Given Curtis Granderson’s comments in the offseason, he’s unlikely to receive a friendly welcome in his return to the Bronx.
Then again, neither the New York Mets nor the New York Yankees have had much to cheer about lately.
The Mets will try to extend their longest winning streak in series history Monday night when they face the Yankees in the 2014 Subway Series opener.
Granderson hit 115 home runs for the Yankees from 2010-13, the 13th-most in baseball during that span. He was a two-time All-Star with the Yankees, but alienated the fanbase by saying, "A lot of the people I’ve met in New York have always said that true New Yorkers are Mets fans," at his introductory press conference with the Mets after agreeing to a four-year deal worth $60 million.
Granderson has struggled with his new club, hitting .185 with three homers and 38 strikeouts in 35 games.
The Mets (17-19) had tallied nine runs during a five-game losing streak prior to Sunday’s 5-4 win over Philadelphia in 11 innings.
"Desperate? You can call it desperate if you want to, but we have to stay positive," manager Terry Collins said.
Daniel Murphy hit a two-run homer in a three-run ninth inning to force extras, and Ruben Tejada drove in the winning run in the 11th with a bases-loaded single. Murphy has collected at least one hit in seven of eight while slugging .853 with 10 runs scored.
Granderson didn’t start Sunday with left-hander Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phillies, but Collins said he would be in Monday’s lineup.
The Mets won all four meetings with the Yankees (19-17) last year, marking the first time they had ever won four straight in the series. The Yankees, who were held to one run in three of those losses, had previously won 11 of 14 meetings.
The Yankees have dropped two in a row and seven out of 11 following Sunday’s 6-5 loss in Milwaukee. Mark Teixeira hit a tying homer with two outs in the ninth – his sixth in 12 games – but Mark Reynolds responded with an RBI single for the Brewers in the bottom half.
"We end up 3-3, and we very easily could have been 4-2, 5-1, maybe even 6-0," manager Joe Girardi said of the trip. "That’s the frustrating part. The guys are playing hard, we get a big at-bat from Texy in the ninth, and unfortunately we can’t make it."
Girardi could especially use a good outing from Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 4.43 ERA) considering the state of the rotation. CC Sabathia was placed on the disabled list Sunday, joining the already sidelined Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda.
Kuroda’s winless streak reached four starts despite a strong performance Tuesday, when he struck out a season-high eight while limiting the Angels to three runs – one earned – and five hits over 7 2-3 innings in a 4-3 victory. Kuroda is 2-3 with a 2.50 ERA in six starts against the Mets since 2010.
Another former Yankee in Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.36) will take the mound for the Mets. He gave up three runs in seven innings in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss at Miami after yielding seven runs and 10 hits over 4 2-3 innings in a 7-4 loss at Colorado on May 1.
The veteran right-hander went 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in two starts versus the Yankees last season with Oakland.
Derek Jeter is hitting .368 in 84 career games against the Mets – his highest against a team he’s faced at least 10 times. He’s also 15 for 39 off Colon, though he’s only had three at-bats against him since 2008.
David Wright, 16 for 41 during a nine-game hitting streak with six doubles, is 7 for 20 off Kuroda.