We’ll call it the Home Run Derby series for three reasons. First, the Rangers lead the American League in home runs with 83 and the Yankees are second at 80. Second, when the Philadelphia Phillies came into town two weekends ago, the two teams combined for 12 total homers – or an average of four per game. Third, the game is being held at Yankee Stadium on the moon where there is less gravity.
Ok, I lied about the moon part (obviously) but there certainly does seem to be a lack of gravity, due to the 84 homers hit in the first 23 games. Even Joba Chamberlain defies gravity.
Since taking 2 of 3 from Texas in Arlington just last week, the Yankees had a day off and took 3 of 4 from Cleveland to finish up a road trip that saw them win 5 of 7. Not to be outdone, the Rangers took on Oakland at home and also took 3 of 4.
Both teams lead their respective divisions as well. Texas (30-20) has a 4.5 game lead over the LA Angels. The Yankees (30-21) hold a 1 game lead over Boston.
Both the Yankees and the Rangers are on fire- the Rangers were an AL-Best 20-9 in May. After losing 5 straight in the beginning of May, the Yankees were an MLB-best 15-4 after May 13, including a 10 game win streak.
Plus, the next week or so is going to impact the AL standings quite drastically. The Yankees face the Al West leading Texas, divisional foe Tampa Bay and divisional foe Boston. Boston faces the AL Central leading Detroit, AL West leading Texas and AL East leading Yankees. Texas faces the Yankees, Boston and Toronto.
The next 9-10 games for those several clubs are going to impact the standings in all three divisions.
The Rangers might be without slugger Josh Hamilton who had an MRI on Monday and is meeting with a doctor today. As of posting time, there was no new news on his status. Ian Kinsler has been hot for the Rangers this season and will look to bolster his Al All-Star credentials in the huge media market of NY.
The Yankees hottest two players in May were Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. Tex was easily the player of the month for the Yankees, hitting .330 with 13 homers and 34 ribbies. His only blemish during an outstanding month was his 24 strikeouts. After batting .200 in April, Teixeira was able to raise his average to .282 because of May.
Oh, and he is in the middle of a 14 game hitting streak.
The Captain is also in the midst of a hitting streak, with 15 straight games. After a slow start to the month, Jeets has hit .396 during his hitting streak and has raised his BA to a team leading .311.
Tuesday: RHP A.J. Burnett (3-2, 4.78) vs. RHP Vicente Padilla (3-2, 4.71), 7:05 p.m., YES
Wednesday: LHP Andy Pettitte (5-1, 4.10) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (4-0, 3.91), 7:05 p.m., YES
Thursday: LHP CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.46) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.35), 1:05 p.m., YES
Finally, unless you have been living under a rock for the last three weeks, you know that the Yankees have been perfect their last 18 games – not allowing a single error in those games. That is a new Major League Record.