The New York Yankees are coming off their worst loss of an inconstant season, and rain interfered with their initial attempt at rebounding from it.
The Yankees bounce-back attempt will not begin until Saturday afternoon when they host the New York Mets in the opener of the Subway Series.
The Yankees enter the 25th version of the intracity rivalry with five losses in their past six games and two games over .500 at 41-39. They have not played since around 1 a.m. on Thursday morning when they dropped an 11-8 decision to the Los Angeles Angels by allowing seven runs in the ninth inning of a game that featured two lengthy rain delays.
They tried to play Friday but postponed it about 90 minutes after the scheduled first pitch. Instead, they will play a split doubleheader Sunday. Their attempts to play Saturday may run into difficulties, as the forecast for the New York area is calling for heavy rain throughout the day.
If the Yankees play, it will be their first action since managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner absolved GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone of any blame. Instead, Steinbrenner, whose personality is a sharp contrast to his late bombastic father George, placed the onus on the players.
“The majority of the responsibility, whether it’s the responsibility of inconsistent offense or bad baserunning, etc., that responsibility lies with the players,” Steinbrenner said. “They’re the ones on the field, right? They’re a group of very talented, professional athletes that are playing this game at the highest level in the world. They need to fix this problem.
“They need to fix the problem because everyone — including our fan base, rightfully so — has had enough, quite frankly. It’s enough.”
The Mets are experiencing inconsistencies of their own, though not as drastic as the Yankees.
The Mets won eight of 10 games from June 5-16 to move 10 games over .500, but they are 6-11 since. During those 17 games, the Mets have been blanked four times and have scored three runs or fewer 11 times, including a 4-3 loss to the host Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
Dominic Smith homered twice after Jacob deGrom struck out 14 while yielding three runs in seven innings, but the Mets lost when Seth Lugo allowed an infield single in the ninth.
“It’s frustrating,” deGrom said. “You definitely wanted to come in and win the series and we weren’t able to do it, but we’ve got to go play good baseball (Friday). So, it’s definitely frustrating, especially with how we lost in the ninth.”
Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery (3-2, 4.06 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 4.43 ERA over his past four starts, will be on the mound Saturday after being pushed back twice due to rainouts. He last pitched Saturday, when he allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings of a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox.
Montgomery’s only previous start against the Mets was Aug. 28, 2020, in the first game of a doubleheader, when he allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in five innings in a no-decision.
Taijuan Walker (6-3, 2.38 ERA) will start for the Mets. He has allowed two earned runs or less 11 times, including June 25, when he allowed one run and three hits in five innings in a no-decision against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Walker is 0-3 with a 3.26 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees, who rocked him for seven runs (one earned) and six hits in 1 2/3 innings in a 20-6 win on Sept. 15, when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays.
–Field Level Media