Michael Cohen

Ben Rice rounds the bases following his game winning homer at Reading. Photo: Somerset Patriots.

Twenty-three years ago we had the Subway World Series between the Yankees and Mets, a series the Bronx Bombers won in five games. Now we get the the Double-A version of the Subway Series in postseason play when the Yankees Double-A affiliate, the Somerset Patriots and the Mets Double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies meet up this week.

Talk about a heck of a way to begin the defense of the Double-A Eastern League Championship belt. The Patriots begin the series Tuesday night in Binghamton with a 6:35 first pitch.

The series will shift to TD Bank Ballpark in Somerset on Thursday for Game 2, and, possibly, Friday for Game 3 — if necessary.

Somerset Patriots on Twitter: "The @Yankees and @Mets are bringing the 🔥 with this week's Double-A Subway Series Playoffs probable pitching matchups🚊 pic.twitter.com/ZZhv6reIMR / Twitter"

The @Yankees and @Mets are bringing the 🔥 with this week's Double-A Subway Series Playoffs probable pitching matchups🚊 pic.twitter.com/ZZhv6reIMR

How the Rumble Ponies Got Here:

Both teams go into the series red hot. The Rumble Ponies are a half game back of the Patriots for the second half division title. A big reason why the Rumble Ponies have gotten so hot in the second half has a lot to do with the Mets trades of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

The Mets received a boat load of top prospects in those deals, including Luisangel Acuna in the Scherzer deal, and Drew Gilbert in the Verlander trade.

Both Acuna and Gilbert have had a huge impact on the Rumble Ponies turnaround.  Gilbert is hitting .336 with six homers and 20 RBI in 32 games with Binghamton.

Acuna might be hitting .252, but he has two homers, 12 RBI and 14 stolen bases since becoming a Mets prospect.

On the mound the Rumble Ponies also have two of the Mets top pitching prospects: Blade Tidwell (3-3 with a 4.24 ERA in seven starts) and Christian Scott (4-3, 2.47 ERA in 12 starts) anchoring the rotation.

How the Patriots Got Here:

The Patriots got back to the postseason thanks to a dominant first half. Somerset was powered by the likes of Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells and Tyler Hardman leading the way at the plate.

With Dominguez and Wells getting promotions to the Big Leagues in September, the Patriots have turned the page to some new faces, particularly catcher Ben Rice. Rice has been a phenom since getting called up in early August. In 45 games, Rice has 15 homers and 45 RBI, and is hitting .330 on the year at Double-A.

More impressively, Rice has 17 multi-hit games since getting the call up to Double-A.

On the Hill for Somerset:

On the mound, the Patriots have been led by Richard Fitts all season. He is 10-5 with a 3.58 ERA in 26 starts. He’s been the Pats ace. Look out for impressive prospect Drew Thorpe, who is living up to the billing so far as the Yankees top pitching prospect. Thorpe is 4-0 in five starts with a 1.48 ERA. He has struck out 44 batters in 30 innings.

What to Expect:

Expect an exciting series next week that will go the distance. We got all the action right here on 93.5 FM 1450 AM Fox Sports New Jersey.

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