As the second month of the 2008 baseball season comes to a close, it’s worth noting that the Mets and the Yankees are each in fourth place in their respective divisions with nearly identical records: the Yanks are 28-27, the Mets are 27-27. Both teams have been plagued by injuries.
The Mets currently have bragging rights by virtue of their sweep of the two Subway Series games at Yankee Stadium two weeks ago, though those games hardly turned out to constitute much of a turning point for the Mets. Indeed, they went on to a humiliating four-game sweep in Atlanta, with ancient nemesis Chipper Jones once again dashing their hopes, en route to a 1-6 road trip. They’ve won 6 out of 14 since the series with the Yankees.They’ve put Willie Randolph’s job in jeopardy and their inconsistent play has kept last year’s collapse fresh in the minds of their fans.
The Yankees, meanwhile, have gone 8-and-4 since losing to the Mets. No one’s talking about firing Joe Girardi.
The Mets are hoping that this homestand will turn things around. They took two out of three from the first-place Marlins and have taken two out of three from Joe Torre’s Dodgers. And they’re putting Johann Santana out on the mound tomorrow night for the final game of the series.
With luck, however, Santana will win but won’t be the big story of the week. With luck, the big story will be the successful return of Pedro Martinez to the mound on Tuesday night after missing seven weeks.
But Pedro may not get the back page of the tabloids on Wednesday morning, because the Yankees also have some interesting pitching plans for Tuesday night: they’re finally going to start their bullpen phenom Joba Chamberlain.