The New York Yankees will try to snap a seven-game losing streak when they face the New York Mets in the second of a key three-game series on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday night. The first pitch for this contest is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET at Citi Field.
The Yankees dropped the opener, 10-3. New York is 78-63 and in third place in the AL East, trailing the second-place Boston Red Sox by a game and leading the fourth-place Toronto Blue Jays by a half-game. Those three teams are also atop the Wild=Card standings in the American League.
The Mets snapped a two-game losing streak with Friday’s win, improving to 71-71. New York is in third place in the NL East, trailing the second-place Philadelphia Phillies by a half-game and the first-place Atlanta Braves by five games. The Mets are four games behind the second Wild-Card spot in the National League, currently held by the San Diego Padres.
The Yankees were fortunate that every other team in the AL East that is in the playoff race lost on Friday night. The New York offense continued to struggle, managing seven hits and striking out 10 times against a 2-4 Mets starter in Tylor Megill.
Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo each hit solo home runs in the setback, with Aaron Judge driving in the third run with a first-inning groundout. Judge finished 0-for-4 with a strikeout, making him 3-for-15 against the Mets.
“Just a poor performance, period,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Friday’s loss. “It’s a bit of a broken record. We got to keep grinding at it. We got to keep working at it, and we will, and trust that it will turn, but it’s obviously going to take everyone, and, obviously, that starts with me and making sure we’re ready to roll.”
Right-hander Corey Kluber will get the start. Kluber is 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA, though he’s taken two no-decisions since returning from the injured list at the end of August.
His last outing was a 3⅔-inning stint against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, as he allowed two runs on four hits, including a home run. He has an 8.21 ERA in his two starts since coming back from a right shoulder strain that kept him out three months.
Needing A Run
The Mets come in with a .500 record, and they’ve played at exactly that rate over the last 22 games, going 11-11. That kind of play isn’t going to gain New York a postseason berth, so it needs to turn it up over the next couple of weeks if it wants to contend for the playoffs.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker will try to help start the surge. Walker is 7-9 with a 4.15 ERA, but he hasn’t earned a win since July 3, losing his last six decisions.
That last win was against the Yankees, though, as he went 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits, including a home run. His last outing wasn’t nearly as good, as he lasted 4⅓ innings against the Washington Nationals on Sunday, allowing six runs on six hits, including two home runs, in a 13-6 Mets victory.
Shortstop Javier Baez had a big game in the opener, going 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. He’s driven in four runs over the last four games, going 6-for-15 with two doubles, a home run and four strikeouts.
Yankees Get Win
It will be quite a night in the Big Apple on Saturday night, with the remembrances of 9/11 interspersed and a key game for both teams. Both squads will be inspired to play their best.
Look for the Yankees to play better in this one and come away with the victory. They need to keep pace with the rest of the AL East, which they’ll do with this win.
When making your MLB picks, take the Yankees to win on the road.