Although both the New York Yankees and Mets are locked in pressurized games down the stretch, it’s the former who’s feeling the pressure.

New York Mets (83-63) vs New York Yankees (80-65)

Game 1
Friday, 7:10 PM ET on YES, SNY, MLBN
Citi Field, Flushing, New York
Matz (3-0, 1.88) – Tanaka (12-6, 3.40)

Game 2
Saturday, 1:05 PM ET on FOX
Citi Field, Flushing, New York
Syndergaard (8-6, 3.20) – Pineda (10-8, 4.25)

Game 3
Sunday, 8:05 PM ET on ESPN
Citi Field, Flushing, New York
Harvey (12-7, 2.88) – Sabathia (4-9, 4.93)

By Robby Sabo

Subway Series: New York Yankees Face All The PressureWhen the 2015 MLB schedule officially made its way across the desk of everybody around the nation, many in the Big Apple were forced to scratch their head.

Why in the world would baseball schedule one Subway Series so early in the season (April), and so late in the season (September)? It seemed so strange compared to the usual midsummer event.

It turned out to work very nicely.

With the New York Mets and Yankees both locked in pennant race baseball, the second edition of the 2015 Subway Series becomes one of the more important regular season New York baseball events of all-time.

Not since the 2000 World Series have these teams met so late in a season.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, because of the way things shook out all the pressure is on them.

Let’s be honest, both fan-bases absolutely despise one another. There are exceptions of course, but the Mets fan no doubt hates the Yankees fan more. 27 World Series Championships and all of the illustrious Monument Park-type history has created a big brother-little brother scenario which is hard to ignore.

Couple that with the Mets failures in recent times and we have an explosive situation on our hands. Extremely explosive due to the fact that the headlines have been going the Mets way in 2015.

The NL East is horrid. It’s allowed the Amazin’s to extend their divisional lead to a comfortable 7.5 games over the fraud Washington Nationals. It’s the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays who’s created this pressurized situation for the Bombers.

There will be no Alex Rodriguez (no DH in NL park), C.C. Sabathia is pitching a game, and the Yanks are still not a lock for the postseason. Conversely, the Mets – though losing their last two games against the Miami Marlins and seeing their ace Jacob deGrom continue to struggle – are an absolute lock for October baseball.

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Bragging rights become ballooned thanks to this late-season scenario.

If the Yankees come into CitiField and sweep away the Mets, there is no Pinstripe fan who can say his team “ruined the Mets season.” They’ll still have plenty of opportunity to right the ship. If the Mets take care of business against the Yanks, however, it could actually go a long way in knocking them out of the AL East race completely.

This idea of each team’s current standing means everything. Joe Girardi’s club has so much more on the line. They’re the road team, and the club who’s looking to snag the headlines back.

Think quickly: Which team won the overall regular season Subway Series during the 2000 season? You don’t remember, right? That’s because only the World Series between the teams was memorable.

Nobody will remember this series either unless major playoff ramifications occur as a result.

The fortunate deal for the Yanks comes in the form of who’s starting the series. Masahiro Tanaka, a guy who’s returned to prominence over the last month and change, will take the ball from Girardi and look to get things rolling in the right direction on Friday night.

He’ll be pitching on four-days rest for the fifth time and second straight outing. Over his last four outings he’s pitched to a 3-0 record and 2.54 ERA.

Via Associated Press:

“He’s throwing the ball extremely well,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We checked with him to see how he was, he said he felt good and that’s why we’re doing it. I know he hasn’t done it a lot but we need him to pitch well for us.”

Countering the Great Tanaka will be young phenom Steven Matz, who has done nothing but impress when healthy.

The other interesting matchup comes Sunday night, for the entire country to watch as the standalone ESPN game. The aging and very shaky Sabathia will be pitted up against Matt Harvey.

How The Dark Knight bounces back from all of the 180-inning controversy and his terrible outing against the Nationals will be a story in itself. He could, perhaps, be shouldering the most pressure of any one player. Although his stock has plummeted since Scott Boras opened his mouth and Harvey didn’t strongly oppose it, his will to pitch lights out against the Pinstripes must still live within.

Make no mistake though, it’s the Yankees who need this weekend most. Facing the possibility of the Houston Astros and their ace Dallas Keuchel in the AL Wild Card game is something that can’t be overly exciting. Keuchel is a guy who’s dominated them this season.

First pitch of the 2015 Subway Series, Part 2 comes your way at 7:10 tonight from Flushing, NY.

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Founder of Elite Sports NY — Formerly of FanSided — Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants — Has interviewed the likes of Rob Dyrdek, Michael Waltrip and Dominique Wilkins and has seen his work shared on major publications such as Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Yardbarker.

Born as a New York Sports Fan, something unexplainable in his blood that’ll never be shaken. Remembers the Kevin Maas days, the Yankees on MSG, the Bruce Coslet era, and the Spring of ’94.

E-Mail: robsabo10@elitesportsny.com