The New York Yankees and New York Mets are in the midst of their first ever Subway Series battle with both teams in first place at the time of the opener. As big a deal as the clash that occurred in the World Series? Nope. But pretty massive, nonetheless.
Both rosters are stacked and were expected to be here, and both teams have been buoyed by great performances, big and small, to reach this point. For the Yankees, it’s been all about their “captain” Aaron Judge, who’s chasing world-historic home run milestones in his walk year.
For the Mets? The offense has come out firing, Max Scherzer and the starting staff has been dominant, and Edwin Diaz has redeemed himself from a 2019 tire fire to become potentially the NL’s best closer. Notice how many other contributors I was able to name alongside Diaz, though? Exactly.
Diaz has been extra-special in the late innings, fully recovering from a ’19 season where he posted a 5.59 ERA and surrendered 15 homers. He’s even been good enough for Mets fans to stop checking Jarred Kelenic’s box scores (they’ve been bleak!), and if New York is able to finish the job this season, he could even collect a few MVP votes and finish, say, 11th. Good for a reliever! Very good reliever season!
The Yankees without Judge, though, wouldn’t be 12 games up on the division as their central superstar chases Roger Maris’ iconic New York home run mark. Judge isn’t just having a better season than Diaz; he’s having one of the best seasons modern baseball has seen.
That’s no disrespect to Diaz! But when you’re debating stardom between an elite one-inning reliever who appears twice in a three-game series and a 6-7 hoss with 60-home run power at the peak of his powers … how could the Mets’ flagship network not find a more intriguing debate than this ahead of an all-time Subway Series?
Or were they just hoping for hate clicks and spewed-out articles rebutting their premise? Damn. Sad. Checkmate.
Why does SNY need to choose between Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Mets’ Edwin Diaz?
The individual fibers of these pro-Diaz arguments do not need to be picked at. The idea that “the postseason is all about arms” shouldn’t factor into a discussion of who’s had the best season to date … but you already knew that.
Judge is having the better season. Judge is having the more valuable season. Diaz should be very, very proud of what he’s done in his limited role (by definition!). Diaz is not Judge.
This segment was meant to make you furious. It was a last-ditch attempt by a competing network to put Judge on an even playing field after all their “Judge vs. Pete Alonso?” content fell flat last season. Both players are exceptional. One has thrown 39 innings. One plays 39 innings over the course of five games, and does so with a 1.025 OPS and 187 OPS+.
But what can fans really expect from Sal Licata, the leader of this debate and a man who, based on his previous takes, has never experienced a full baseball season and has the object permanence of a baby?
“The Mets lead is here. Wait, where’d it go?! That’s not possible … it was just here …”
Congrats to SNY for getting what they desired when they produced this stress-inducing block. People hate it. People really, really hate it. And that’s how you know it’s good work.