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An Unpredictable New York Baseball Season

Mets Pete Alonso and Yankees Anthony Rizzo - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — Baseball is an unpredictable and funny sport… 

Heading into the 2023 regular season this past March, each and every one of us had the Subway Series circled as one of those matchups that would be a must-watch, or in other words, an instant-thriller for baseball fans across the nation. For those living in the Tri-state area, it’s pretty much a New Yorker’s Super Bowl. 

However; this year’s New York Mets (46-53), and New York Yankees (53-47), have morphed into becoming major letdowns — similar to the feelings, and emotions of missing your train or subway ride within the last few minutes. 

Francisco Lindor, recipient of 2016 AL LatinoMVP award – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

And to go further, if the 2023 regular season ended today, neither New York franchises would make the postseason. The last year that occurred? 2014. 

On The Outside, Looking In

Wild Card Standings for NY Baseball – July 25, 2023

NY Mets: 7 games back from the final National League Wild Card spot 

NY Yankees: 2.5 games back from the final American League Wild Card spot

So, that’s where we currently stand with the crosstown rivals, Mets and Yankees, prior to the final installment of the 2023 Subway Series, which will be played at Yankee Stadium this evening July 25th and tomorrow night July 26th. Provided below are some quick notes and insights: 

2022 Subway Series at Yankee Stadium- Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Pitching Probables

Game One – Tuesday, July 25th – 7:05 pm ET, broadcast on TBS

Justin Verlander (4-5, 3.47 ERA) vs. Domingo Germán (5-6, 4.52 ERA)

The 40-year-old Verlander, a three-time Cy Young award winner, and future Cooperstown Hall of Famer, has shown and proven that the more starts he has under his belt, the better it is for him and the Mets. In his last seven outings (44 innings), Verlander posted a 2.25 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 26 walks (2-2 record). Now compare that to his first seven starts (39 innings) — 4.45 ERA with a 2-3 record.

Justin Verlander in Subway Series at Citi Field – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

As I previously mentioned, baseball is an unpredictable and funny sport — ever since Germán threw a perfect game in Oakland against the Athletics last month and became the 24th pitcher in MLB history to achieve the feat — he has grooved back into his normal-form, which is an above-average number four-five starter in MLB. 

Domingo Germán – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Throughout his last three starts, the 30-year-old, of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, compiled 23 strikeouts across 16.1 innings while recording a 4.41 ERA (0-1 record). 

Game Two – Wednesday, July 26th – 7:05 pm ET, broadcast on YES Network and SNY

José Quintana (0-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. Carlos Rodón (0-3, 7.36 ERA)

The Arjona, Colombia native, Quintana, is coming off a solid Mets debut last Thursday, where he pitched five innings against the White Sox, and allowed two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts. On a Mets-Yankees note: in seven-career games (six starts), the 34-year-old southpaw is 3-2 against the Yankees with a 2.97 ERA. 

José Quintana makes Mets debut against White Sox on Thursday, July 20 at Citi Field – Image Credit: USA Today

DID YOU KNOW: Quintana has not allowed a home run across his last 66.2 innings pitched, which dates back to August 4th, 2022 — the longest active streak in MLB.

Although Rodón has had a rough start to his Yankees tenure, I expect the hard work done by him behind-the-scenes to come to fruition out on the mound soon. You must consider Rodón, a recipient of the 2021 AL LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher award, like any other All-Star caliber pitcher recovering and returning from a long-extensive injury — they are currently working themselves back into their vintage-form, and trust me, it takes time. 

Carlos Rodón in rehab start prior to returning with NY Yankees – Image Credit: Maz Adams/Latino Sports

Similar to a Spring Training routine that gets built up start-by-start with common mistakes that revolve around their command and especially, their control — in his last outing against the LA Angels, Rodón allowed five walks, which marked the most in a single outing in his career since April 20th of 2021, when he was a member of the White Sox. 

All together in his first three starts of 2023, Rodón allowed a total of nine walks. This all leads me to wonder how much of the ‘control factor,’ is playing a challenge in his adjustment period.

Carlos Rodón in Yankees debut – Image Credit: New York Yankees/MLB

Overall, containing efficient control on the bump is pivotal at any level in MLB, but in the big leagues, once opponents are provided an extra-opportunity and/or given ‘free bases,’ they will capitalize on it more times than none. 

Money Can’t Buy You Everything! 

The title above says it all. Money can assure you plenty in life, but in Major League Baseball? Nothing is guaranteed and/or given. The Mets’ 2023 payroll is listed at $348,830,871 million (highest in MLB) while this year’s Yankees roster dishes out to $279,309,819 million (second-highest in MLB) — and neither teams are currently in their respective league’s postseason picture… 

Steve Cohen’s press conference at Citi Field – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

On the other hand, there are six MLB franchises, who are listed amongst the bottom-10 in payroll, that would reach the postseason if the regular season ended today (Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins). 

So perhaps, there is more at play than just the money shelled out on big names each offseason, like hiring the correct and most efficient personnel in the scouting, coaching, and front office departments. But, that’s a story for a different day… 

Brett Baty tagged at the plate in 2022 Subway Series at Yankee Stadium – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

All of this goes to show you, no matter how you may view it, baseball is an unpredictable and funny sport.

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email:

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