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The Giants assistant GM said he thinks theyre in the back seat on Jon Lester
Evans suggested that the Cubs and Red Sox are both ahead of the Giants in the bidding. Which is a curious thing to say when youre still, theoretically, in the bidding. It could be an exercise in expectation management, of course. It could mean anything. But if Evans is being straight up, it could mean one suitor is eliminated.
Now, Lester, seriously: make up your dang mind.
Harvey set to face former favorite team in Yankees
As a Yankees fan raised in Connecticut, Mets phenom Matt Harvey estimates he made approximately half a dozen trips to New York City while he was growing up to watch Subway Series games in person.
On Monday, he took in the Mets' series-opening victory against his former favorite team from the home dugout at Citi Field. On Tuesday night, Harvey will get his best view yet of the rivalry as he takes the mound opposite right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
Despite his childhood allegiance and the intense nature of the Subway Series, Harvey insists his only focus Tuesday is on helping the Mets win their second straight game against the Yankees at Citi Field before the four-game set shifts to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
"We need wins, that's the biggest thing. It doesn't matter who's stepping in the box or who we're playing against," Harvey said. "We need these wins. We need to get on a roll. That's the biggest focus. It just so happens to be the Yankees. If we can get a couple wins out of this or a sweep, then that's what we need."
As much as Harvey has been looking forward to facing the Yankees for the first time, some of the Yanks have felt that same excitement about squaring off against the 24-year-old pitching sensation. Veteran outfielder Vernon Wells admitted he has been keeping tabs on Harvey -- who he says has "electric stuff" -- and has anticipated the showdown for the past couple of weeks.
"I kind of did the matchups two weeks ago and figured he's most likely going to be in there. Four games, you figure you're going to end up getting him," Wells said. "Like I said, I think everyone in here enjoys facing guys like that just to either make one end of the highlight reel, whether you're punching out or getting a hit. We'll see what happens."
Though Harvey has notched just one win since rattling off four in as many outings to start the season, he has still allowed two runs or fewer in all but two of his 10 trips to the mound this season. As scary as Harvey can be on the mound, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is also worried about what the phenom will do against his club with a bat in his hands.
Harvey has just three hits in 20 at-bats this season, but hit .333 (6-for-18) in limited action in 2012.
"I actually watched his first start on TV last year and was very impressed," Girardi said. "I have a friend who's a Mets fan. I said, 'You know what, the other thing is, this kid can hit.' I was not only impressed with his pitching. I said, 'Man, he's got some kind of swing.'"
As for Harvey's pitching, Girardi added: "Obviously, his stuff speaks for itself, but he really looks like he knows how to pitch."
Yankees: Joba set to be activated on Tuesday
Reliever Joba Chamberlain plans to return from the disabled list prior to Tuesday night's game.
The right-hander, on the DL with a left oblique strain since May 1, threw two innings in an extended spring training game on Saturday in Tampa, Fla., without any issues. Chamberlain will re-assume his seventh-inning role out of the bullpen upon his return, according to Girardi.
"If you can throw 95, 96 [mph] at 10:30 in the morning, usually it should be OK," Chamberlain said on Monday. "It's one of those things where we wanted to make sure in between the innings, see how it reacted, just in case that would happen. I feel great."
Mets: Tejada back in leadoff spot
Shortstop Ruben Tejada went 0-for-4 in his return to the leadoff spot on Monday night, but manager Terry Collins believes he's the Mets' best fit for the role.
Tejada's first 16 starts this season came with him batting seventh or lower in the lineup before making his leadoff debut on April 23. He then made 15 of his next 17 starts batting either first or second in the Mets' order. With his continued struggles at the plate, however, Tejada had more recently shifted back to the eight-hole until Saturday, when he hit second against the Braves before batting leadoff in Monday's series opener.
"We've kind of looked at some different things, and as we move forward, he's got to be the guy that leads off for us," Collins said. "Ruben's just going to have to step up, work hard on getting on base and getting back to hitting line drives."
The Mets have already used seven different players in the leadoff role, all of whom have combined for a .196 batting average and .261 on-base percentage -- both National League worsts.
Kuroda is just 2-5 with a 4.81 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets. Last season, however, he allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings in his lone start against them as a member of the Yankees.
The Mets are looking to win their first season series against the Yankees since 2008, when they won four of six meetings. The Yankees have turned in a 17-8 Subway Series record since.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MLB: Top MLB Weekend Power Trends 5/21-5/23
A check of the standings in each league after a month a half reveals some disturbing things, most notably a lack of parity in the American League and a lack of any true quality in the National. Eight of the 14 teams in the junior circuit find themselves 5.0 games or more back already, with Tampa Bay, New York, and Minnesota setting the pace. In the N.L., the best team at this point, the Padres, is scoring just 4.3 runs per game. Of course, a lot can change between now and October, starting with this weekend’s action. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in each league over the next three days and cite a Top StatFox Power Trend from each of the 15 series’ that you can put to use.
In the junior circuit, the showcase series puts the Twins in New York for a 3-game set with the Yankees. Trips to the Big Apple have been anything but enjoyable for Minnesota over the last two years as they are 0-9 in that span. Overall, the Yankees have taken 16 of 20 games from the Twins. The visitors are playing well of late though and have caught the Yankees at 22-12, as the latter have dropped four of their last five games. Elsewhere, the East leading Rays will welcome struggling Seattle to town. Since owning the West lead on April 21st, the Mariners are just 4-14. Finally, in Toronto, the Blue Jays host the Rangers, who have moved to the top of the West by winning six of their last seven games. Three of those wins by were a single run as they are winning with both clutch hitting and timely pitching.
The N.L. slate features an intriguing battle out west between Los Angeles and San Diego from Petco Park. The Padres lead the division with a 22-12 mark but have begun to take notice of the Dodgers, who have won their last four games headed into Friday’s series opener. L.A. has scored 28 runs in its 4-game winning streak but will be hard pressed to put up that kind of production against a Padres team that is allowing 3.0 runs per game on the season, easily best in baseball. The series in Cincinnati this weekend between the Cardinals and Reds is also noteworthy, as the teams are separated by just a half game at the top of the Central standings headed into the set. The Reds have won a league high 5-straight games while St. Louis has dropped three in a row and can take first place in the division for the first time in a long time with a series win. For good measure, Cincy boasts a 25-9 record at home in the month of May over the last three season. Finally, in Colorado, the Rockies will be hosting the Nationals, who we must put a shout out to, as Thursday’s 14-6 win put Washington 5-games over .500, despite the fact that they are being outscored by 0.2 runs per game.
Now, here is a look at some of the Top StatFox Power Trends that you’ll want to put to use as you handicap all of this weekend’s action:
PITTSBURGH at CHICAGO CUBS
CHICAGO CUBS are 3-11 (-12.8 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 4.3 or less runs/game on the season this season. The average score was CHICAGO CUBS 2.9, OPPONENT 4.2 - (Rating = 3*)
ST LOUIS at CINCINNATI
CINCINNATI is 10-3 (+7.8 Units) against the money line vs. poor power teams - averaging 0.9 or less HR's/game this season. The average score was CINCINNATI 5.0, OPPONENT 3.7 - (Rating = 1*)
NY METS at FLORIDA
FLORIDA is 19-29 (-16.8 Units) against the money line vs. an NL team with an on base percentage .325 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The average score was FLORIDA 4.2, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 1*)
ARIZONA at ATLANTA
ARIZONA is 5-15 (-10.4 Units) against the money line when playing against a team with a losing record this season. The average score was ARIZONA 4.3, OPPONENT 6.6 - (Rating = 1*)
PHILADELPHIA at MILWAUKEE
MILWAUKEE is 28-18 (+14.2 Units) against the money line when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) over the last 2 seasons. The average score was MILWAUKEE 4.9, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 1*)
WASHINGTON at COLORADO
WASHINGTON is 11-4 (+12.9 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game on the season this season. The average score was WASHINGTON 5.4, OPPONENT 3.6 - (Rating = 3*)
LA DODGERS at SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO is 16-6 (+10.8 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game on the season this season. The average score was SAN DIEGO 4.9, OPPONENT 2.5 - (Rating = 2*)
HOUSTON at SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO is 19-6 (+10.6 Units) against the money line in home games vs. a good bullpen that converts on 75%+ of their save opportunities over the last 2 seasons. The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 4.3, OPPONENT 2.8 - (Rating = 1*)
CLEVELAND at BALTIMORE
BALTIMORE is 8-23 (-16.5 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with a team batting average of .255 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The average score was BALTIMORE 3.7, OPPONENT 5.6 - (Rating = 1*)
TEXAS at TORONTO
TORONTO is 25-49 (-26.6 Units) against the money line vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was TORONTO 4.4, OPPONENT 5.1 - (Rating = 1*)
BOSTON at DETROIT
BOSTON is 33-53 (-21.7 Units) against the money line in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons. The average score was BOSTON 4.3, OPPONENT 4.9 - (Rating = 1*)
MINNESOTA at NY YANKEES
NY YANKEES are 35-7 (+21.8 Units) against the money line in home games vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was NY YANKEES 5.8, OPPONENT 3.3 - (Rating = 2*)
SEATTLE at TAMPA BAY
TAMPA BAY is 18-6 (+9.9 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with a team batting average of .260 or worse this season. The average score was TAMPA BAY 6.2, OPPONENT 3.0 - (Rating = 1*)
CHI WHITE SOX at KANSAS CITY
KANSAS CITY is 4-19 (-13.3 Units) against the money line vs. excellent speed teams - averaging 1 or more SB's/game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was KANSAS CITY 3.1, OPPONENT 5.6 - (Rating = 1*)
OAKLAND at LA ANGELS
OAKLAND is 8-0 UNDER (+8.0 Units) vs. a very bad bullpen whose WHIP is 1.650 or worse over the last 2 seasons. The average score was OAKLAND 2.6, OPPONENT 3.4 - (Rating = 1*)