Yankees Need Wins As They Pursue Playoff Spot, While Mets Cruising Toward October

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time in a long time the Subway Series really means something.

As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, it was a sold out game and an electric crowd at Citi Field on Friday night.

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Fans knew there was more on the line going into the first game than just bragging rights.

The “Battle of the Boroughs” began with playoff hopes on the horizon for both teams.

On Friday, the Mets beat the Yankees 5-1.

Ahead of the game fans of both teams were giddy with anticipation.

“They’ve been the ‘Amazin’ Mets’ like they used to be, so it should be a great game,” said Mets fan John Ashford of Harlem.

“I’m excited to watch it. I hope the Yankees win,” added David Salerno of Astoria.

The difficult loss was even more difficult to swallow for Yankees fans, with more than just pride at stake, both teams are hoping to make the playoffs in the same season for the first time since 2006.

The series does matter more for the Yankees this time around than the Mets. The Bombers are hoping to avoid having to get into the postseason as a wild card game. They trailed the Toronto Blue Jays by 3 ½ games in the AL East rave with 17 games to play.

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Yankees fan Will Bonesso said he has faith they’ll win this weekend.

“I hope so. The pitching is not there, but overall I think they can pull one out,” said Bonesso, who is also from Astoria.

The situation is much simpler for fans of the Mets. The Amazin’s entered play Friday with an 8-game lead atop the NL East and have a magic number of 9 to clinch their first division title since 2006.

“It’s not your father’s Mets anymore!” fan Chris Steudte told CBS2 back in April.

CBS2’s Andrea Grymes randomly ran into him again on Friday at Citi Field.

“(I’m) very excited,” the Astoria resident said. “With the Yankees, it’s always a lot of hype. (I’m) just looking forward to them winning the series and getting on with the playoffs.”

Expect an especially electric series, with extra rowdy fans. Bonesso said he and his friends will be there Sunday.

“There’s a lot of animosity. We get into it with some people, but overall it’s very fun,” Bonesso said.

Right now, Yankees fans are doing more than trying to save face, they’re trying to stay alive in the division race and maintain their wild card lead, while avoiding any additional teasing from Mets fans.

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Yankees’ ace Masahiro Tanaka took the ball in Game 1, against Mets’ rookie lefthander Steven Matz, a native of East Setauket on Long Island.