MLB 2017 Game #9: Athletics vs. MetsWhen interleague play debuted 20 years ago, I looked for potential rematches of classic World Series from yesteryear. For the first five seasons, play was limited to each division playing against its respective counterparts in the other league. Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox games were rematches of the 1906 Series. The St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers harkened back to 1968. The New York Mets and Boston Red Sox reminded me of Bill Buckner, Mookie Wilson and the classic 1986 Series.
Since two decades have passed, that novelty has long since lost its luster. Since the Houston Astros moved from the National to the American League following the 2011 season, both leagues consist of 15 teams. That means an interleague game is always being played. The Cubs just played the Baltimore Orioles (sorry, no World Series rematch) and the Los Angeles Dodgers just played a three-game series against the White Sox (1959).
Despite that, when I attend interleague games, I still think about past matchups. Tonight is certainly the case. We find ourselves in New York for a long weekend, and naturally, I'm going to see a game tonight.
This evening the New York Mets (44-50, .468) will host the Oakland Athletics (43-53, .448) at Citi Field and it's a rematch of the 1973 World Series. The 1973 Series was the first played during my lifetime. I was less than one month old when Oakland's Jon Matlack threw the first pitch of Game 1. Neither team is having a fantastic season, plus they are in divisions where the front runners hold sizable leads.
Tonight, the Athletics will send 25-year-old Sean Manaea (8-5, 3.68 ERA) to the mound. The Mets will answer with 27-year-old Zach Wheeler (3-7, 4.98 ERA)