Although the Yankees took the first game of the Subway Series in convincing fashion, the Mets struck back in yesterday's game led by the face of the franchise, starting pitcher Matt Harvey. The Mets came into the series having won 11 straight contests, only to have that spoiled this past Friday night by the Yankees. Many Mets fans started to have those old thoughts surface about whether this was the same old mets after their win streak came to an abrupt start. Matt Harvey, however, made a bold statement. On Saturday in the Bronx, he went out on the mound and shut the Yankees down. No nonsense, no nothing. The Yankees never had a chance. He blew A-Rod away on a 98 mph fastball in the 9th inning, silencing the Bronx crowd and energizing the Met faithful. He showed that the Mets are here to stay and that they are for real. Something that a true ace does for his team. He showed that Friday's loss was more of an aberration than anything else, and that this is the Mets time.
With a 14-4 start and a 4 1/2 game lead in the N.L. East, the Mets are clearly the better New York team right now. The Yankees have played well of late, but they have too many question marks to have any staying power. The Mets are on the rise and the Yankees are falling. The fans at yesterday's game were the most telling sign that their is a changing of the guard. The Yankee stadium crowd was lifeless, while the Mets fans were getting louder and louder by the moment. The idea of the Mets overtaking the Yankees for New York supremacy may be hard to believe, solely because of the disappointment that the Mets have provided their fans over the years. This year, however, is a different Mets team. They have the ace, they have the attitude, and they have the expectations.
Tonight's game in primetime against the Yankees is going to tell us a lot about this Mets team. Can Jonathan Niese step up and win the series for the Mets? Can the Mets convince people that they are better than the Yankees? Or simply, can the Mets perform in a big game? All of these questions will be answered tonight.
For those Mets fans who are waiting for the other shoe to drop, and being one of them myself, I think it is important to analyze this team based on this year and this year only, and to not let the years of disappointment get in the way of this season. Its a new year, a new identity, and a new roster, and a win tonight can be a big step to proving to us fans that this team means business.