Both the Yankees and the Mets have had serious adversity to deal with over the last few weeks, but adversity in a very different way.
The Mets, fresh off a World Series appearance in 2015, have been decimated by injuries in 2016.
They lost Matt Harvey, David Wright and Neil Walker for the season. They have had to play without Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom at points to make matters worse.
It would have been very easy for them to quit on 2016, but to the credit of Mets manager Terry Collins, he has kept the team together.
They rallied after a rough start to a late August west coast trip and turned a 5.5-game deficit and a sub-500 record into a one-game lead for the second wild card in mid-September.
The Mets have continued to see the injury bug visit their clubhouse, but they have found unlikely heroes on a night-in, night-out basis.
Their rotation has been saved by unknown quantities like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, and their lineup has been powered by the return of Cespedes, Cabrera and Jose Reyes.
The Mets finding a way to meaningful September baseball is surprising considering the injuries, but for the Yankees their tale is even more remarkable.
Remember the Yankees traded away Andrew Miller, Arodlis Chapman and Carlos Beltran in late July, and essentially waved the white flag on the 2016 season.
Or so we thought.
How is it even possible that a team that played .500 baseball for essentially four full months and traded away their three best players ended up becoming a much better team?
Well, it’s not that Miller, Chapman and Beltran were holding the Yankees back, but the welcome additions of the “Baby Bombers” seemed to ignite a spark within the entire organization.
The Yankees called up Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin within a three-week span from late-July into early-August.
Sanchez has played at an all-world level, Austin and Judge have had their moments, but the energy of the younger players has spread throughout the entire roster.
The Yankees remarkably are only two games out of a playoff spot with under 20 games to go, and are in a wonderful position where they can develop their young players at the Major League level, but yet are still alive and well in a pennant race.
The schedule is daunting for the Yankees down the stretch. They have seven games left with the first-place Boston Red Sox and three games left with the Blue Jays and Orioles, the two teams they are chasing in the wild card race.
It’s a difficult schedule, but the Yankees have the opportunity to play the teams that are in front of them.
At the end of the day, I don’t think the Yankees have enough to find their way to October, but the fact that they’re still very much alive after turning to a youth movement and selling off players is a testament to the job Joe Girardi has done.
It’s a common theme amongst both the Mets and the Yankees in 2016: resilience, grit and perseverance.
They’ve both found their way to meaningful September baseball, but will one of the teams have enough down the stretch to make it to the postseason?
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