The email blast from the Mets on Thursday morning was headlined: “Subway Series Starts Tomorrow — Limited Tickets Still Available.”
It’s no sin if the Mets don’t sell out the weekend series against the Yankees. But seats may still be available in part because some Mets fans are looking to dump their tickets on the secondary markets.
The way the Mets have played lately, can you blame them? It’s as if the Mets should pay their fans to sit through this mess, not the other way around.
In case you nodded off when this homestand opened — or during it — the Mets lost the first six games. They scored seven runs in that span. They were swept Tuesday and Wednesday by the Orioles, the team with the worst record in baseball.
Now here come the Yankees, who have one of the best records in baseball. It’s a recipe for disaster for the Mets, right?
Or is it? Could a successful weekend against the Yankees be just the tonic for what’s ailing the Mets?
“Without a doubt. One hundred percent,” Todd Frazier said on Wednesday after the Mets’ 1-0 loss to Baltimore. “This is my second time in the Subway Series. I’ve been to one or two games in the Subway Series [as a fan]. I know how these games go. It’s going to be energized, it’s going to be a packed house. We’re playing against some big guns coming in, man. It’s going to be playoff atmosphere. I really think that kind of stuff — the energy level of the fans and the energy level of who we’ve got pitching coming up, too, the way they’ve been pitching, it’s been pretty exciting, so one big hit here in that series, all of a sudden we’re back to where we need to be. I’m going to get these guys going — don’t you worry about that. And if they’re not going to get going, then we’ve got to find somebody else. But they’re going to be excited to play against these Yankees coming up, no doubt about it.”
Frazier, who was a Yankee during the 2017 Subway Series, was referring to the Mets’ starting pitchers, who have a 2.36 ERA in their last 18 games. The Mets have lost 13 of those games.
The pitching matchups in the first two games favor the Mets: Jacob deGrom against Masahiro Tanaka on Friday night and Steven Matz against rookie Domingo German on Saturday night.
The Mets are “hopeful,” in the word of pitching coach Dave Eiland, that Noah Syndergaard will return from the disabled list and face Yankees ace Luis Severino on Sunday night.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway would not commit to Syndergaard starting on Sunday, even though all systems seem to be go for the righthander who has been down with a strained ligament in his right index finger. Callaway said he wanted to wait until Syndergaard throws a bullpen session on Friday afternoon.
“The way we’ve been pitching, I feel like we can match up against anybody,” Callaway said. “We have the arms. We have the ability to spin the ball. We have the ability to elevate. So I feel like we match up really well against their lineup. Now, they have a great lineup. We have great pitching and our pitchers have been showing that lately.”
With the Mets’ injury history, it’s probably wise for Callaway to hedge on Syndergaard. The former Indians pitching coach has made a few mistakes so far in his rookie season as manager, most notably his lineup-card snafu in Cincinnati and then earlier this week when he said the Mets were under a lot of pressure because “this isn’t Cleveland.”
No, it’s New York. This weekend it will be New York, New York.