Interleague Play Provides Intriguing Matchups For Mets & Yankees
Since interleague play began in 1997, we have seen some intriguing matchups between teams. This year is no different. It all starts for the Yankees and Mets with a three game Subway Series at Yankee Stadium this weekend.
Interleague play was designed for the fans and that’s what it remains today. Fans get to see teams and players they would normally not have a chance to watch. The Yankees and Mets meet six teams, a three game series at Yankee Stadium this weekend and a three game series at Citi Field in July. Of course, the series this weekend would be more exciting if players like Johan Santana, David Wright, Ike Davis, and Phil Hughes were healthy but there is still plenty of intrigue for the series.
For example, it should be exciting to see the Yankees attempt to put their bats on the knuckle balls of tonight’s Mets starter R.A. Dickey. Carlos Beltran comes to Yankee Stadium as a member of the Mets, but will the Yankees pursue a trade for Beltran later this season if their bats do not pick up?
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez his second in hits during interleague play while topping the leader board in runs batted in. He has driven in 174 runs during these games. Rodriguez is sixth in interleague play home runs with 47 during his career.
Mike Mussina (21-13) and Andy Pettitte (18-16) had great interleague play success. Those two players have since retired. However, the Yankees have one of the pitchers that has dominated interleague play. Freddy Garcia.
Yes, Freddy Garcia is 21-8 in interleague games with a 2.92 ERA. His 21 wins ties him with Mussina for third on the all-time list. His 2.92 ERA is second behind another former Yankee, David Wells.
As many would expect, Mariano Rivera’s 63 interleague saves is the most all-time. Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has done well also, saving 33 interleague games.
The Mets would surely like to have Johan Santana healthy as he has a career interleague record of 20-11. His ERA during those games is 3.02, good for third all time. Santana however is on the 60-day DL and will be pitch in this series.
The Yankees lead the interleague series against the Mets 33-45. However, in the past seven years the teams are dead even, splitting the last 42 games.
The Mets have done very well of late in interleague play. Last season they used interleague play to get them right in the National East race before falling out later in the year. This season, the Mets face some unusual opponents.The last time the Mets faced the A’s, they pulled off a sweep at Shea Stadium. This series will be just the third time the two teams have faced each other.
The Mets will travel to Texas and Detroit this season. Texas is the defending American League Champions and will provide a tough challenge for the Mets pitching staff. Former Mets, Darren Oliver and Endy Chavez are currently playing for the Rangers.
Mets manager Terry Collins will have a home coming when the team travels to Detroit to take on the Tigers. Collins will be traveling to his home state of Michigan. The Tigers are a team loaded with talent both in the lineup and pitching staff. Another tough test for the Mets, but a series that should be fun to watch in late June.
While the Mets interleague opponents bring some excitement and intriguing matchups, the Yankees may just be even more. This season the Yankees will face the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, and Milwaukee Brewers.
When the Yankees travel to Chicago, it will be their first visit to Wrigley Field in eight years. The Yankees will be reunited with former teammates Alfonso Soriano and Kerry Wood during these games. They will also face some players they are very familiar with from their playing days in the American League East like Reed Johnson, Matt Garza, and Carlos Pena.
From their, the Yankees will travel to Cincinnati to take on a loaded Reds lineup. This will be a battle of two of the better teams in baseball. Miguel Cairo currently plays for the Reds. Cairo was a very important utility player for the Yankees for a couple seasons.
After entertaining the Rockies, the Yankees will host the Brewers. Milwaukee will bring a loaded lineup with them. How fun could it be to watch CC Sabathia battle the likes of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. The Brewers are an old American League opponent but the two sides have not faced each other since 2005. Former Yankees LaTroy Hawkins and Sergio Mitre are members of the Brewers pitching staff.
The Mets and Yankees will face each other between July 1-3, ending interleague play for 2011. As you can see, there are once again plenty of interesting matchups to watch. Some people don’t like it, and I understand their reasoning, but interleague play is always an exciting time for many fans across the country.
it all starts tonight for the Yankees and Mets in Yankees Stadium.
No team in baseball has had more success in interleague play than the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are 144-102 in these games since 1997. Derek Jeter has more hits than any player in the history of interleague play with 321. He is 8th in interleague play batting average at .332.
After the initial three game series with the Yankees, the Mets will also face Angels, Athletics, Rangers, and Tigers. All of those teams are expected to compete for their division titles, making the games even more important. The Mets have not faced the Angels since 2003 but are 5-4 against them all time. Former Met Hisanori Takahashi is a member of the Angels.
Yankee Stadium will host the Rockies and Brewers in late June. Yankees fans will get to see some young superstars in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Former Yankees fan favorite Jason Giambi will also be returning to the Bronx, as a member of the Rockies.
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