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Sunday, May 22, 2011
What2Watch4: Mets vs Yankees (Sunday)

By Mark Simon

Who will win the first round of the Subway Series? We'll know in about six hours. A few notes to chew on until then:

Mike Pelfrey Matchup to Watch

Mike Pelfrey’s biggest battle may not be with his opponents, but instead with what is typically a hitter-friendly ballpark. Pelfrey has had success in a few hitter-friendly venues, most notably Coors Field, but has struggled in Citizens Bank Park (9.38 ERA in seven starts), Chase Field (9.68 ERA in four starts), and Great American Ball Park (5.50 ERA in three starts) among other venues.

Ivan Nova Matchup To Watch

A telling stat on Ivan Nova is found in his splits page on Baseball-Reference.com. Opponents are hitting .239 against him with 15 extra-base hits in the first 50 pitches of an appearances. For his next 25 pitches, opponents are hitting .346 with 12 extra-base hits. So watch Nova once he gets about midway through his start.

Jeter Watch

Derek Jeter now has 2,973 hits, including 28 hits in his last 24 games. Our friends at Accuscore.com have been pointing to the June 15-17 series against the Rangers as the time that Jeter will reach 3,000 hits.

He’s on pace to do so right around that time. But if Jeter wants to ensure he reaches the mark at Yankee Stadium, he might want to pick up the pace a bit. Following that Rangers series, the Yankees have a six-game interleague road trip against the Cubs and Reds.

Jeter is 1-for-6 career against Pelfrey. Jeter could break the Yankees steals record if he gets on base. Pelfrey has yielded seven steals in eight attempts in 2011.

Justin Time

Mets rookie Justin Turner has driven in a run in seven straight games. But that’s not that rare. A Met has had seven straight games with an RBI on 21 occasions.

But the list dwindles down to nine instances when you list times that a Mets hitter drove in a run in eight straight games. The last to do it did so in nearly identical stretches: Carlos Delgado (June 5-14, 2006) and Carlos Beltran (June 7-15, 2006).

The Mets record is 15 straight by Mike Piazza in 2000, the second-longest streak since RBI became an official stat in 1920. Ray Grimes (1922 Cubs) holds the major league record with 17 straight that season.

Looking Ahead

When the series finale (again, for a series of three games or longer) is held in the Bronx, the Yankees are 10-1, and have won the last nine (cap-tip to ex-ESPN researcher Mark Kelly for correcting our initial note). The lone Mets win was in 1999.