By John Jastremski
Back in late March, I think it’s fair to say that both respective NY baseball fan bases would have signed on the dotted line for where they stand in late July heading into the Subway Series.
Imagine saying in late March that the Yankees would have a 12.5 division lead and be 35 games over .500?
Or how about the Mets finding a way to maintain a 2 game lead in the National League East without Jacob deGrom throwing a pitch in the 2022 season.
Sure, the first four months were a whole lot of positive vibes for the NY Baseball locals, but the last few weeks have highlighted that despite the amazing four months of winning ball that both teams have treated us two, neither team is perfect.
The Yankees depth has been tested for the first time all season.
They lost Luis Severino in the rotation to the IL.
The bullpen has lost Chad Green and now Michael King for the season.
The Yankees feeling of invincibility was quieted in a recent doubleheader sweep at the hands of the hated Houston Astros.
The Astros outpitched, outhit and outplayed the Yankees every which way.
You combine the Yankees history in Houston, the Yankees playoff history against the Astros and the recent injury bug, it only heightens the importance of the next two weeks for Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman.
There is work to do.
The Yankees need a big starter, an outfielder to replace the inept Joey Gallo & a bullpen arm or two to supplement the losses of Green and King.
The Yankees need a big move, they’ve been knocking at the door of an American League Pennant for the last five years, the time to go big is now.
For the Mets, the heightened concern about the state of affairs has been triggered by a few reasons.
The Mets offense has been MIA for a few weeks.
The team that was getting every big hit in the first two plus months of the year stopped hitting.
The Mets simply don’t have enough power within their lineup. It is an absolute must to get more power to compliment Pete Alonso.
There is a lengthy shopping list for the Mets heading into the August 2nd trade deadline.
Power bat? Power bullpen arms? Help Wanted!
I fully expect the Mets and their aggressive ownership group to make the necessary moves over the next few weeks, but the biggest million dollar question still hovers over the franchise.
What version of Jacob deGrom are you getting off the Injured List?
The difference between vintage deGrom and so so deGrom could determine the fate of the season.
However, complimenting a struggling Mets lineup with much needed power could make deGrom more of a luxury and not a necessity.
So, there’s work to be done for both the Yankees and the Mets to fine tune their rosters for championship aspirations.
That’s a good thing.
Two win now, first place NY Baseball teams.
Who will be the next David Justice or Yoenis Cespedes to live in NY Trade Deadline lore?
We’ll soon find out…
You can listen to my podcast New York, New York every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday on The Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify/Apple Podcasts.
You can watch me nightly on Geico Sportsnight after Mets postgame on SNY.