Subway Sorries: Yankees and Mets Clash Lacking 2022’s Buzz

Max Scherzer after getting hit hard in the Subway Series
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Subway Sorries: Subway Series Lacks Usual Luster

The New York Yankees will limp into 2023’s first iteration of the Subway Series coming off one of their worst homestands of the season. The Yankees dropped both series to the lowly White Sox and Red Sox, going just 2-4 in the process as they continue to struggle during Aaron Judge’s absence. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they will be all out of excuses during this two game set against their crosstown rival New York Mets. Not only are the Mets struggling even more than the Yankees, having lost eight of nine, but they are also down their best player. Major league home run leader Pete Alonso will miss the next few weeks with a sprained wrist.

A Tale of Two Seasons:

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When the Yankees visited the Mets last summer on July 26, they were 66-31. They held a commanding lead in the AL East. Aaron Judge was in the midst of his home run chase. Matt Carpenter Mania was in full swing, and the Yankees were rolling. The Mets came in at 59-37, first place in the NL East, and Steve Cohen had already been anointed the savior of the franchise.

Flash forward to this season, and the baseball scene in New York has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Not only did both of these teams endure underwhelming postseasons, but it appears those bad exits a year ago have spilled over into this campaign. Both teams will enter play Tuesday nine games out of the divisional race. Pair the underwhelming records of the two teams with some unfortunate injury luck, and it is safe to say this years Subway Series is lacking the buzz of last summers.

Will the Aces Show up?

On paper, New York baseball fans should be looking at two premier pitching matchups during this two game set. Tuesdays probables are Luis Severino for the Yankees and Max Scherzer for the Mets. When both are at their best, this is a flame-throwing, All-Star caliber pitcher in Severino vs a future first-ballot Hall of Famer in Scherzer. Instead, Severino will bring a 5.75 ERA into this start, having made only three appearances in another injury-marred campaign. Scherzer has been better of late, but he still sports a 3.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.181, both well above his career numbers.

Wednesday features Gerrit Cole vs Justin Verlander. Two former teammates, one a surefire Hall of Famer in Verlander and another who may find himself there one day as well in Cole. While Cole is enjoying a stellar campaign, Verlander has struggled a great deal coming off his Cy Young campaign a year ago. Through seven starts, Verlander has an ERA of 4.85, a WHIP of 1.333 and has struck out only 33 hitters in 39 innings. For one of the great strikeout pitchers ever, this has raised some concerns. Whether its a lingering injury or age finally catching up to him, Verlander has not been himself this season. It has taken some hype away from what should have been a great pitching matchup on Wednesday.

Lack of Star Power in Subway Series

By far the most disappointing aspect of this series is who will not be participating. The Yankees will be without their captain and one of the biggest stars in the sport in Aaron Judge. The Mets will be without Pete Alonso, one of the premier power hitters in all of baseball. Both these players are the engines that make their teams go. Without them, these teams will struggle to score. While both stars hope to be back within the next few weeks, they will be sorely missed during this week’s Subway Series clash.

If there’s one thing all New York baseball fans can agree on, it is how quickly things can turn. A year ago at this time a Subway World Series felt almost like destiny. Today, that feels like a distant memory. Maybe Judge and Alonso return and vault these teams back into the postseason as they did a year ago. Maybe their injuries linger and both teams fall short of the playoffs altogether. The only certainty is that right now both teams have more questions than answers, and this year’s Subway Series will be played without its two biggest stars.

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Evan Kelly

Senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying Finance. Covering the Yankees for SportRelay.com

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