The New York Mets And New York Yankees Showed The Subway Series Is Alive And Well

For four summer nights, a combined 184,034 fans filled the seats in the Bronx and in Queens to watch the Mets and Yankees get together for the Subway Series.

Games 135 through 138 that counted in the regular season standings between the Mets and Yankees were captivating and in the combined 12 hours, 47 minutes took for the rivals to complete four taut contests, it created one feeling.

That feeling was that the “Subway Series” is alive and well and with plenty of star power.

There was the sight of Aaron Judge hitting two of his 48 homers in the final two games to get the Yankees to a third straight win and slightly less panic from some segments of their fanbase GM Brian Cashman tried to soothe with his recent media tour.

There was the sight of Max Scherzer going for his 200th win but not being able to get it because Domingo German unexpectedly outpitched him on the same night Jordan Montgomery one-hit the Chicago Cubs.

You know in the Subway Series, everything’s gonna be amped up. It was a grind of a start,” Scherzer said in front of the most prominent locker real estate inside the visiting Yankee Stadium clubhouse previously occupied earlier this season by Justin Verlander and George Springer.

There was also the sight of Pete Alonso snapping his bat over his leg following a strikeout and being unable to catch a tough twisting pop up that led to the Yankees getting the go-ahead two runs.

And not only is the “Subway Series” thriving despite the occasional chatter about a lack of buzz, New York baseball is perhaps on course for its best chance at continuation in the World Series since the 2006 season — the last time each team qualified for the main portion of the playoff tournament.

“This was as close to a playoff game as you’re going to get,” Judge said.

And going beyond the attendance and the amount of revenues earned by both teams from ticketing, concessions and other things is the television interest.

On Monday nearly 1.1 million watched with 617,000 on YES and 458,000 on WPIX. The YES audience for Monday was the second-highest in a Subway Series game since the network’s inception and the highest since 1.2 million viewers watched Derek Jeter’s finale in 2014.

And then Tuesday, SNY enjoyed its most-watched Met game with 817,516 viewers and presumably a good amount not willing to pay extra or endure the lag time to watch a Yankee game on Amazon Prime.

These are the kind of things numbers you might see in 2006 when baseball was still six years away from the one-game wild card game that even if it existed the Yankees and Mets spent most of the summer making a wild card spot irrelevant.

The Yankees spent 88 days in first place, never conceded the lead after Aug. 3 and won 97 games. The Mets also won 97 games and were even better, spending 182 days in first and staying there after April 6.

Both teams fell short with the Mets losing Game 7 in the NLCS and the Yankees flaming out in four games to the Detroit Tigers in the first round.

This year both teams share some of those same similarities and although Subway Series games always generate some buzz there were more for these games. The Mets got the first two last month in Queens and the Yankees escaped with the next two, getting the season split with a captivating ninth inning finish.

Three times the Mets were one strike away from the loss and each time they extended the game and forced the Yankees into a pitching change. By the time, Francisco Lindor batted against Wandy Peralta, most in the crowd had been standing for about 20 minutes regardless of their rooting interest.

“It’s great for the games and it’s good experience for our players,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We hope that we do the things it takes to get a chance to hopefully come back to this place sometime if we’re both there.”

To get to the point of Showalter’s aspirations, the Mets hopefully capitalize on their relatively softer schedule to fend off the Atlanta Braves, who didn’t go away after the Mets impressively won four of five at home three weekends ago.

While the Mets get games with the Rockies, Pirates, Cubs and Nationals to name a few, the Braves get games with the Cardinals, Mariners and Phillies before the final series between the top two NL East teams.

For the Yankees to reach the setting Showalter is hoping for, they need to show their month of struggles is a thing of the past and avoid creating such frustration situations like manager Aaron Boone slamming his right hand of an table in the interview, Gerrit Cole punching the dugout roof with both hands and Anthony Rizzo slamming the bat rack a few times.

Those emotional reactions highlighted the latter part of a 4-15 slide that halved the AL East lead from 15 1/2 games into something the fans felt nervous about but their past three wins all by 4-2 margins may have put those struggles away, though it will not be known until they do well for a sustained period and notably get at least four or five wins out of seven games with the A’s and Angels.

It’s still a good possibility teams like the Dodgers and Astros might interfere with the Subway Series. It also is a possibility an unexpected team get picked off early like in 2000 when the Mets got the play the Cardinals instead of the Braves like in 1999 when many say they had a better a team than the Subway Series team.

The World Series starts Oct. 28 and lasts through Nov. 5 if it goes the distance. By then the NFL will be slightly past the halfway point, the NBA will be about three weeks into the season, the NHL will be about a month into the season and college basketball will be on the horizon.

If these teams do enough to get to Oct. 28, all other sports in New York gets a week off or so from being a major focus.