After years of playing second fiddle to the Yankees, the Mets came into the 2017 season with the majority of New York City baseball fans favoring them over the “Evil Empire”.
The Amazin’s were the talk of the town and there were no real signs that the Yankees would be able to overtake the Mets in terms of success this season.
The Mets young and healthy pitching rotation was all the rage and the only real hype coming from the Bronx was generated by Gary Sanchez. Well, we are about 50 games into the regular season and boy has that storyline changed.
For one, the Mets pitching rotation has been the talk of the town for all of the wrong reasons. By now we are all aware of Matt Harvey’s off-field issues that have forced his pitching to the backseat.
Though the Dark Knight has yet to return to his All-Star form, he has shown signs of improvement with his velocity and control from last season where it looked as though he would never reach his full potential.
Then there were injuries to Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard that would set the Mets into a tailspin early on. The young arms that were supposed to carry the Mets back to the postseason were dropping like flies.
Now on the other side of town, the story was the polar opposite.
The Yankees veteran pitching staff has not been great by any means, but their experience has helped them hold steady atop the AL East.
The real story in the Bronx has been the bats, specifically rookie Aaron Judge. The 6’7” gentle giant has been anything but gentle to opposing pitching this season and has taken the league and the Big Apple by storm.
Judge leads all of baseball in homers and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Gary Sanchez has been forced to play under Judge's shadow following an outrageous rookie campaign in 2016. To put it lightly, just when we thought the Yanks were going into a rebuilding stage, they have catapulted themselves back into the postseason picture early on.
Though the Mets pitching has disappointed so far, there is one position player that has been far from a disappointment.
Michael Conforto has been an absolute stud at the plate, spraying pitches all over whichever ballpark he steps foot in. The 24-year-old has been a much-needed bright spot in the Mets' outfield with Yoenis Cespedes landing on the DL and Curtis Granderson owning a sub .200 batting average.
After a shaky 2016 season, Conforto has solidified himself as an everyday player in 2017 and is proving to everyone that he belongs here.
It has been an interesting few months of baseball here in New York and we can expect that to continue throughout the year as both the Mets and Yanks make a push for the playoffs.
Both teams have a plethora of young talent and are showcasing it on a nightly basis. With this kind of youth movement taking over New York, baseball right now is exciting as ever.