Mets looking for good first impression of new Yankee Stadium

Updated: June 11, 2009

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Fernando Tatis has been one of the players the Mets have called on to replace Carlos Delgado at first.

Even with their own division fights on their hands and interleague play becoming a familiar part of the game, any time the New York Mets and Yankees get together, it's big.

Featured Series: Mets at Yankees
FRIDAY
Mets (Livan Hernandez) at Yankees (Joba Chamberlain), 7:05 ET
SATURDAY
Mets (John Maine) at Yankees (Andy Pettitte), 4:10 ET
SUNDAY
Mets (Johan Santana) at Yankees (A.J. Burnett), 1:05 ET

It still means a lot. I was just in New York this week, and the fans are fired up. This is a passionate baseball city, and both those fan bases want those bragging rights. You even have families split along team lines. I don't think it's ever going to die.

This weekend's series is at the new Yankee Stadium, so the fresh atmosphere might add some to the fun. I love when Rays manager Joe Maddon said recently that the new park has a lot of the same features as the old one, but it doesn't have the same smell. He's right. The smell is gone. Clubs knew they were in trouble when they walked down those steps at the old stadium. This Yankees team still has to prove it can win consistently at home. The players still have the famous name on the front of their jerseys, but need to build their own winning legacy in the new park.

That being said, I still say the Yankees are really going to struggle against the Mets this weekend. They are coming off a Boston series in which they were beaten up a bit, especially A.J. Burnett and Chien-Ming Wang. Their bullpen is definitely shot. Relief pitching has been their biggest weakness; they need to get that figured out soon. Right now, the Mets have the advantage. But the Mets are fighting their own issues, the biggest of which is injuries. Without Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes available, the whole complexion of the team changes. Now, if they can go out and win this series, it will give them some confidence. Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy have done a pretty decent job filling in at first, but those guys don't have the same presence as Delgado. Alex Cora has filled in nicely for Reyes, so the club has good depth. The Mets have strong starters (when healthy) and a solid bench, and that will take them a ways.

Both teams are coming off series with big rivals, the Yankees with Boston and the Mets with Philadelphia, but don't expect any kind of letdown this weekend. After the Subway Series, it might be a different story, but both teams know what's at stake this weekend and they are both used to dealing with the attention and pressure that come with playing in the Big Apple. Whichever teams comes out on top, the good news for the other is that these teams are going to be back at it over at Citi Field in a few weeks.

Past Baseball Tonight Clubhouses: June 10 | June 9 | June 8 | June 7 | June 4

TOUCH 'EM ALL

Touch 'Em AllWho went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and on the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page.

For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.

Home Run Tracker
NAME HR OPPPITCHER SITUATION
R. Gload, Fla2StLWellemeyerBot 2: 0-1, 1 Outs. 1 on.
A. Pujols, StL19FlaMillerTop 6: 3-1, 1 Outs. 1 on.
R. Gload, Fla3StLWellemeyerBot 6: 3-1, 0 Outs. None on.
D. Young, Pit1AtlVazquezTop 5: 2-2, 1 Outs. None on.
I. Stewart, Col12MilGallardoTop 4: 1-2, 0 Outs. None on.
J. Crede, Min10OakCahillTop 4: 0-0, 1 Outs. 2 on.
J. Upton, Ari12SFSanchezBot 3: 0-1, 1 Outs. None on.
D. Lee, ChC7HouHawkinsTop 9: 1-2, 1 Outs. None on.
J. Thome, CWS12DetJacksonBot 2: 1-1, 0 Outs. None on.
A. Kennedy, Oak5MinBlackburnBot 8: 2-0, 1 Outs. 1 on.
R. Braun, Mil13ColStreetBot 9: 1-2, 2 Outs. 2 on.

The complete list of Thursday's homers

ON DECK: WEEKEND WATCH

Red Sox at Phillies

The Phillies might be better off if this series were at Fenway Park. The Phillies, owners of the second-best record in the NL behind the Dodgers, are 12-14 this season at home. The Red Sox, coming off a home sweep of the Yankees, also wouldn't mind if they were able to stay home.

White Sox at Brewers

The Brewers limp into the series having lost four in a row. And the problem has been close games -- of those four consecutive losses, three have come by one run. The White Sox just want to score some runs; they enter the series third-worst in the AL in runs scored.

Dodgers at Rangers

Are the Rangers beginning to feel it without Josh Hamilton? Texas has lost four of five but still remains atop the AL West. Rangers pitchers might want to be careful with Andre Ethier, who is hitting .400 with five homers, three doubles and eight RBIs so far in June.

For the rest of Friday's schedule, click here. To see what's on tap for Saturday, click here. And for Sunday's full slate of games, click here.

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BBTN ON THE AIR: FRIDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Buster Olney, Eduardo Perez, Eric Young
12 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Buster Olney, Eduardo Perez, Eric Young

BBTN ON THE AIR: SATURDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Buster Olney, Eduardo Perez, Eric Young
1:30 a.m. ET
ESPN2
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Buster Olney, Eduardo Perez, Eric Young

BBTN ON THE AIR: SUNDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
12:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: Dave Winfield, John Kruk, Peter Gammons
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: Dave Winfield, John Kruk, Peter Gammons

BBTN MINUTE: BEST INTERLEAGUE SERIES?

SIMON SAYS

Simon Says ESPN researcher Mark Simon digs deep, looking for the night's best baseball numbers.

Tonight, he looks at all the close games and wild finishes across baseball Thursday. There were plenty. For starters, there were 10 one-run games, the most on a single day since 2002:

WHAT A DAY!
One-run games 10
Walk-off wins 4
Extra-inning games 3
Starting pitchers who won 4
Games won in final AB 8

WEB GEMS

THURSDAY'S BEST AND WORST

BEST
Geoff BlumGeoff Blum put away the Cubs on Wednesday. And he did it again Thursday. Blum drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday, then followed it up Thursday with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 13th to doom the Cubs. It is the first time an Astros player has had back-to-back winning hits since Derek Bell did it in 1996.
WORST
Ervin SantanaErvin Santana set the tone for the Angels on Thursday. It wasn't a good tone. He gave up eight hits and six runs over 4 2/3 innings, and the bullpen came in and gave up five more runs in an 11-1 loss against the Rays. Reliever Rich Thompson gave up four of those runs in two-thirds of an inning of work.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

Joba ChamberlainLivan Hernandez Interleague play resumes Friday. The highlight could be the Subway Series at new Yankee Stadium, where Joba Chamberlain faces Livan Hernandez in the series opener. Most baseball fans might not think this is much of a pitching matchup (Chamberlain's average fastball speed is 92.5 mph, Hernandez's 81.5). But despite their speed differences, the right-handers' numbers are very similar this season, especially in terms of their distribution of the types of pitches they throw.

Joba Chamberlain-Livan Hernandez (2009)
Chamberlain Hernandez
Record 3-1 5-1
ERA 3.79 3.88
WHIP 1.40 1.40
Strike pct. 59.0 62.0
FB pct. 63.0 64.0
Slider pct. 22.0 20.0
Curve pct. 9.0 6.0
Change pct. 6.0 10.0

-- ESPN Stats & Information

FANTASY: PREVIEW OF FRIDAY'S GAMES

Adam Madison examines the 15 games on Friday's slate.

Fantasy Madison ranks the pitchers scheduled to take the mound and supplies loads of other information that could help shape your roster for Friday. Daily Notes