Mets Clobber Yankees in Subway Series; Now Where Do Both Teams Go From Here?

The Yankees fell out of first place on June 27 when, after getting swept by cross town rival Mets in the two game Subway Series June 25-26 they continued their losing ways again the next night. Is the Mets turnaround real and is it really time for Yankee fans to hit the panic button for a team still in the thick of a pennant race?

| 28 Jun 2024 | 12:26

The first Subway Series of 2024 has come and gone, raising expectations for the Mets while casting further doubt on the Yankees’ championship prospects.

When the Yankees stunningly swept the defending American League champs, the Houston Astros, to start the season, the Yanks looked poised to challenge for a World Series title. For most of the season, they were in first and for awhile had the best record in MLB. But the sweep at the hands of the Mets amplifies questions about the Yankees.

The sudden power surge by the Mets in June made them appear to be a cross between The Big Red Machine and the 1927 Yankees. The Yankees at times resembled the 1962 Mets.

At the same time, the Yankees win total after the Subway Series debacle still showed 52 “Ws” and the team continue to boast one of the best records in baseball. The Mets after the series wrapped up only managed to reach a mediocre 39-39 record and badly trailed the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies.

Where do our baseball teams go from here? The fans’ reactions have been predictable, especially after the Yankees followed their desultory performance in the Subway Series by getting drubbed, 10-3, in Toronto.

Naturally, Yankees fans are freaking out; Mets supporters are moderately hopeful but still plenty worried. This is New York! If a Noo Yawka won the lottery and collected 100 million bucks, the newly rich person would bitch about being lifted into a tough tax bracket.

Realistically, the Yankees look like a lock to make the playoffs while the Mets offer no such assurances. As the great former New York Giants Coach Bill Parcells used to say, the key is to make the post-season tournament, above all else. You can’t win a championship without qualifying for the playoffs. Once the playoffs commence, unexpected things can happen. Unimposing teams can get hot and look like world-beaters. Remember how the 2015 and 1973 Mets strengthened as the playoffs moved along and both Mets teams made it to the seventh game of the World Series.

The Yankees and the Mets have a lot of decisions to make right now. Both teams could use some fresh blood in the bullpen, not to mention another starter in the rotation.

The Yankees would seem to have one challenge: Beat the Baltimore Orioles in October. The Orioles present the biggest obstacle to the Yankees making it to the World Series. Can the Yankees find a way to field a better team than the young, athletic, poised Orioles?

The Mets have to figure out whether they will be buyers or sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. This is a thorny issue.

Even if it makes perfect baseball sense for the Mets to throw in the towel on 2024, the management may be reluctant to take this step.

The Mets are always going to look over their shoulders at the Yankees. It’s a matter of pride for Mets owner Steve Cohen and his staff to try to compete with the Yankees and not cede the city’s bragging rights with roughly half a season left to play.

Met fans, a vocal bunch, would surely flood sports-talk radio and lament a decision to sell off players.

The Mets’ No. 1 decision involves power-hitting first baseman, Pete Alonso. Alonso is a popular player, the Mets’ answer to Yankees deity Aaron Judge, who is an early favorite for AL MVP at this stage. If the Mets sell off Alonso, they immediately lose their star credibility in the city and the sport.

For those reasons, it seems unlikely that the Mets would trade Alonso. In the off season, the Mets may decide that it is wiser to cut Alonso loose–while pursuing Juan Soto.

Soto, one of the top five hitters in the sport, has turned around the Yankees, which he joined in the off-season. Soto plays hard and has a surplus of natural ability. He and Judge represent a two-man Murderers Row in the Bronx.

The Yankees would not let Soto leave lightly. The Mets would have to overbid like mad to acquire him.

For now, the question is whether the Yankees can wipe away the stench of the team’s current losing streak while the Mets keep up the hitting prowess that has suddenly vaulted them into a playoff conversation.