It’s not often the Mets and Yankees head into a Subway Series on equal footing.
Uneven in everything from prestige to payroll, the two teams have been about level through a quarter of the season. Each squad is hovering around .500, the Yankees above, the Mets a game below entering this weekend’s three-game set in the Bronx.
Of course, each has gotten there in completely different ways.
The Bombers underwent a six-game skid earlier this month while seeing their iconic captain and his best friend earn the ire of the franchise’s powers. The Mets, meanwhile, have been moderately successful despite devastating injuries to key sluggers.
“[We’re] pitching well, have to create some offense,” said Mets manager Terry Collins after completing a sweep of the Nationals with a 1-0 win Thursday. “It’ll be fun for sure.”
The interleague series has been incredibly fun for the Yankees, who have won eight of the last 12 games. That trend could continue if they keep launching homers. They entered Thursday’s late game in Baltimore with a major league-leading 63 long balls, while the Mets ranked 21st with a .243 batting average.
“We can’t go over there trying to jack balls out of the ballpark,” said Mets utility man Willie Harris. “We have to know our swing, stay within ourselves.
"It's almost like going to a ballpark like Philly (Citizens Bank Park) and Cincinnati (Great American Ballpark). You can't try to go out there and jack it," he added. "It can screw up your swing. When you leave a ballpark like Citi Field -- this is a big ball park -- and you go to a smaller ballpark, sometimes you might say to yourself, 'OK, I can get one this series,' and you wind up 0-for-7 with five groundballs to second base, rolling over trying to hit a ball in the air. We just have to continue to play our game and continue doing what we've been doing. I think we'll be in good shape."
» Game 1 at Yankee Stadium
Friday, 7:05 p.m. (SNY, MY9) RH R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08) vs. RH F. Garcia (2-3, 3.22)
» Advantage: NYY. The Mets signed Dickey to a two-year, $7.8 million deal in the winter and he’s rewarded them with an ineffective knuckler.
» Game 2 at Yankee Stadium
Saturday, 7:15 p.m. (FOX) LH C. Capuano (3-4, 4.78) vs. RH A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99)
» Advantage: NYM. Despite the Mets’ rotational ERA of 4.35, Capuano is a better bet to pitch consistently than Burnett, who has allowed four homers in his last two starts.
» Game 3 at Yankee Stadium
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (PIX, YES) RH Mike Pelfrey (3-3, 5.11) vs. RH Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.33)
» Advantage: NYM. Purely based on experience.
Pelfrey is far from the ace the Mets need him to be, but he has only allowed one run in three of his last five outings.