The Mets were struggling, in last place in the NL East when they played the Yankees for the first time at Citi Field in May.
They won two of three, then shutout the Phillies in a three-game sweep, and have gone 15-6 since to pull within a half game of Atlanta.
The Mets are looking to extend their winning streak to eight games – for the second time this season – when they face the Yankees tonight at the Stadium.
Hisanori Takahashi vs. Javier Vazquez.
“When you go to play the defending world champions, you’ve got to be playing good baseball,’’ said manager Jerry Manuel. “I feel good about the way we’re playing.’’
He ought to, as the Mets will be trying for their seventh straight road win tonight. The last time they won that many was in June, 2006, when they peeled off nine straight on the road.
Back in the lineup tonight is Jason Bay, who sustained a bruised left thigh Wednesday night in Cleveland in a collision with first baseman Andy Marte.
Bay is a bit of a Yankee killer, going 7-for-10 with two homers and three RBI in the May series. He’s batting .402 against them with five homers and 23 RBI in 25 games since the beginning of 2008.
Takahashi struck out five Yankees in six scoreless innings in the first game of the May series.