As the 2009 Major League Baseball season began, hopes were high in New York for a Subway Series in October.
The Yankees and Mets were in new ballparks and the fans were upbeat and eager to watch them play. The Mets were a tough veteran team with the players to challenge the Phillies, Braves, and Marlins in the National League East. Meanwhile the Yankees had signed several high-profile free agents in the offseason and were ready to battle the Red Sox and Rays in the American League East.
However, the Yankees started the season like a group of guys who had just met on the parking lot. CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, and (to a lesser degree) A.J. Burnett were ineffective. A-Rod was recovering from hip surgery. Mark Teixeira was struggling. Robinson Cano was having problems at the plate and the catchers weren’t producing. It was a mess.
But now the team is playing together and is on a roll. Teixeira is hitting a ton, and the pitching – both starters and relievers - is almost unhittable. A-Rod is healthy and producing. Jeter is his good old Mr. Reliable self, and Mariano Rivera found the fountain of youth and is better than ever. The team has momentum and is battling the Red Sox for first place. What a difference a couple of months makes.
The Mets started as the contender they were supposed to be, but soon thereafter injuries began piling up. Carlos Deldago, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, J.J. Putz, Billy Wagner, John Maine, Fernando Martinez, and Fernando Nieve (most recently) are all on the disabled list. Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez are pitching poorly and the team is rapidly slipping in the standings.
A team that looked solid and steady at the start of the season is in disarray. How good could the Mets have been without the injuries? No one knows.
However all is not lost for this season because they are only six games out in the Wild Card race.
But come October, instead of a subway ride to Citi field, a train trip to Veterans Field in Philadelphia is more likely for Yankee fans!