Francisco calls Yankees ‘chickens’

At least somebody isn’t afraid to talk trash about a cross-town rival.

"I can’t wait to face those chickens," Mets closer Frank Francisco said when asked about playing the Yankees in this weekend’s Subway Series at Citi Field. "I want to strike out the side against them. I’ve done it before."

Before Francisco could elaborate on his "chickens" comment, after the Mets’ 4-3 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday, he buttoned up.

"I think I’ve said too much already," he said.

There you have it — a blast of bluster from the Mets as they attempt to regain some of the respect they lost two weeks ago when the Yankees swept them three games in The Bronx.

Francisco didn’t appear in any of those games, but has a long history facing the Yankees as a member of the Rangers and Blue Jays.

And, yes, for the record, he has struck out the side against the Yankees. It came on May 21, 2004, when Francisco, pitching for the Rangers, struck out Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi — the three batters he faced in the seventh inning.

Francisco’s Mets teammates were more reserved in discussing the upcoming Subway Series, but it’s clear they are confident after sweeping the Orioles in three games at Citi Field.

"I think we can play with [the Yankees]," Scott Hairston said. "I don’t see why we can’t play the way we did in the Orioles series. We know they have a really good lineup and pitching staff and so do we. It’s going to be a fun series."