Yankees (15-16) at Blue Jays (22-12)
Tuesday: RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.26) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (6-1, 3.29) 7:07, MY9
Wednesday: LHP Andy Pettitte (2-0, 5.26) vs. RHP Scott Richmond (4-1, 3.29) 7:07, YES
Thursday: LHP CC Sabathia (2-3, 3.94) vs. LHP Brian Tallet (2-1, 4.95) 7:07, YES
The New York Yankees head to Canada to the Rogers Center for a three-game series against the AL Leading Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees have been reeling as of late, but slighly rebounded taking two of three from the Orioles over the weekend. It still does not mean anything to most fans as the Yankees still have not gotten quality output from their lineup and their rotation is still a mess.
Batting: A few players remain hot for the Yankees, particularly reigning AL Player of the Week Johnny Damon. Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera are also hot hitting right now. Another standout from the Orioles series was rookie backstop Francisco Cervelli. Only time will tell if he will become a Johnny Bench (IMO, he won’t). Mark Teixeira hit two homers during the Orioles series, but didn’t do much else. Derek Jeter was hot the last game of the series. The prodigal son returned and hit a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw, and did nothing else. The offense needs to stop stranding base runners and improve their RISP. If they do that, they will win games.
Pitching: It doesn’t help that tonight we face one of the possible All Star Game starters in the AL in Roy Halladay. He of the 6-1, 3.29 ERA is coming to the mound to face off his old mate AJ Burnett. Burnett has been somewhat decent for the Yankees, with a few rocky starts in-between. He has received no-decisions in his last two starts, in which he went 5+ innings in both and allowed 3+ ER in both. Halladay has been much better than that. Andy Pettitte takes the mound on Wednesday and like Burnett, has two straight no-decisions. CC Sabathia will take the mound the last game of the series and will pitch in Toronto for the first time as a Yankee. Sabathia needs to repeat the performance he gave last Friday in Baltimore. In a nutshell, we need a good series from our starters.
As for the bullpen, Joe Girardi’s weakness seems to be managing the bullpen and not being confident in who to call. Phil Coke gave a good 2-inning performance on Sunday and that needs to be repeated night in, night out. Edwar Ramirez isn’t pitching well, Jose Veras isn’t pitching well, Jon Albaladejo is Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. The only reliable bullpen arm is the ever reliable Mo. Until Burney comes back from the DL, the bullpen is in weak condition and should only be relied on for two innings, maybe three innings.
Series Outlook: The Yankees look to capture all three games and hopefully move 2.5 games behind Toronto (now 5.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the standings). Will that be possible? Yes, if everything clicks. The Yankees have the supreme talent to do that, but nothing is gelling. In reality, the Yankees might take two of three this week before heading home for another homestand.