The Subway Series comes to Citi Field for round two and that means it's time for another edition of Five For Five. Since the two teams last met, the Yankees have done almost nothing but win games--they reeled off 10 consecutive victories beginning with their sweep of the Mets--before dropping their last two against the Braves. Even with those two losses, they've been white hot and they enter this series with an AL East-leading 41-27 record. Once again, I spoke with Brandon C of SB Nation's Pinstripe Alley and he was kind enough to give us a quick preview of the series (we only did three questions this time).
AA: Which Yankees players have been hottest over the last two weeks? Which have been coldest? How has the team looked overall?
PA: Watch out for Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and especially Nick Swisher. All have been hitting the ball well, while Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin have not been hitting lately. In the case of Ibanez, he is hitting the ball as we would expect him to. Disappointing, but not too surprising.
AA: We saw a home run dependent team in the Orioles struggle to score runs at Citi Field over the last few days. Is there any concern that the Yankee offense, which has also been dependent on the long ball, may struggle away from hitter friendly Yankee Stadium and without a DH?
PA: I'm not overly concerned about the Yankees home run hitting dependency because they can win without the long ball. Yes, the team has only won one game in which they did not hit a home run, but a lot of their home runs have come in games that they were already winning and did not need the home run. The Yankees also have won lately because of fantastic pitching, not necessarily just home runs.
AA: From what you've seen around Pinstripe Alley and the fanbase in general, how do Yankees fans feel about the Subway Series? Is the excitement and intrigue still there or has the magic of the initial matchups in the late-90's worn away?
PA: To be honest the concept of interleague is frowned upon by the majority of users at Pinstripe Alley. The Mets are no exception to that opinion, especially considering the two teams play six times a year. The fact that the Yankees pitchers will have to hit at Citi Field when they don't at Yankee Stadium is perplexing and silly. I, for one, would be content with full pitchers hit, but would prefer full DH. I would be much less bothered by interleague play if the league all had the same way of playing the game.
Thanks again go out to Brandon of Pinstripe Alley! Tonight's game begins at 7:10 PM and it'll feature Jon Niese up against Andy Pettitte. On Saturday, Chris Young faces off against Ivan Nova on Fox in primetime. Hooray! And in Sunday evening's finale on ESPN, it's a battle of first name initials, as CC Sabathia takes on R.A. Dickey.