The Mets (59-37) prepare to host the first round of the Subway Series in 2022 as they welcome the Yankees (66-31) to Citi Field. For the first time in a long time, the Mets won the season series from their cross-town rivals last season, taking four out of six from the Bronx Bombers. In the last of six games between these two teams, Francisco Lindor became the first player to hit three home runs in a Subway Series contest.
The Mets opened up the second half by dropping two out of three from the Padres at home. The offense got off to a rough start post-All Star break, dropping the first game 4-1 on Friday night. Max Scherzer was terrific, but he allowed a two-run bomb to Eric Hosmer in the fourth inning that ended up being all San Diego would need. The Padres added two runs in the seventh, and while the Mets finally broke through with a run on a Luis Guillorme double in the bottom half of the frame, they would get no closer. The Mets left six on base in the game and went hitless in three at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Things went from bad to worse on Saturday as they fell 2-1 in the middle game of the series. The two sides traded zeroes until a Manny Machado two-run homer in the sixth ended the scoreless tie and put San Diego ahead for good. Chris Bassitt was actually perfect through four and tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, but the homer was enough to hand him the loss. New York went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base in the loss. They mounted a mini-rally in the ninth, as J.D. Davis blooped a single to cut the lead in half, but Buck Showalter let Tomás Nido hit instead of pinch hitting with Jeff McNeil, and he popped up to end the game.
The offense rebounded in a big way on Sunday night as the Mets pounded Padres pitching to pick up an 8-5 victory and avoid the sweep. Carlos Carrasco labored early but was able to provide his club with five shutout innings. Drew Smith allowed a run in the sixth on a Hosmer double and, given the recent offensive futility, you would forgive any Mets fan for feeling pessimistic about the team’s chances at a comeback, especially against the All Star Joe Musgrove. The San Diego starter no-hit New York through four and was cruising, but Alonso busted through with a three run homer in the sixth to break the ice for the home team. The Mets added two more off the Padres bullpen in the sixth, and added three more in the seventh, including one on an Alonso double. David Peterson allowed one in the eighth, and Joely Rodríguez was roughed up in the ninth, but Edwin Díaz picked up the save in relief of the ineffective lefty.
After scoring just ten runs over their past five games, the bats busted out for eight runs in Sunday night’s victory. It was a nice show of offense after a mostly-stagnant period that has seen the Mets squander many opportunities with runners in scoring position. The team will focus on acquiring another bat to pair with Daniel Vogelbach, who went 1-for-3 in his first game with the team. Trey Mancini is one of the names they’ve been connected with, as well as Josh Bell and Willson Contreras, who would be a big help behind the plate.
The Yankees kicked off the second half by taking two out of three games from the suddenly-resurgent Orioles. They enter this series with the best record in baseball and currently hold a 12.5 game lead over the Blue Jays in the AL East.
Aaron Judge is having an MVP-caliber season, and is very likely the frontrunner, in what could be his final year in the Bronx. The outfielder is on pace for 60 homers, and is currently hitting .294/.376/.650 with 37 home runs, 81 runs batted in, a 183 wRC+, and a 5.6 fWAR in 94 games. Giancarlo Stanton, who crushes the Mets and is coming off getting named MVP at the MLB All Star Game, is slashing .228/.309/.498 with 24 homers, 61 runs batted in, a 125 wRC+, and a 1.3 fWAR in 80 games. Anthony Rizzo has also had a nice season after re-signing with the Yankees, hitting .221/.337/.483 with 22 homers, a 131 wRC+, and a 1.6 fWAR in 90 games. DJ LeMahieu is once again having a strong season, posing a .283/.388/.413 slash line with nine homers, a 135 wRC+, and a 3.1 fWAR in 88 games.
Tuesday, July 26: Jordan Montgomery vs. Taijuan Walker, 7:10 p.m. on SNY
Montgomery (2022): 108.1 IP, 88 K, 20 BB, 13 HR, 3.24 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 1.05 WHIP, 1.6 bWAR
After allowing nine earned runs combined over his last two starts in June, he has had a good month so far. In four July starts, the left-hander has a 3.13 ERA, a 4.07 FIP, and a 1.17 WHIP, with 24 strikeouts in 23.0 innings. In his last outing on July 21 against the Astros, he was charged with two earned runs on seven hits while matching a season high with eight strikeouts over 6.1 innings. The Mets roughed him up both times they faced him last year. At Yankee Stadium, he gave up three earned runs on six hits over 4.1 innings, while at Citi Field, he was tattooed for seven runs (five earned) on seven hits over 3.1 innings.
Walker (2022): 91.2 IP, 73 K, 25 BB, 4 HR, 2.55 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 1.09 WHIP, 2.7 bWAR
Walker wasn’t named to his second consecutive All Star game, but he sure pitched like one in the first half. Over his last two starts, he allowed one earned run on seven hits with 13 strikeouts over 13.0 innings. He has recorded seven consecutive Quality Starts dating back to June 12, pitching to a 1.80 ERA, a 2.07 FIP, and a 0.91 WHIP with 48 strikeouts in 45.0 innings during that span. In his last start before the break, he allowed one earned run on four hits, with five strikeouts and two walks over 6.0 innings. He fell apart in the second half of last season and will be looking to keep up his first half performance as the calendar shifts to the second half.
Wednesday, July 27: Domingo Germán vs. Max Scherzer, 7:10 p.m. on ESPN
Germán (2022): 3.0 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 2 HR, 15.00 ERA, 12.45 FIP, 2.33 WHIP, -0.3 bWAR
After missing the first half of the season with right shoulder impingement syndrome, Germán returned on July 2 and was roughed up by Houston. In his first start back, he was tattooed for five earned runs on six hits, serving up two home runs over his 3.0 innings of work. He will look to rebound in his second start since coming off the IL.
Scherzer (2022): 75.0 IP, 98 K, 13 BB, 7 HR, 2.28 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 0.89 WHIP, 2.8 bWAR
Scherzer was once again terrific in his last start against the Padres, but he still picked up the loss in truly deGromian fashion. The right-hander limited San Diego to two earned runs on five hits over 6.0 innings. Both of those runs came in a fourth inning home run from Hosmer, and otherwise, Scherzer was sterling. In striking out eight, he surpassed both Curt Schilling and Bob Gibson—his father’s favorite player—as he moved into 15th place on the all-time strikeout list.
Prediction: The Mets and Yankees split Round 1 of the Subway Series.
How will the Mets fare in their two game series against the Yankees?
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The Mets sweep Round 1 of the Subway Series!
The Mets and Yankees split a pair of games.
The Mets are swept by the Bronx Bombers at home.