This evening’s MLB game on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra is the rubber match from a three-game Subway series.
The New York Mets and New York Yankees have shared the first two games at Yankee Stadium, making today’s contest the decider of bragging rights until the teams meet again on 1 July.
Coverage starts on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra at 18.00, with first pitch scheduled for 18.05.
The Mets need something to cling on to after wobbling through a dismal 2010 season and holding only an outside chance of contending in 2011.
Under the guidance of new manager Terry Collins, the Mets have started the year 21-22, but the Phillies, Braves and Marlins all look like having stronger rosters that could leave New York languishing in fourth place yet again when September comes to an end. Fourth place is not where the Mets expect themselves to be, but it appears to be their level right now.
As for the Yankees, they are tied for the lead in the AL East alongside the Tampa Bay Rays, with the Boston Red Sox just half a game behind. That’s a positive position to be in on the face of it; however when you consider the desperate starts to the season that their main AL East rivals suffered, the Yanks have to feel disappointed that they don’t have a cushion at the top of the division.
Their star-studded roster should hold them in good stead, but the Rays and Red Sox – maybe even the Toronto Blue Jays – don’t need any encouragement and that’s exactly what the Yankees have given them by not taking full advantage in the early going.
What the Yankees have excelled at so far this season is hitting the longball. They lead the Majors in home runs by a considerable distance (70 to the Cincinnati Reds’ 52) and the Bronx Bombers lived up their nickname again last night while launching four round-trippers off the Mets’ starter Chris Capuano. The home team won 7-3, levelling the series after the Mets had taken the opener 2-1.
The two starting pitchers today, Mike Pelfrey for the Mets and Ivan Nova for the Yankees, have pitched well of late. Add in the 1-1 series scoreline and New York pride on the line and you have the makings of a closely fought, exciting game.
Nat Coombs and Josh Chetwynd will be bringing UK fans all of the action, with former Baseball on 5 presenter – and loyal Mets fan - David Lengel scheduled to join the gang during the evening. You can listen in on digital radio, digital TV and online (UK residents only), while the MLB on 5 Live Facebook group is sure to be brimming with conversation.