Ready or not, the Subway Series is back.
Well, it doesn't really matter if we are ready for this series. The Yankees themselves, we need them to be ready, and I suspect they will be.
The Bombers are playing their best baseball of the year, after all, winners of five straight. After bottoming out with an embarassing home sweep at the hands of the Red Sox, the Yankees are winners of 14 of their last 18. That reality, coupled with a Boston mini-slump, has lifted New York into first by 2.5 games entering the weekend.
The Mets are playing some good baseball themselves. After a successful 4-2 swing through Texas and Detroit, Jose Reyes and Co. enter the opener tonight at Citi Field at a very respectable 41-40.
The Mets send Jonathan Niese (7-6, 3.67) to the hill. The left-hander left his last start due to a rapid heartbeat, but is reported to be fine and ready to go. He has never faced the Yankees or any of the players in tonight's starting lineup.
The Yankees will counter with Ivan Nova, who could conceivably be pitching for his job every time out as Phil Hughes approaches a return to the Bronx. Nova was hurt by the longball his last time out, giving up three homers in six innings to the Rockies. For the season, the right-hander is 7-4 with a 4.26 ERA.
Check out the lineup card after the jump ...