As a Yankee fan, I have a difficult time feeling much vitriol toward the Mets, or even thinking of them as a rival, as we see in other crosstown rivalries like White Sox-Cubs. Most likely, this stems from the fact that throughout my entire lifetime as a fan, it has pretty much been a one-sided rivalry. The Mets have never been much of a threat to the Yankees’ primacy in New York, and they have not played each other in many meaningful games (outside of 2000). Plus, knowing many Mets fans and empathizing with their frustrations, it is hard for me to feel the same passion toward the rivalry that Met fans likely do (akin to a small dog yapping at a much larger dog, who impassively ignores it). In fact, I would probably root for the Mets in most cases if the Yankees were eliminated. Tonight, however, I will not be rooting for the Mets, but instead, hoping for the Yankees to keep them in their place.
Hiroki Kuroda takes the hill for the Yankees against Johan Santana, who in his last start produced the Mets’ first and only no-hitter, provoking substantial celebration (how quaint). Kuroda will look to elevate the level of his performance, though he has been a lot better than you might imagine (because of his first inning struggles and 2-3 awful outings). Former Met Ryota Igarashi will join the Yankee bullpen tonight, replacing Freddy Garcia, who is on bereavement leave following the passing of his grandmother.
The series takes place in the Bronx, so both teams will have use of the DH, and we will be spared the awful spectacle of watching pitchers bat (and praying that they avoid injury). The Yankees are making an interesting choice today by having Raul Ibanez start in left field and DH’ing Andruw Jones. Unless Jones is banged up, that seems to be an unnecessary downgrade defensively. It is one of the rare occasions where both Jones and Ibanez are in the lineup. I sort of expected to see Dewayne Wise in left and Jones at DH. Lineups are below. The game is on MLB Network and My9. Let’s go Yankees! Hopefully Ike Davis is sufficiently recovered from his “Jungle Fever.”
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