Ahh, it’s that time of year again. It must mean we’re a quarter of the way through the season, and that it’s almost Memorial Day, as rivalry weekend is upon us.

Although I personally am not a fan of it, it’s still the Subway Series, where Mets and Yankees fans come together for three days. They watch a ballgame from the same ballpark and they have a chance to finally root against one another.

Over the 13 seasons that the Mets and Yankees have faced off against each other six times, both teams have been on top. The Yankees have seemingly never been on the bottom. Unfortunately, the Mets will enter this Subway Series a last place team for the first time since 2003. The Mets also had their share of being a first place team, most recently 2006 and 2007.

So now, with the Mets fighting to stay alive and the Yankees holding a slim lead in the AL Wild Card race, the two teams will clash once again for the first of six.

The Mets, coming off of a wacky win in Washington, will send Hisanori Takahashi to the mound, filling in for the injured Jon Niese. Takahashi has been a real valuable piece for the Mets out of their bullpen, and will now leave a gap in the long-man spot.

If Takahashi can’t go deep in this game, the Mets may be in trouble. Raul Valdes, the likely replacement, probably won’t be available for the entire series after coming in for five innings yesterday.

Unless the Mets call a player up from the minors, it appears the emergency long reliever would be Wednesday night’s starter R.A. Dickey. Being that he’s a knuckleballer, he’d be available and actually was available to pitch last night if needed.

Going for the Yankees will be Javier Vazquez. Vazquez last appeared in a game on Wednesday night, when he came in to retire one batter in the ninth against the Red Sox. He would get credit for a win after the Yankees won in walk-off fashion on Marcus Thames’ home run off of Jonathan Papelbon.

Vazquez was demoted to the Yankees’ bullpen Oliver Perez-style a couple of weeks ago, but came back to throw a solid game in a loss to the Tigers. It’ll be interesting to see how he will do in this game, considering he was so dominant last season in the National League, and this will be an NL-type ballgame at the Mets home park.

The Mets will try to get something going against him offensively after breaking out for 10 runs in last night’s win. For a team that has had a different lineup in 22 of the 42 games played this season, look for it to remain the same tonight with the exception of Luis Castillo playing second base and batting second.

The Mets will actually have a lineup advantage thanks to there being three night games this weekend. The night games will mean that catcher Rod Barajas can catch and hit in all three games, opposed to a day game after a night game, meaning the Mets will have their home run leader in there every night.

The Yankees will be without Jorge Posada for the series and forseeable future with the hairline fracture in his foot, so the Mets should have the catching advantage although Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli isn’t chopped liver.

Takahashi will have to cope with a tough Yankees lineup that will feature some tough right-handed hitters in the likes of Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez amongst others.

If the Mets want to avoid getting swept in this series, they should think about winning this game, going up against Javier Vazquez. It’ll only get tougher from here as the Yankees will throw out Phil Hughes and CC Sabathia the next two games.

The good thing for the Mets will be, they will send out their best two pitchers to counter, as Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana will pitch respectively.

So let the Subway Series begin. No matter where the teams are in the standings, fans always get fired up.

Hisanori Takahashi vs. New York Yankees (career)
Has never faced the Yankees

Javier Vazquez vs. New York Mets (career)
9-8, 3.37 ERA, 155 IP, 139 hits, 33 BB, 139 SO

2009 season series (New York Mets vs. New York Yankees)
Yankees won series 5-1

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com