Mets-Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees and New York Mets are both entering the

Subway Series on a roll, but in different ways.

The Yankees look to continue their torrid hitting when they

renew their crosstown rivalry with the Mets in the opener of this

three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.

The Yankees (23-19) are trying to win four in a row for the

first time since an eight-game run from Aug. 28-Sept. 4. They’ve

hit .318 with four homers and outscored opponents 23-5 in their

three victories after dropping 10 of 13.

The Yankees were outstanding at the plate again in Thursday’s

13-2 win at Baltimore, collecting 14 hits with eight going for

extra bases, including two homers.

Now, they’ll try to carry that momentum into the first of six

season meetings with the Mets (21-22), who have won nine of 13.

“Being a (former) player, I understand how important (the

matchup) is to the city,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the

team’s official website. “It’s amazing to me. It’s kind of like a

playoff atmosphere to me, because of the senses of all the

fans.”

The Mets strong play of late is mostly due to a 2.77 staff ERA

that has overcome a .228 batting average. They have posted

consecutive shutouts, including Thursday’s 1-0 victory over

Washington.

The Mets and Yankees split six meetings last year with each club

taking two of three at home.

“I want them to experience the whole thing,” first-year manager

Terry Collins told the Mets’ official website of the Subway Series.

“I mean, they have to learn how to grow in it. They’ve got to learn

how to see it and deal with it. And I haven’t been a part of it. I

really don’t know what to tell them except ‘Go play.'”

The Mets were a franchise-best 13-5 in interleague play last

year, while the Yankees won 11 of 18 versus the NL – six of nine at

home.

R.A. Dickey (1-5, 5.08) came up big for the Mets against the AL

last season, winning all three of his starts in 2010 behind a 1.29

ERA. However, this will be his first taste of the Subway Series,

and he hasn’t faced the Yankees since a relief appearance with

Minnesota on July 9, 2009.

The right-handed knuckleballer is 0-5 with a 5.76 ERA in eight

games, and he struggled again Saturday, giving up four first-inning

runs and six overall along with and 11 hits – two homers – in 5 1-3

innings of a 7-3 loss at Houston.

“I just need to keep the ball down,” Dickey said. “Having my

knuckleball have that late movement on it I think will really

combat a lot of those home runs.”

The Yankees will counter with Freddy Garcia (2-3, 3.22), who has

dropped three of his last four starts with a 4.63 ERA while serving

up six homers.

The right-hander surrendered five runs and two homers in

Sunday’s 7-5 loss to Boston.

He hasn’t faced the Mets since a loss with Philadelphia on April

17, 2007, and he went 2-1 with a 6.55 ERA in four interleague

starts with the Chicago White Sox last year.

Derek Jeter has four hits in two games, and will now try to

extend his 22-game hitting streak at home against the Mets, during

which he’s batting .489 with six homers, 13 RBIs and 23 runs.

Justin Turner has been a surprise for the Mets, batting .400

with four doubles, one homer and 10 RBIs in six games. He’s played

the last three at third for the injured David Wright (back).