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Yankees, Mets on unexpected tracks heading into Subway Series

New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud tags New

New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud tags New York Yankees Brett Gardner out at the plate after Gardner tried to stretch at triple into an inside-the-park home run in the first inning of an interleague baseball game. Aug. 1, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Kathy Willens

Start spreadin’ the news . . .

It’s Subway Series time again. Well, it will be on Monday, when the Mets visit the Yankees for the first of four consecutive games between the New York, New York rivals.

The teams will play twice in the Bronx before switching to Flushing on Wednesday for a pair of games at Citi Field.

Since interleague play began in 1997, the Yankees lead the regular-season series 62-46. The teams split four games last season.

Neither the Yankees nor the Mets are where most of the experts expected them to be before the season started. The Mets were supposed to be World Series contenders because of their Fab Five starting pitching staff. The Yankees were supposed to go through the growing pains of a rebuilding season, even though Yankee pride would never allow them to call it that.

But a funny thing happened on the way to August. The Mets have suffered injury after injury to their starting staff, and only Jacob deGrom is healthy and pitching at the top of his game. Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler are on the disabled list, and after returning from the DL, Steven Matz has been generally ineffective in the last six of his 11 starts.

The Yankees have been overachievers behind the amazing first half of rookie Aaron Judge, who hasn’t been able to match his All-Star level of performance since the Midsummer Classic. But the Yankees have accelerated the youth movement with young pitchers Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery plus outfielder Clint Frazier, who showed promise before landing on the DL himself.

Clint Frazier will miss the Subway Series, but Todd Frazier will not. The Yankees picked up the New Jersey native in the first of their three pre-trade deadline deals. General manager Brian Cashman did his best to fortify the Yankees for a postseason run by adding Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox, Jaime Garcia from the Twins and Sonny Gray from the A’s.

The Yankees will be monitoring the health of starter Masahiro Tanaka, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday because of what the team said is inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

The Mets, on the other hand, dealt away Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Jay Bruce, all to different Yankees rivals in the American League.

It will be the first Subway Series for Mets rookies Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith, two youngsters who are getting their first taste of big-league ball. Both probably will find out during four heated days that there’s nothing like the bright lights in the big city, no matter where the Yankees and Mets are in the standings.

Subway rivalry

All-time: Yanks lead, 62–46

First meeting:June 16, 1997, Yankee Stadium, Mets won, 6-0

Last meeting: Aug. 4, 2016, Yankee Stadium, Mets won, 4-1

Largest victory: Yankees won, 15-0, June 14, 2009

Mets winning streak: 6, May 27, 2013–May 13, 2014

Yankees winning streak: 7, June 30, 2002–June 29, 2003

Post season: Yanks def. Mets, 4-1, in 2000 World Series


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