Mets, Yankees seek a lot more than bragging rights when rivalry renews

This time, there actually is not any time for pomp, no place for circumstance. This time, when New York’s rival baseball factions inevitably attempt to ho-hum the second half of the Subway Collection that can open at Yankee Stadium on Monday (if Mom Nature permits), that gained’t simply be followers wearying of what was as soon as a novelty, or gamers displaying immunity to the intramural baseball carnival.

This time, there actually are more urgent issues, each side of the Triboro.

“No secret what we’re going through,” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone mentioned after the Yankees beat the Blue Jays within the Bronx, 4-2, due to Andrew Benintendi’s first signature second in pinstripes, a tie-breaking two-run blast within the seventh. “That was a big moment.”

Ninety minutes to the south, after seeing his staff slog their means by means of one of many longest weekends ever, capped by three completely different inconceivable comebacks that broke the Phillies’ spirit, 10-9, Buck Showalter had a comparable sentiment.

“It’s about competing every day, and if you can maintain it,” the Mets supervisor mentioned. “We have a good group of competitive people who play the game right.”

The Yankees desperately have to get proper, and the Mets, whereas not as distressed, perceive they’ve zero margin for error whether or not they’re going through the Yankees, the Braves or the Nationals. That is the urgent enterprise at hand. Earlier within the season — even late July, the final time these two groups meet — you possibly can cut up your consideration, and nonetheless benefit from the distinctive actuality of the Subway Collection, even in its twenty sixth yr.

Not now. Not within the third trimester of August, with September formally beckoning. Not with each the Rays and Blue Jays having come to The Bronx this previous week and serving discover that there shall be no early concession speeches for the AL East. Not with the Braves successful seemingly day-after-day and each evening, forbidding the Mets from feeling even a little bit snug.

The Mets and Yankees have by no means co-authored a baseball summer time fairly like this one going again to the start, again to 1962. There have been years the place each groups had been good, even wonderful, and years the place they each made the playoffs, and naturally there was 2000, the yr that ended with each groups enjoying within the World Collection.

However these final 140 days or so have been one thing else, one thing completely different. Each groups have spent vital quantities of time when they weren’t simply first-place groups (a spot each have occupied since April) however worthy of recognition as the very best staff within the sport. Neither is there now — and gained’t be so long as the Dodgers stay in enterprise — however we all know what we’ve seen. And we’ve seen lots.

Perhaps the Yankees had been by no means actually a 119-win staff, and perhaps the Mets have by no means been a 105-win staff, the best way their peak paces insisted. However they’ve nonetheless spent an terrible lot of time enjoying some terrific baseball, each groups. If the Yankees’ latest struggles aren’t fairly an aberration — and the Mets’ incapacity to place away the Braves one thing more than mere annoyance — the nice instances haven’t merely been creativeness. They’ve been actual.

Yankees left fielder Andrew Benintendi reacts after connecting on a two-run home run in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.
Yankees left fielder Andrew Benintendi reacts after connecting on a two-run residence run within the seventh inning.
Jason Szenes/New York Submit

And now comes the house stretch. For the Mets, it’s a likelihood to throw their co-aces in opposition to the Yankees and perhaps generate some optimistic vibes as we inch towards the season’s bell lap. And for the Yankees, it’s a likelihood to parlay the nice emotions from Sunday’s win in a means they weren’t in a position to seize after Wednesday’s dramatics in opposition to Tampa Bay.

This time, the truth that the following two nights will function New York, New York sharing a baseball subject for the final time this yr (excepting October) actually shall be incidental. There stays a lot to be carried out, in Queens and The Bronx. There stays a splendid shared storyline to determine.

Sunday was a good day in New York, irrespective of your baseball orientation. Benintendi reached the second deck. The Mets turned in one of many craziest wins of the yr — and the Braves even managed to lose (no, that wasn’t a typo). It’s a good place to begin, each groups, each seasons. They are going to share a ballfield the following 48 hours. We’ll wait until subsequent yr to renew our fascination with all issues subway. There’s urgent enterprise at hand.

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