For this chapter of the Subway Series, the stakes are sky high for both clubs
David Wright has been involved in many Subway Series matchups over the last ten years. But never has he played in a series against the Yankees during this time of year, and neither club has played each other when playoff lives are at stake.
In fact, the only other time the Mets and Yankees have ever played a Subway Series after July was the 2000 World Series.
Sure, the Mets have some more security than the Yankees, being eight games ahead of the Nationals in the National League East with 16 games to play, which would guarantee them at least three games in the playoffs no matter what.
The Yankees, meanwhile, are fighting to not only comeback and win their division, but secure a Wild Card spot as well in a race which only seems to tighen by the day.
But as is the case with the Yankees, it’s essential the Mets not only win as many of their final 16 games as possible, but also simply tick games off the schedule while giving away as little as possible to the Nationals.
But while Wright knows what is at stake for the Mets, he knows there’s always going to be an added degree of intrigue and spice to any series involving the Yankees, regardless of the games coming in April, June, September and even October.
“That’s ultimately what New York wants,” Wright told Marc Carig of Newsday. “They love gritty, younger-type teams, homegrown. And I think that’s what we can provide. We play exciting baseball. You get those fans behind you, you get that city behind you, you can definitely get some momentum for sure.”
For the first time in what seems like forever, there is indeed pressure squarely on the Mets in a Subway Series. Sure, they’re very likely to go to the postseason. But this is a team coming off a flop of a series against the Marlins, during which Wright himself hinted that his team could have and should have played better in.
Like that series, the Mets very likely have the favorable matchup against the Yankees and, as was the case against the Marlins and next the Braves and the Reds, they’re in a position where giving away at-bats and games is not ideal.
“[The fans] can kind of see through you when you’re fake, or if you don’t play the game correctly,” Wright said to Carig. “They can see right through that. I think it’s important that you go out there and earn their trust.”
The Mets have certainly earned the fans trust back with their monumental run through the second half of the season and their 11-game turnaround in the standings. It’s evident with the turnout in the ballpark, the buzz on the streets, social media, talk radio and with industry experts all across the country.
Building upon that trust is the key now, and there is still work to do in that area, some of which cannot be proven until this winter.
But in this series in particular, building upon that trust is not built simply by beating the Yankees in three games. That’s not what the weekend is about simply because of the time of year this chapter of the 2015 Subway Series is taking place.
It’s about simply winning this series, playing to the advantage in the matchups, and making sure they remain in complete control of their own destiny instead of relying on help from another team to tick their magic number down.
Taking at least two from the Yankees – because it’s the Yankees – would be the cherry on top of the weekend for the Mets.
And that’s Wright’s agenda heading into what should be an electric weekend in Flushing.
“Ultimately, you’re judged on let’s make it to the postseason,” Wright explained. “It’s a bonus if you can win this series. But in this situation, you’re not talking about May or June. We’re talking about September.
Subway Series notes:
- Dating back to 2014, the Mets have lost four of their last five games against the Yankees.
- The Mets are 43-58 all-time against the Yankees during the regular season.
- The Mets have won three of their last five series against the Yankees.
- The Mets are 22-27 against the Yankees at home during the regular season since 1998.