This was a Subway Series again for New York baseball and the fans. More meaningful for the Yankees with their eyes on a division title as they head to Boston for another three game showdown that begins Friday night. Yes, a Subway Series that still had meaning because the Yankees are playing for something.
A momentum builder going into Boston and that’s what the Yankees ordered with a four-game home-and-home series sweep that concluded Thursday night at Citi Field. The Mets delivered that order fast because lefthander Steven Matz worked 3.1 innings and allowed a career-high tying seven runs.
But this game was over in the first inning. Luis Severino had his slider going for the Yankees and the Mets were the other team in town. The momentum builder towards that Boston series for the Yankees also was delivered prior to the finale when word came that Starlin Castro and Matt Holliday were headed to their respective rehab assignments.
The Yankees are getting back to full strength. A momentum builder after a 7-5 win, and it would have been easier had Curtis Granderson not hit a ninth inning grand slam off Bryan Mitchell.
But the most important thing for the Yankees is winning games in August and September. Granted the Mets are shorthanded, which took something away from this annual inter league series, and this was four more wins that leaves the Yankees four games behind the Red Sox.
So it was an important four-game sweep and a series that can only help with the momentum. That prevailing mood of seeing the Red Sox again was something that is seen when a team has momentum this time of year.
“Most important thing is getting the wins this time of year especially August and September,” said manager Joe Girardi. His team achieved that accomplishment this week by sweeping the Mets in a series for the first time since 2003. The Yankees left Citi Field with that four-game winning streak after losing two out of three to Boston last weekend in the Bronx.
“These four games here gave us a lot of energy,” Severino said. He gave the Yankees the momentum with 6.1 innings and one unearned run. He got the early run support and that also was an early momentum builder heading to Boston.
Speaking of momentum, Gary Sanchez is reminding many of the youngster who hit one home run after another last September in the Bronx. His three-run homer gave the Yankees that early lead in the first inning and his 22nd home run extended a career high.
“Feel good in the box,” said Sanchez. He has eight home runs in his last 20-games, batting .333 with three doubles, six home runs and 13 RBI this month. That is a momentum builder for these Yankees as they see Aaron Judge quietly adjusting better at the plate. And, soon the injury ward will be no longer with Greg Bird slowly getting back to normal with that long and drawn out bad ankle.
“It’s an important series,” Girardi said about Boston. “These are really important games for us. The clock is ticking.” A wild card is not what the Yankees want and as Brett Gardner said, “It’s all about winning games.”
The important three games now await the Yankees up in Boston. These four games with the Mets were a momentum builder and that’s what they wanted.