We’re closing in on a full quarter-century of the Subway Sequence, beginning Friday night time at Yankee Stadium, and the temptation — if not the reality — is that we’ve got formally come near the jump-the-shark portion of our program.
The novelty vanished way back, most likely in 1998, by which period the groups had met 3 times apiece, in each Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, the locations that used to host Mayor’s Trophy Video games and harbor goals of Mets-Yankees video games that counted for actual.
The world-is-ending really feel to the video games most likely evaporated within the fourth yr of the Subway Sequence, 2000, when each groups certified for an old school, old-timey, old-school Subway Sequence, one which takes place in October below the marquee of “World Sequence.” That one lived as much as all expectations and all method of hype.
We have now had loads of unforgettable moments within the regular-season Subway Sequence — Dave Mlicki’s shutout; Doc Gooden coming again to Shea to beat the Mets in Recreation 1 of an historic day-night doubleheader in the summertime of 2000; Roger Clemens beaning Mike Piazza within the nightcap; Shawn Estes’ odd revenge drama two years later; Luis Castillo’s dropped pop-up (and Mark Teixeira’s heads-up sprint from first to residence). There are others.
However there hardly ever has been a variety of urgency to those video games, definitely not from each dugouts. There hardly ever has been a whiff of desperation emanating from each clubhouses.
Most years, one group — normally the Yankees — has been doing simply superb.
Some years, too lots of them, one group — typically the Mets — has already begun to really feel the burden of gravity pulling them southward within the division standings.
Some years, too few of them, each groups are going nice weapons and that is merely a possibility to play just a few fascinating video games earlier than the actual matchups of curiosity resume with Boston or Tampa Bay on one facet of city, with Atlanta and Washington on the opposite.
Not this time. Not this yr. This season, each groups will virtually definitely look again at no matter occurs this weekend as the important thing stretch through which their yr was both salvaged or shredded, despatched off to sleep with the fishes or to fly with the eagles. The Mets and Yankees each sit in tenuous locations.
The Yankees didn’t even get an opportunity to erase the reminiscence of the inexplicable 11-8 gag job on Wednesday night time and Thursday morning in opposition to the Angels, since rain (or no less than the specter of rain) postponed the final recreation of their four-game collection Thursday afternoon. They managed to drop one other half-game within the standings anyway when the Purple Sox obliterated the Royals.
The Mets? One way or the other the Mets have been by themselves in first place since Might 3, even though on lots of these 60 days, they’ve posted a lineup card extra applicable for Syracuse — or St. Lucie in March. And whereas the Dodgers lent a hand by cooling off the Nationals on Thursday night time earlier than rain washed away the ultimate 4 innings in Washington, the Mets adopted Wednesday’s 20-2 thrashing by the Braves by shedding a gut-wrencher within the ninth in Atlanta on Thursday.
So the Yankees have to proper themselves, or face a uncommon sell-off later within the month.
And the Mets have to proper themselves, or face one other yr through which as an alternative of constructing on early velocity and their division rivals’ refusal to bury them, they’ll encounter one other three-month slog which they could or is probably not bodily in a position to endure.
The groups will meet once more this yr, in September, however by then their fates will virtually definitely have larger readability. And by then, the video games can have a far completely different significance, for the reason that center one will happen on Saturday, Sept. 11, 20 years to the day for the reason that Towers fell (which is when no less than one half of this collection ought to be performed yearly, after all).
So this weekend is about twin, dueling crossroads.
And that’s occurred occasionally since 1997. There was the primary yr, really, when the Yankees had been 37-29 and the Mets had been 36-20 and each had been already combating for wild-card positioning (the Yankees made it, the Mets didn’t). There was 2005, when each groups had been 22-20, the Yankees digging out of an early 11-19 gap and the Mets rebounding from an 0-5 begin (the Yankees did, the Mets didn’t).
There was 2009, when the Mets had been attempting to hold on after shedding two of three to the Phillies and the Yankees had been scuffling having been swept at Boston … after which Frankie Rodriguez popped Alex Rodriguez up and … effectively, what occurred from there.
Subway Sequence like these have been few they usually’ve been far between. However this time they create greater than nostalgic tales of the Nineteen Forties and Fifties and “bragging rights” — which, together with $2.75, will get you a journey on the subway. And it’s about time.