NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees need wins in the worst way. They’ll have to go through three of the Mets’ best young arms to get them.
Still looking up at Toronto in the AL East race with only a few weeks left in the regular season, the Yankees will face Steven Matz on Friday in the opener of the latest edition of the Subway Series. The Mets will hand the ball to Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey over the weekend at Citi Field.
The Yankees will counter with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia, respectively.
Both teams had Thursday off. The Yankees entered the day three games behind the Blue Jays in the division, but owned a 3 1/2-game lead over the Houston Astros for the first AL wild card.
The Bombers have won three of their last four, including a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Owners of a 7 1/2-game lead atop the NL East, the Mets are coming off a 6-0 home loss to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday and their magic number for clinching the division remains at 10.
The Matz-Tanaka matchup is fascinating on many levels. The Yankees have never faced the Mets’ rookie. The 24-year-old left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts this season. He last pitched Friday, getting the win after tossing five innings in a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Tanaka (12-6, 3.40 ERA) has been by the Yankees’ most reliable pitcher this season. The 26-year-old Japanese right-hander has been especially good of late, allowing just one earned run over his last 15 innings. Tanaka threw four-hit ball over seven in the Bombers’ 5-0 victory over Toronto on Sunday.
Tanaka won his only career start against the Mets, throwing a four-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks in the Yankees’ 4-0 victory on May 14, 2014, at Citi Field.
The Yankees have won 58 of 101 regular season Subway Series games, dating to 1997.