It's Subway Series time, and I was already not looking forward to it even before John Maine went on the DL. Now the Mets have to start Fernando Nieve on Saturday. I don't know much about Nieve except that his name means "snow" in Spanish. And with the current state of the Mets, it is more likely that it will snow in June than the Mets will win this series.
My original prediction was Yankees taking the series, 2 games to 1, with Johan salvaging the final game. I still think that's the most likely scenario, but here's a possible twist: What if the Mets win on Saturday and lose on Sunday?
Squawker Lisa points out that the Yankees usually struggle against unknown pitchers they have never seen before. Maybe Nieve can surprise us all. (The way things have been going for the Mets, I'll surprised if Nieve does not get hurt.) But if Tim Redding can hold the Phillies in check, anything can happen.
In Santana's last start, he gave up four homers - and that was at Citi Field. If he pitches like that at Yankee Stadium, it won't be pretty for Met fans.
The one game I will confidently predict is tonight's - Yankees all the way. That is because Squawker Lisa and I are now going. We have been to four games this year (including a Met exhibition) and my team has lost each time.
With rain in the forecast, I am just hoping it does not turn into a game like the Subway Series game Lisa and I went to in July 2006 at the old Yankee Stadium, which began with an hourlong rain delay. I was crammed into an entryway with a sea of Yankee fans while a documentary on David Cone's perfect game blared over the loudspeakers, as if I needed any reminding that the only Mets who have pitched no-hitters did so after leaving the team.
At least it will be a lot less unpleasant to wait out a rain delay in the spacious new Stadium.
But once the 2006 game started, the Yankees teed off on Met starter Alay Soler and long reliever Heath Bell. By the end of the fifth inning, the Yankees led, 16-5.
One of the advantages of going to a Subway Series game with fellow Met fans is when your team is down, 16-5, you get to go home. Not so with Lisa. So while most Met fans fled the Bronx, I had to stick it out to the bitter end of a 16-7 wipeout.
The game did feature A-Rod hitting two homers, including a grand slam. Jorge Posada and future Red Sox shortstop Nick Green also homered for the Yankees. Carlos Beltran hit two for the Mets. Batting ninth for the Mets was future Yankee outfielder Xavier Nady. He went 0 for 3.
Just as in the game three years ago, the Mets will send a pitcher of Cuban descent to the mound. Even if Livan Hernandez cannot continue his unlikely string of good games, he does not figure to do as badly as Soler, who never pitched in the majors again after that night.
One more prediction for this weekend: The Mets will hit two home runs. That may not sound like a lot to Yankee fans, but bear in mind that only three Mets have hit more than one homer on the road all year! And one of those three was Ramon Castro, who is no longer on the team.
I also think it is a shame that the series could not feature Chien-Ming Wang against Oliver Perez. Wonder how many homers that game would have!
Prediction: Yankees win first two, Mets win on Sunday.