Jays Journal Series Preview: April 29-May 1 vs. New York Yankees

After a solid series in Texas that saw the Jays take three of four courtesy of some unexpected offense, the Jays roll into Yankee Stadium for the first time this season in a three-game set.

Toronto Blue Jays

2011 Regular Season Record: 12-13, 3rd in A.L. East (3.5 GB)

New York Yankees

2011 Regular Season Record: 14-8, 1st in A.L. East (0.0 GB)

Pitching Matchups

April 29: Ricky Romero vs. Freddy Garcia

Romero was visibly upset after taking the loss in his last outing against the Rays, and it’s hard to blame him. He allowed just two runs on five hits over seven strong innings while striking out 10, and the Jays went on to lose 2-0. In his last four starts, Romero has received four runs of support, so he’ll look to continue his strong pitching and hope that the bats pick him up in this one. For his career against the Yankees, Romero is 2-2 with a 5.70 in six starts, with one complete game.

April 30: Kyle Drabek vs. A.J. Burnett

A rematch from April 19 in Toronto, Drabek was out-dueled by Burnett after allowing four earned runs on six hits with four walks and just two strikeouts in 5.1 innings. As the story has been with Drabek all season, he’ll need to cut down on his walks early in the game so he can last longer into his starts. In two career starts against the Yankees, Drabek is 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in 11.1 innings.

May 1: Jesse Litsch vs. Ivan Nova

After being sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas in favor of Jo-Jo Reyes to pitch three innings, Litsch was called back up to face the Rangers, pitching six innings and allowing three earned runs. Litsch has only faced the Yankees twice in his career, going 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 innings of work.

Who’s Hot

Blue Jays: Juan Rivera

While Jose Bautista and Adam Lind both get honorable mention here, Juan Rivera actually deserves being in this spot for once so that’s why he gets the nod after a brutally cold start to the year. Not only is he riding a seven-game hit streak dating back to April 22 vs. the Rays, but Rivera absolutely loved hitting in Texas.

In the Jays’ four-game set against the Rangers this week, Rivera went 7-for-14 (.500) with 5 walks, including at least one in every game. He hit his first two home runs of the season and chipped in 5 RBIs in that series as well. Overall, Rivera’s line was .500/.631/.928. No that’s not a typo either, he had a 1.559 OPS in those four games.

Who’s Cold

Blue Jays: J.P. Arencibia

It was harder than normal to find someone to throw in this section this time around since every Blue Jay seemed to enjoy hitting in Texas this week, but J.P. Arencibia hasn’t exactly been tearing the cover off of the ball recently.

After starting the season 9-for-24 with a .375/.423/.875 line overall in 6 games, JPA has gone 6-for-37 (.162) in his last 10 games since. Just one of those 6 hits was for extra bases, and he’s drawn just 4 walks over that time. Furthermore, he’s struck out at least once in every game over that span, with 14 in total, rounding out his line in the last 10 games at .162/.244/.243.

Blue Jays:

15-day DL: OF Scott Podsednik (plantar fasciitis in left foot), CF Rajai Davis (aggravated right ankle sprain), Aaron Hill (Strained right hamstring), Jayson Nix (Left shin contusion)

60-day DL: RP Jesse Carlson (left shoulder), RP Dustin McGowan (right rotator cuff)

-JM

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Tags: J.P. Arencibia Jesse Litsch Juan Rivera Kyle Drabek New York Yankees Ricky Romero Toronto Blue Jays

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