Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays (57-67) are on the road again after dropping yet another series at the Trop against the Tampa Bay Rays. Today the Jays are in the Big Apple to face-off against the New York Yankees (64-59).
It’s already been well-documented that the Blue Jays have a meager 1-8 record against their division rivals so far this season and were victimized by hot starts by former Jays Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay. The Yankees have cooled off considerably since that time and now sit fourth in the AL East. They are 7-3 their last 10 games and are fighting for their playoff lives.
The Blue Jays don’t have much to play for other than pride and next year’s draft pick. Kevin Pillar is back in the lineup today searching for his first MLB hit but a guy like Pillar doesn’t get to this level without unreal perseverance. He gave us the following quote from an article on the Toronto Blue Jays official website:
"“But I’ve got a good feeling that my first at-bat [Tuesday] is going to be the one, and if it’s not that one, it’s going to be the one after that, and then the one after that. That’s just the way I think. I’ve got that killer instinct, killer mentality. … Any at-bat can be the one.”"
People have tweeted me that Pillar looks like a little league player and I admit he’s looked over-matched at times but really, how can you not like this guy? And remember he was playing in Single-A ball this time last year.
Oh yeah and the Yankees have this player named Alex Rodriguez. Maybe you’ve heard of him.
Game 1: Esmil Rogers vs. Ivan Nova
Game 2: Mark Buehrle vs. Phil Hughes
Game 3: R.A. Dickey vs. Andy Pettitte
Game 4: J.A. Happ vs. Hiroki Kuroda
I’m not even going to guess what the starting lineups will be because at this point, who really knows? But we do have a game card for today’s game one.
Games 1 and 2 – The Doubleheader
Is Esmil Rogers a starter? I’m not really sure. He pitched admirably after being demoted to the bullpen (but not really) then being called right back as a starter. He won his last time out against the Boston Red Sox, giving the Blue Jays six strong innings and allowing only one earned run while striking out six.
Nova has given the Yankees seven consecutive games where he pitched at least seven innings. They’ve all been quality starts too. Imagine that Blue Jays fans. Hopefully he due for an off-game but if I were a betting man I wouldn’t count on it.
Mark Buehrle gets the call for game number two. He’s given up 10 runs in his two starts at Yankee Stadium this year. Even if he pitches well he will need some solid defense around him if the Jays want to come out of this one victorious. The good news is that the Blue Jays are facing a pitcher in Hughes who has been inconsistent at best. We could be in for some runs in this one.
Game 3 – Grumpy Old Men
Game three features two starters with a combined age of 79 so MLB can most likely put the radar guns away for this one and just bring out the hourglass. Dickey could be really, really awesome or he could be really, really terrible. Or probably somewhere in between. But Pettitte has been a bit shaky of late as well so maybe we get a gem from R.A. and steal game three.
Game 4 – Hirok
Well, good luck in this one boys!