Eric Hartline | USA TODAY Sports

For most of this season, the Yankees ruled baseball. The Bombers entered the All-Star break with a league-best record and showed few signs of slowing down. They also held the clear advantage over the nevertheless-impressive Mets.

It is crazy how narratives can change.

The Mets and Yankees begin the second leg of the Subway Series on Monday in the Bronx. They’re trending in different directions now. The Yankees have endured a month of hell, flirting with complete disaster. Sunday’s come-from-behind win over the Blue Jays was a respite. But they’ve still failed to win consecutive games since late July and they have lost six of their last eight games, nine of their last 12 and 15 of their last 20.

And the Mets? It has been full-steam ahead ever since Jacob deGrom returned. They continue to pile up victories, including Sunday’s epic rally past the Phillies on the road. The Mets now — amazingly — have a better record than the Yankees by four games in the loss column. And they’re 2-0 head-to-head so far. But two more wins this week — with Max Scherzer going Monday night and deGrom potentially on Tuesday — the state of baseball in this town would be pretty straightforward, no?

Plus these games just mean more for the Mets. They still have to hold off the Braves in the NL East. Even with the recent freefall (and series loss) to Toronto, the Yankees still have an eight-game lead on the Blue Jays and Rays. The pressure is on the Mets here. They hear Atlanta’s footsteps daily. They need these games. And that could put them over the top.


This Mets team thrives under pressure. It doesn’t play like a “little brother” when the stakes are highest. And with two wins to start this week, it will no longer be one.

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