The New York Yankees hope to extend their winning streak against the New York Mets in the weekend series at Citi Field. (Image: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE)

Yankees meet the Mets at Citi Field in final Interleague series of 2012

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The New York Yankees travel cross-town to meet the New York Mets at Citi Field in the final Interleague series of 2012 for both teams. The Yankees enjoyed a series sweep at Yankee Stadium in the season’s first meeting between the teams.

The Yankees are in the midst of a mini two-game slide after enjoying a ten-game winning streak, their longest since 2005. The Yankees (41-27) sit 2.5 games (3 in the loss column) ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Tampa Bay Rays are one game behind the Orioles in third-place, in the race for the title in arguably the toughest division in baseball.

If there is a division that resembles the AL East in the National League it is the NL East. The Mets (38-32) remain in the thick of the race despite low expectations from many in the mainstream media. The team however, believes in themselves and is getting an all-around effort which has them 3.5 games (5 in the loss column) behind the Washington Nationals, good enough for second-place in the division. If the season were to end today, the Mets would meet the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card Play-in Game, part of the new playoff format in MLB.

The first game of the series is a rematch pitting two lefties, Andy Pettitte and Jonathon Nieseagainst each other. Pettitte (3-2, 2.77 ERA) received a no-decision in his start against the Mets at Yankee Stadium, pitching six innings of two-run ball on five hits and two walks while striking out eight. Pettitte is 8-5 with a 3.66 ERA in his career against the Mets. David Wright, who is continuing his excellent season, hits Pettitte very well, notching 11 hits in 24 at-bats with two homers.

Niese was excellent in his start opposite Pettitte, throwing shutout ball for seven innings. He scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out six. Niese has pitched well against the Yankees in both of his career starts. He holds a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings against the Bombers. Robinson Cano has four hits in six at-bats against Niese.

In the middle game of the series, the Yankees turn to Ivan Nova (9-2, 4.32 ERA) who is riding a personal five-game winning streak. Nova did not face the Mets in the series at the Stadium. The Mets counter with Chris Young (1-1, 3.06 ERA) who is making his fourth start of the season. Nova is 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA in two career starts against the Mets. Young is 1-0 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts against the Yankees.

In the series finale the Yankees ace, CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.55 ERA), will minimally need to duplicate the efforts from his previous start (CG, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 BB and 10 K) in order to keep up with 37-year-old knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey, who is turning in one of the most fantastic seasons in recent memory for a pitcher. Sabathia holds a career record of 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA against the Mets. Andres Torres could pose Sabathia some problems as he is 5-for-11 lifetime against the big left-hander.

Dickey (11-1, 2.00 ERA) has been virtually untouchable in June. He‘s thrown two straight one-hitters and has allowed one run (unearned) in 34.1 innings this month. While Dickey’s immense success this season is somewhat new, he has always pitched well against the Yankees. He’s 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA versus the Yanks. Raul Ibanez has had success against Dickey hitting .320 with 3 homers in 25 at-bats.

Here is a look at the statistical leaders for both teams heading into tonight’s contest.

The meeting between the intra-city rivals once again has bigger implications than worrying about bragging rights. The Yankees are hoping to get back on the winning track and looking to put some distance between them and the rest of the AL East. The Mets are trying to gain some ground in their division and maintain the lead in the NL Wild Card race. No matter which way you look at the series, it is always fun to watch, and probably more so when both teams are playing well.

Be sure to check out the Yanks Go Yard Subway Series Podcast Preview here.

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Tags: AL East Alex Rodriguez Andres Torres Andy Pettitte CC Sabathia Chris Young Curtis Granderson David Wright Derek Jeter Interleague Play Ivan Nova Jonathon Niese New York Mets New York Yankees NL East R.A. Dickey Raul Ibanez Robinson Cano Yankee Stadium Yankees

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