Yanks relish the return of Interleague Play

Yanks relish the return of Interleague Play

BALTIMORE -- Nobody has won more games against National League clubs than the Yankees since Interleague Play began in 1997, and with another slate of crossover play on tap, there are obvious reasons for optimism.

The Yankees will welcome the Astros to New York on Friday to kick off a string of 15 Interleague contests, with a three-game series marking Houston's first visit to the new Yankee Stadium.

The Phillies arrive for a rematch of last year's World Series from June 15-17, and the Subway Series reprises June 18-20, when the Mets roll across the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to the Bronx.

"I think there are some series that people are excited about," manager Joe Girardi said. "The novelty has worn off because we've been doing it for a long time, but I think people look forward to it.

"I'm sure people in Houston are looking forward to watching the new Yankee Stadium, and I know when we go to Arizona [June 21-23] and Los Angeles [June 25-27], I'm sure there will be anticipation there."

The Yankees are 134-97 (.580) all-time in Interleague Play, owning an identical record to the Twins. The Yankees have gone 10-8 against the NL in each of the past four seasons, and opened Interleague Play this year by going 1-2 against the Mets at Citi Field in May.

"I like it," outfielder Curtis Granderson said. "I always look forward to going [to National League parks], to see another pitcher in the game and a new ballpark. Interleague Play gives you a chance to play against someone you've never seen before."

This week Granderson spoke with Orioles outfielder Adam Jones about Boston's Mike Cameron.

"The first time I saw Mike Cameron was when he was with Milwaukee and they came to Detroit, and I never realized how much ground he covered in the outfield," he said. "I knew he was a good outfielder, but I had never seen him do what he could do. Adam said the same thing: 'Man, he covers so much ground.' And we'd never have [had] the chance to see him without Interleague Play."