Let’s try this again. After the first Subway Series was postponed last weekend because of a pair of COVID cases with the Mets, the Yankees and Mets are due to meet for five games in three days in The Bronx beginning Friday, but there are no guarantees of anything in 2020 and games in multiple sports have been canceled as players and sports protest racial injustice.
If the series does take place, there will be no fans in attendance, but the two teams will no doubt have New York City’s attention for the series, as the Yankees look to end a five-game losing streak and the Mets try to stay afloat in the NL playoff race in hopes of making a run at the postseason in this pandemic-impacted year.
The Post’s Dan Martin breaks down the matchups:
At the plate
Getting on base: DJ LeMahieu’s sprained thumb robs the Yankees of one of their most consistent bats and he’s just one of several threats that figure to miss at least part of the series. Aaron Judge returned for one game on Wednesday before aggravating his calf injury, while Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres remain out.
After a slow start, the Mets offense came to life against Miami before consecutive shutouts. Robinson Cano’s resurgence has helped, as he’s joined J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Dom Smith in sparking the lineup.
Stanton is out with a hamstring injury and Judge can’t seem to stay on the field. Luke Voit has helped make up for their loss, but this is a much different Yankees lineup than they expected to have. Though the Mets were homer-happy in Miami last week, they’ll need to prove that wasn’t a fluke. Smith and Cano have been excellent, while Pete Alonso had shown signs he was about to break out, as well, before slumping again.
On the basepaths
Tyler Wade provides speed for the Yankees, while the Mets have Billy Hamilton.
In the field
Infield: With Torres and LeMahieu out, Wade and Thairo Estrada have manned the middle of the infield for the Yankees, while Gio Urshela continues to impress at third. The Mets have Cano and Rosario up the middle. Gerrit Cole has praised Gary Sanchez’s work behind the plate, but Sanchez still has four passed balls. Wilson Ramos has been shaky enough that Tomas Nido had gotten more playing time before he was placed on the IL.
Outfield: Without Judge in right, the Yankees have Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman all available and above average in the field. Clint Frazier has also made strides defensively. Smith in left and Nimmo in center isn’t great, but their bats make up for it.
The Mets lost Andres Gimenez, a valuable weapon for Rojas. Luis Guillorme has played well and Hamilton can serve as a pinch runner or defensive replacement. The Yankees can go to Frazier, but Wade and Estrada may be in the lineup. The Yankees are still waiting for Miguel Andujar to show he can serve this role and he could end up back at the alternate site.
On the mound
Rotation: Those waiting for a Cole and Jacob deGrom matchup are out of luck this weekend. Jordan Montgomery and J.A. Happ are slated to go for the Yankees, with prospects Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia possibly making their MLB debuts. The Mets’ rotation is still beaten up, but they could get Michael Wacha and David Peterson back from injuries.
Bullpen: The return of Aroldis Chapman gave the Yankees more firepower in the pen, but they have since lost Zack Britton to a hamstring injury. Chad Green had been dominant until he allowed a homer Wednesday. Adam Ottavino has been solid. The Mets have plenty of talented relievers, but they still have question marks. Seth Lugo has been terrific, but their rotation issues have forced him out of a late-inning role. Edwin Diaz has been better, but he still struggles on occasion. Dellin Betances is still rounding into form, and if the starters don’t give the Mets any length, it will take a toll on the pen.
Aaron Boone is in his third season at the helm in The Bronx and is coming off two 100-win seasons and playoff appearances. He’s very comfortable in the seat. Luis Rojas, who got the Mets job only after Carlos Beltran became embroiled in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal, is well-respected, but still inexperienced. Though Yankee Stadium will be quiet, he’ll be under more scrutiny than ever this weekend.
Injuries have taken their toll on the Yankees, who have lost five straight for the first time in more than two years. They’re still virtually guaranteed a playoff spot. The Mets are still searching for an identity — and starting pitching.