Two Games, Two Teams, Two Different Reactions

Yankees lose again while Matt Harvey thrills the Mets

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Harvey's becoming less of an illusion for the Mets.

    Heading into this season, there's been no shortage of talk that this could be the first year since 1992 that both the Mets and Yankees finish with a losing record. 

    The first two games of the season have done plenty to support that notion on the Yankee side of the ledger as they've been outscored 15-6 by the Red Sox in a pair of losses and, on Wednesday night, lost another player to injury when Hiroki Kuroda left after being hit by a line drive.

    The offense looks just as sickly as it did in the playoffs last season, even with Vernon Wells' three-run homer making the 7-4 loss on Wednesday looking a bit better on the surface. 

    It's a generally ugly scene in the Bronx. You could hear the collective groan of Yankee fans when Boston scored in the first inning and you could see that those that bothered to show up in the first place had no patience to stick around over the remaining eight innings to see if Wells, Chris Stewart and Ben Francisco could rally the team after Cody Eppley threw gasoline on the fire. 

    It's just two games, but they are two games that have fueled the fears that existed all offseason and exposed the flaws that everyone knew existed. Any judgment beyond that is premature, but you can feel the wheels turning in heads all around Yankees universe. 

    The same is true over in Queens, but the conclusions are a lot more positive. It's still just two games and the Mets may still be destined for a record south of .500, but the feeling that this is just prologue for something better makes that a secondary concern. 

    How could you worry much about a 2013 record when Matt Harvey is carving up the Padres with 10 strikeouts en route to an 8-4 win over the Padres. Harvey was brilliant on Wednesday night, flashing every bit of the skill that made him a beacon through the rough waters of the last few years and making you wonder just how good Zack Wheeler will be since he's considered the more elite pitching prospect. 

    Unless Lucas Duda is going to wind up with an 1800 OPS for the entire season, there are going to be rougher outings ahead for the Mets when they start playing teams other than the Padres. Those rough nights won't register nearly as much as nights when Harvey, Wheeler or other young players sparkle with the promise that the winter is coming to an end at Citi Field. 

    There aren't sparkles like that at Yankee Stadium, where a grim present offers no hint that better days and new superstars are just around the corner. The records may wind up looking the same, in other words, but the reaction is certainly going to be different. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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