The New York Yankees try for a second straight win when they take on the New York Mets in the last of a three-game interleague series on Sunday night. The series finale is scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET first pitch at Citi Field.
The Yankees snapped a seven-game losing streak with Saturday’s 8-7 win. New York improved to 79-63 and is tied for third place in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays, one game behind the second-place Boston Red Sox. Those three teams are also battling it out for the two Wild-Card spots in the American League.
The Mets lost for the third time in four games, all by a single run, to fall to 71-72. New York is in third place in the NL East, trailing the first-place Atlanta Braves by five games and the second-place Philadelphia Phillies by 1½ games. The Mets are four games behind the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds in the race for the second Wild-Card spot in the National League.
With the Blue Jays winning twice on Saturday and the Red Sox also winning, the Yankees desperately needed to snap their losing streak on Saturday night. After jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the second, New York gave up the lead and trailed 7-5 going into the eighth.
But a two-run home run by Aaron Judge — his second of the game — tied the score at 7, and Luke Voit’s grounder resulted in a throwing error by the Mets’ Javier Baez, letting the go-ahead run to score to give the Yankees the lead going to the bottom of the eighth. The Yankees survived threats in the eighth and ninth innings, including a long drive to center by Pete Alonso that came up just short of the wall for the final out of the eighth. The win followed a team meeting on Friday night after their seventh straight loss.
“The biggest thing was to remind guys we’re still in the playoff hunt,” Judge said after Saturday’s win. “The world is not crashing down on us. Remind everybody who they are, who we are. We’re the New York Yankees. It’s an honor and a privilege to get the chance to wear these pinstripes and play for this team. When you’re getting to September baseball in New York, that’s where it’s fun.”
Judge has three home runs in 19 at-bats against the Mets, driving in five runs. Prior to Saturday, he hadn’t hit a home run since Sept. 1 and hadn’t had an extra-base hit since Sept. 4.
New York has yet to name a starter for the series finale as of this writing. Jameson Taillon is on the injured list with a right ankle tendon injury, while Gerrit Cole is dealing with left hamstring tightness that the Yankees are hoping will only keep him out a couple of days.
New York used five relievers over five innings on Saturday after using three in Friday’s loss. Manager Aaron Boone may go for a bullpen game in this one with no clear option at starter available.
The Mets were just on the edge of a rousing come-from-behind win on the anniversary of 9/11 in front of their home fans. But Baez’s error along with the inability to get a big hit with runners in scoring position in both the eighth and the ninth ended up in a loss.
The schedule doesn’t get much easier after this series either, with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia — both playoff contenders — coming in for three-game series over the next week, followed by a five-game road trip against the Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers. But if the Mets are going to make a late playoff push, they need to have it start on Sunday night.
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco will get the start. The 34-year-old is 1-2 with a 5.88 ERA and will be making his ninth start.
Carrasco picked up his first win of the campaign in his last outing on Tuesday, going five innings against the Miami Marlins and allowing one earned run (four total) on seven hits in a 9-4 Mets victory. Carrasco seems to have settled down a bit in September, going 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA after he was 0-2 with a 7.91 ERA in five starts in August.
Catcher James McCann had a big game on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and three RBIs. He has five RBIs in the first two games of this series, an eighth of his season total of 40.
Yankees Take Finale
No matter who is on the mound for the Yankees, this game should be another slugfest, which favors the deeper lineup. After Saturday’s win, the Yankees’ confidence should be back up, and they’ll take this series with another victory.
When making your MLB picks, take the Yankees to win on the road.