Dating back to 1997 and Dave Mlicki striking out Derek Jeter looking to end the first game, the Yankees have really had nothing to gain in the Subway Series. Besides that high point for the Mets, the Yankees have pretty much owned the series, including the biggest one of them all in October 2000.
In the 16 years the Yankees and Mets have been playing each other in the regular season, the Mets have only won more games twice (2004 and 2008), when they took four of six. The Yankees have won seven of the series, including the 6-0 sweep in 2003. Five times the two clubs have split the games.
But every year, it seems like a chance for the Mets to gain some solace during another disappointing season. If they could sweep the Yankees or win three of four, they could give their fans a little something to enjoy.
It is hard to imagine it happening this season. The Mets are the Mets, which means their usual array of dysfunction and ineptitude. The Yankees are having an incredible season that is nearly inexplicable.
So the Yankees go into this Subway Series week with really nothing extra to gain except a few more notches in the win column. Joe Girardi has talked about how he wishes there was an uneven amount of games so there was a clear winner each year, which indicates he puts a little added importance on the matchup.
But really, what do the Yankees and their fans gain by beating the Mets? It is like picking on your undersized, younger brother. There is really no sport to it.
On Monday at Citi Field, it is Phil Hughes vs. Jon Niese. Hughes, coming off a pretty good start in Baltimore, is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA against the Mets, while Niese is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA against the Yankees. On Wednesday in the Bronx, it will be David Phelps vs. Jeremy Hefner.
The Yankees and Red Sox are in a tie for first in the AL East on this Memorial Day. With these four games against the Mets, there is really no extra juice for the Yankees except to keeping up in the standings with the main event this weekend as the Red Sox come to town.
UP NOW: Here is a taste of Wallace Matthews' column on Mariano Rivera's final Subway Series:
Mariano Rivera is about to take his last ride on the Subway, which is about the only reason to get excited about this season's meeting between the Yankees and Mets, which begins Monday night at Citi Field and finishes up Thursday in the Bronx.
The Subway Series has fallen far since its inspired inception in 1997, when it came as a long-overdue midsummer diversion to New York baseball fans.
Here is the link to the full column.
Wally was in Tampa and chronicled CC Sabathia's struggles. The Yankees gave CC an extra days rest before the start in part to line him up for Boston, which may not prove to be the best decision at the current time.
ON DECK: I'll be at Citi, joined by Ian O'Connor, Kieran Darcy and Matt Ehalt.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Besides the standings, is there anything extra for the Yankees and their fans to gain from the Subway Series this season?