Rivalry Week continues as the Yankees meet their crosstown foe for the Subway Series. Things start with two games at Yankee Stadium before hopping on the 7 train for a pair at Citi Field. The Mets had high hopes entering the season, but injuries flared up all over the field. They switched to sell mode in recent weeks, waving the white flag on the 2017 season. Still, expect the Yankees to get the Mets’ best as they always do when these two meet.
Here are your pitching matchups for the four-game set:
Game One: Rafael Montero vs Luis Cessa
Like most of the Mets this season, things have not been going well for Montero. After starting the season in the bullpen, injuries forced him into the rotation where he has struggled to find success. He was hit hard for four runs in three innings during his last start against the Rangers, and holds an ERA of 6.06. His first career start actually came against the Yankees in 2014, when he allowed three runs in six innings.
It was Masahiro Tanaka who countered Montero back in 2014, and he was originally slated to start the series opener before heading to the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Instead, it will be Cessa who takes the ball as Joe Girardi continues to plug holes in a rotation smacked by injury.
This will be Cessa’s fifth start of the season, and he carries a 4.83 ERA into the outing. His last appearance was in a relief role at the end of July in which he tossed 3.1 shutout innings against the Rays. He also walked four batters. It was the second time this season he issued four walks in an outing of less than four innings. This will be Cessa’s first time out against the Mets.
Game Two: Jacob deGrom vs Sonny Gray
We should have a good pitching matchup on our hands with the final game in the Bronx. The 29-year-old deGrom represents one of the only bright spots for the Mets this season, as he has been superb with a 3.21 ERA. Oddly enough, deGrom also made his big league debut against the Yankees in 2014, the day after Montero’s first career start. As per usual, deGrom was very good in that start. He went seven innings and allowed just one run.
Like Tanaka, Gray had to grind through his last start in Toronto. He just didn’t have his best stuff. He surrendered three runs (two earned) over six innings, but received no offensive help in the loss. With deGrom on the mound, it may be tough to change that narrative for Gray, who has had a tough break with run support during his first two starts with the Yankees.
Game Three: Seth Lugo vs Jaime Garcia
The series shifts to Citi Field for game three, as the Yankees face Lugo, a pitcher who they have limited experience against — two total at-bats as a team, to be exact. Lugo has a 4.85 ERA in 11 starts this season, and was hit hard by the Phillies during his last outing. He surrendered five earned runs over 5.1 innings while issuing four walks. He did record a season-high eight strikeouts, but it was the second time in his last four starts in which he gave up at least four earned runs.
Garcia didn’t get the decision in the Yankees’ thrilling comeback win against Boston on Friday night, despite tossing a solid 5.2 innings and giving up just three runs. His two mistakes of the evening resulted in home runs, but he kept the damage to a relative minimum. That allowed the Yankees to hang in the game. Garcia has experience against the Mets and will have to contain Wilmer Flores, who is 4 - 12 with two home runs and six RBI against the southpaw.
Game Four: Steven Matz vs Luis Severino
Matz, another banged-up starter for the Mets, will be making his 13th start of the season after sitting out the first two months. He allowed two runs over 5.2 in his last start against the lowly Phillies while recording just one strikeout. He has a 5.54 ERA in 2017 and has allowed 76 hits over 63.1 innings. This Yankees team has 39 career at-bats against Matz. Todd Frazier is 2 -9 in his career against the left-hander, with both hits being home runs.
Let’s hope Severino got his clunker out of the way on Saturday. Unquestionably the staff ace, Severino was tagged for eight earned runs over 4.1 innings against Boston in his last start. That came after a four-start stretch in which his ERA was 0.70. His ERA now stands at 3.32. The current Mets roster only has 13 career at-bats against Severino with no home runs and a .564 OPS.