Since its inception in 1997, the Subway Series has always brought a jolt of enthusiasm to New York City. Adding to things this year is the familiarity of its participants. Of the 122 players to wear both a Mets and Yankees uniform in their careers, five of them -- Bobby Abreu, Carlos Beltran, Bartolo Colon, Kyle Farnsworth and Curtis Granderson -- are currently active.
Those players should all see action when the Subway Series kicks off once again this week, starting with a 7:05 ET game tonight at Yankee Stadium.
"I think it will be a fun four days coming up," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Beginning things for the Mets will be Colon, who shrugged off injury trouble to rejuvenate his career with the Yankees in 2011. Now two weeks shy of his 41st birthday and fresh off one of his best years, Colon has endured an inconsistent first season in Flushing. In five of his seven starts, Colon has been quite good, posting a 2.65 ERA with 28 strikeouts and two walks. In the other two, he has struggled mightily, with a 14.90 ERA, six whiffs and three free passes.
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda hasn't been much more consistent than Colon, though he too has given his team a strong chance to win more often than not. Despite a 4.43 ERA, Kuroda has held his opponent to four runs or fewer in six of seven starts.
The right-hander has also enjoyed his share of Subway Series success, striking out seven over seven shutout innings at Citi Field last year. But that did not help the Yankees, who lost that game -- along with every other one they played against the Mets last season.
Both teams are scuffling a bit heading into this year's series, which includes two games in the Bronx and two at Citi. But that does not diminish what Yankees manager Joe Girardi considers an electric Subway Series atmosphere, regardless of the context.
"I think people get very excited about it," Girardi said. "I think sometimes people might consider the intensity level to be higher where people are in the standings. But when you get in the ballpark, it's pretty intense."
"It's a fun atmosphere," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "The fans get into it, therefore it's exciting for us as players. So we look forward to it. It's a good time."
Mets: Weighing merits of another Mejia start
The Mets have not announced if Jenrry Mejia will make another start Wednesday, or if they will replace him with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Rafael Montero or someone else.
Mejia has struggled over his last three outings, posting a 9.82 ERA. But the Mets used Matsuzaka for two innings of relief in Sunday's win over the Phillies, and they have been reluctant in recent years to promote their top prospects before June at the earliest. Even if the Mets wanted to promote a lower-echelon pitching prospect such as Jacob deGrom, Collins indicated that the bright lights of the Subway Series may not be the ideal time.
"The answer to me is yes, it will have something to do with it," Collins said. "It's going to be against Masahiro Tanaka. It's going to be here. So I think you've certainly go to take it into consideration."
Considering all that, the Mets could simply default to Mejia, giving him one last chance in the rotation.
Yankees: Right knee inflammation sends Sabathia to DL
CC Sabathia, who was originally scheduled to start Thursday's Subway Series finale at Citi Field, will instead watch idly from the disabled list. The Yankees placed Sabathia on the 15-day DL Sunday with right knee inflammation, an issue that the club hopes is minor.
"We're hoping it will only be 15 days," Girardi said. "Because there's no meniscal tears -- I mean, that's what our fear was because that's what he's had in the past -- we're hoping it will only be the two weeks. We just have to get it to calm down."
Even if it does prove to be short term, the injury comes at a bad time for a Yankees team struggling with its rotation depth. The club has already lost Ivan Nova for the year due to Tommy John surgery, and Michael Pineda's upper back strain is expected to keep him out until June. Vidal Nuno and David Phelps started the season in the bullpen but have since been pressed into starting duty. Most likely, Alfredo Aceves will join them in the rotation with Sabathia sidelined.
"Obviously, it tests your depth and it stretches you," Girardi said. "The two guys that we brought in so far have done a pretty decent job. It's going to be tested further now."
• With six innings of three-run ball Sunday against the Phillies, Mets starter Jon Niese extended his streak to 11 consecutive outings of three runs or fewer. Niese ranks 11th in the Majors with a 2.17 ERA.
• Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki's hot hitting has recently earned him additional playing time. Suzuki started Sunday thanks to 10 hits in his previous 25 at-bats, though he finished 0-for-2 against the Brewers. The 40-year-old is batting .364 with an .833 OPS on the season.
• Collins is looking to use the two games at Yankee Stadium to his advantage, with plans to give seldom-used fifth outfielder Abreu at-bats as a designated hitter. The Mets' manager would also ideally like to give Eric Young another start in the outfield, after Young went 3-for-6 with two stolen bases and two runs scored Sunday against the Phillies.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.