NY Baseball Parties Like It’s 2006
By RYAN KAMBER
In 2006, The Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice” won best record at the Grammys, 13-year-old Miley Cyrus wore a blonde wig and was introduced to the world as pop star Hannah Montana, and Jack Dorsey published the first “Tweet” on the new website he co-founded called “Twitter.” The year 2006 was also the last time that the New York Mets were in the postseason. Nine years later they are in first place and all signs point to October.
On the other side of New York, the Yankees were thought by many to have a string of subpar years due to an aging core. They have played well enough to put them in a comfortable lead in the AL Wildcard, and just three and a half games back of the surging Blue Jays for first place in the AL East.
Going into this year, one thing everyone knew for sure that the New York Mets could do was pitch, with one of the best starting rotations in baseball including young stud Matt Harvey and 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom. Former top prospects Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz have also helped lead the Mets starting staff to have a combined 3.48 earned run average. That is good for third best in the majors behind the Cardinals and Dodgers. The offense had struggled to give the pitching run support for the majority of the first half as the Mets sat two games behind the Nationals at just 53-50 at the trade deadline. Needing desperately to add an impact bat, the Mets acquired Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers. From then on, Cespedes almost single-handedly revived the struggling offense. As a Met, Cespedes has batted .288 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs in just 49 games. The Mets’ offense as a whole has scored the second most runs in baseball since the All-Star break, and are 31-17 since Cespedes debuted on August 1st.
Meanwhile in the Bronx, the Yankees’ offense has been getting it done all season led by comebacks from first baseman Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Teixeira hit 31 long balls and drove in 79 in just 111 games before a fractured right leg cut his season short in late August. A-Rod, after serving a full season’s suspension in 2014 for steroid use, has proven all his doubters wrong by compiling a .356 on base percentage, 32 HRs, and 83 RBIs. The Yankees biggest strength, however, is their bullpen led by setup man Dellin Betances and closer Andrew Miller. Betances and Miller have the most and fourth most strikeouts among all relievers in baseball. The bullpen as a whole owns an 80.36 save percentage (44 saves in 56 opportunities), the best in the American League.
Whether either of these teams wins it all or not, one thing is certain–it is an exciting time for New York baseball.
(All statistics are relevant to September 23rd, 2015)