MIAMI — Trevor May is just glad the second installment of the 2021 Subway Series will be played in Queens and not The Bronx.
The Mets reliever, noting the additions of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo to the Yankees since the last time the rivals met — on Fourth of July weekend — is counting on Citi Field to perhaps help neutralize that improved lineup.
“The Yankees have never been shy about getting every single power bat in the league on their team at the same time,” May said Thursday before the Mets lost their second straight to the Marlins, 3-2. “It’s nothing normal. It’s guys you have got to be a little bit more careful with and not let them beat you. Fortunately we are playing in our graveyard of a park, so that is helpful. We will keep the 314-foot homers to a minimum.”
The last part of that comment was a shot at Yankee Stadium’s short dimensions in right field. May accurately recalled Gio Urshela helping the Yankees avoid getting swept in the last Subway Series by hitting a three-run homer against Corey Oswalt that barely cleared the right-field fence in the nightcap of a doubleheader.
“It was a homer nowhere else but there, which happens a lot,” May said. “It’s part of the deal playing Major League Baseball, playing there. But there is really no letup in the lineup, but I think we have guys that match up with good [velocity] and power arms are something they don’t do as well with, so I think we match up well and we’re in a good spot.”
Both teams are desperate for victories in their respective playoff chases and will have the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as a backdrop to the weekend.
The banged-up Yankees have lost six straight and 10 of 12 since their 13-game winning streak that resurrected their season. Recent pitching staff casualties have included Gerrit Cole, Zack Britton and Jameson Taillon.
Meanwhile, the Mets are still without their ace, Jacob deGrom, and last weekend placed Brandon Nimmo on the injured list with a strained right hamstring.
Saturday’s pregame ceremonies will include Mike Piazza, Bobby Valentine and Joe Torre, with the 9/11 terrorist attacks and aftermath remembered. Piazza hit maybe the most famous home run in Mets history to help beat the Braves on Sept. 21, 2001, the first sporting event in New York following the attacks.
“It’ll be an honor for us to play the game on such a memorable weekend against the opponent we share a city with and the backdrop of where everything happened 20 years ago,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “The emotional game that in a lot of ways might have been part of the healing that went on post-9/11 between the Mets and Braves.
“That was kind of the start of it all. It’s something we’re hopefully able to honor as Yankees, as Mets, as an industry of baseball, in honoring a dark chapter in our history. Hopefully we can do right by that.”
Mets manager Luis Rojas said he expects a “rush of adrenaline” from both teams.
“There is a lot going on this weekend, we know that, at the same time just play the game the same way we prepared,” Rojas said.
May perhaps summed up the upcoming weekend best, after the Mets fell five games behind the Braves in the NL East with Thursday’s loss.
“The stakes are always high with the Yankees, but just add that on top that we’re both either trying to solidify spots or chasing some teams that are ahead of us and then you add in the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” May said. “It will be very emotionally charged, and we probably won’t need a lot of help in the interview department.”
— Additional reporting by Dan Martin