The Yankees have lost their last two against a National League East team at home. The Mets have won their last seven, including two road sweeps against American League teams, albeit bad ones. The Mets are coming to Yankee Stadium where the two teams will clash.
The Mets won the first round by taking two at Citi Field. This time around, it’s the same pitching matchups:
Tonight: Hisanori Takahashi (5-2) vs. Javier Vasquez (6-5)
Saturday afternoon: Mike Pelfrey (9-1) vs. Phil Hughes (9-1)
Sunday afternoon: Johan Santana (5-3) vs. CC Sabathia (7-3)
From a pure starting pitching standpoint, the Yankees would seem to have the advantage. The Yankees have seen Takahashi already and he’s been more vulnerable over his past few starts. Vasquez is not the same pitcher he was when he last faced the Mets, although he did beat them then. Since then, he’s gone 3-1 and lowered his ERA by more than a run. Advantage: Vasquez.
Pelfrey vs. Hughes is really the marquee matchup. You have two nine-game winners going toe to toe. Hughes is 4-0 since losing to the Mets last time, but he’s allowed 11 runs in those four games and 20 runs in his last six starts. Pelfrey has only allowed five runs in his last four games and allowed only one run against the Yankees last time. The only troubling stat is he allowed three of those runs to the Orioles at Camden Yards. Still, I like Pelfrey’s chances. Advantage: Pelfrey.
Yes, it’s true Santana doesn’t get a lot of run support. That doesn’t explain why he’s allowed four runs in each of his last two starts, only struck out one batter per game and walked an average of 3.2 batters over his last five games. A deteriorating lack of control and velocity would. Still he only allowed one run to the Yankees last time. Sabathia just came off of beating Phillies ace Roy Halladay. The good news for the Mets is he allows his fair share of runs: 3.6 average over the last five games including five against the Mets. I just don’t like the way Santana’s been trending. Sabathia has been consistent over his past three games and getting runs support. As much as I’m leaning toward Sabathia here, I still think they give up a few runs each. Advantage: Draw.
Now it’s your turn to pontificate. Whom do you give the advantage to in the pitching matchups? Who wins the series?