streak twice as long as the previous winning one.
Mets fans know by now to curb their enthusiasm, and take all recent Mets’ successes with a grain of salt.
Regardless of how well the teams are playing, the subway series has always been a big draw at the box office. Despite its detractors, these six games regularly command ticket prices well above other more mundane match-ups.
Tickets for the first subway series of 2010 at Citi Field traded at prices of $124.76, $136.38, and $107.39 respectively. These prices are well above the average transacted ticket price of the 10 games surrounding that series.
Prices for this weekend’s series at Yankee Stadium are also higher than usual, with average transaction prices for the three games at $117, $129, and $114 respectively. (As an aside, it is interesting to note that both these series have been scheduled for weekends, the three days of the week with the highest average ticket prices. )
No matter who prevails on the field, fans in the Bronx this weekend should get their money’s worth, with Yankee fans getting a better look at up and coming stars like Mike Pelfrey and Ike Davis, as well as witnessing the return of former Red Sox slugger Jason Bay, and the Mets faithful perhaps gleaning a little class from the likes of Jeter and Rivera.
The probable starters for Game One of the series tonight at the Stadium are former Brave Javier Vazquez for the Yankees, coming off a string of good starts, and Hisanori Takahashi for the Mets, who is fighting to maintain his spot in the rotation with the impending return of John Maine.
Game Two features a sterling pitching match-up between 9-1 Phil Hughes, and 9-1 Mike Pelfrey, and Game Three also features an exciting pitching match-up as Johan Santana goes up against C.C. Sabathia.
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