Mets and Yankees get stark reminder of Astros’ strength

Mets and Yankees get stark reminder of Astros’ strength

The Astros showed up in the middle of a dream New York City baseball season as a wake-up call.

They have reminded the Yankees that there will not be a cakewalk from here to the World Series. They have shown the Mets there is a weight class they still must ascend toward.

When Houston began a quirky nine-game, home-and-home phase exclusively Sinatra (“New York, New York,” for those not playing along), the Yankees had the majors’ best record and the Mets the second-best. The Astros are eight games into this challenge, and it isn’t just that they are 6-2, but the only times they trailed over 73 innings was literally when two of those games were over — Aaron Judge delivered walk-offs last Thursday and Sunday.

The Astros now have MLB’s second-best record behind the Yankees, with the two teams set to play a single, lockout-generated game Thursday in Houston. Regardless of what happens Thursday, the past eight Astros games have offered the strongest slap this season at the good baseball vibes in New York.

“I don’t think our guys were looking to measure up against anybody,” said Justin Verlander, amazingly the Astros’ staff ace again after missing most of the past two seasons following Tommy John surgery. “We know how good we are, and I don’t think that by any means are we looking to see how we stacked up.”

Verlander allowed one run in 15 innings in his past two starts against the New York clubs, including eight shutout frames in a Wednesday matinee won 2-0 by the Astros at Citi Field.

Jason Castro's game-winning homer (left) and Justin Verlander's eight shutout innings helped lead the Astros to a 2-0 win over the Mets.
Jason Castro’s game-winning homer (left) and Justin Verlander’s eight shutout innings helped lead the Astros to a 2-0 win over the Mets.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg (2)

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