Series Preview: New York Yankees (69-61, 4th AL East) vs Toronto Blue Jays (58-73, 5th AL East)
Feb 28, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Ryan Goins (2) against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at George Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Well that was a slobberknocker of a series wasn’t it? To think it came down to the 9th inning of the third game to assure we didn’t get swept by the Astros. Sounds like our low point of the season just got lower. From here on in if we are going to play out the string I say we get some bodies in the starting rotation that might actually have a shot at next year. Forget losing culture. We need to see what we have going into the off-season. How ready are Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman? Time to find out.
The Yankees are riding the wave of their sweep against us in New York to be within spitting distance of a wild card spot. At least we are a helpful last place team. No spoilers here! The addition of Alfonso Soriano has been a god send and with the return of Derek Jeter to the line-up it is going to be that much tougher to take them down…if his legs hold up that is.
Game 1: Phil Hughes (4-12, 4.88 ERA) vs R.A. Dickey (9-12, 4.49 ERA)
Game 2: Andy Pettitte (9-9, 4.26 ERA) vs J.A. Happ (3-3, 5.10 ERA)
Game 3: Hiroki Kuroda (11-9, 2.71 ERA) vs TBD
For game 1 it’s a battle of the almosts. Phil Hughes has not received a decision in a game in 8 starts while R.A. Dickey still seem to be battling a case of homerun-itis. Last game he was pitching so well until giving up the go ahead home run to the aforementioned Soriano. Dickey ha already given up four more home runs than he did all of last year and we are not even into September yet. Roll the dice on this one.
Game 2 pits the always tough Andy Pettitte against the comeback kid, J.A. Happ. We know what we are going to get from Pettitte: a few hits and 3-4 runs would seem to go with the Pettitte norm. If Happ can bear down and forget the walk-a-thon he surrendered last time out then perhaps the Jays might have a chance. If nothing else, we get to see a hall of famer pitch one of the last times in Toronto.
Regardless of what stiff we send up there I am already giving this one to the Yankees. Koroda is by far the best starter the Yankees have and with the AAAA line up we are sending out there I am pretty certain this could be a laugher. The intrigue will be to see if the Jays toss another useless to the team starter on the mound or if we start to give some of the kids a few starts.
Probable Starting Lineups
Toronto Blue Jays
1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. CF: Rajai Davis
3. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion
4. 3B: Brett Lawrie
5. DH: Mark DeRosa
6. C: J.P. Arencibia
7. RF: Moises Sierra
8. LF: Kevin Pillar
9. 2B: Ryan Goins
New York Yankees
1. SS: Derek Jeter
2. CF: Brett Gardner
3. RF: Ichiro Suzuki
4. 2B: Robinson Cano
5. DH: Alfonso Soriano
6. LF: Curtis Granderson
7. 1B: Lyle Overbay
8. 3B: Mark Reynolds
9. C: Chris Stewart
Worth Admission Price: The Kids. At least we get to see what the future holds for this team. It would be great to see someone like perhaps Anthony Gose take the bull by the horns and prove that he belongs. Or Goins showing some brilliance with the glove along with his seemingly decent bat. Much cheaper option than Izturis. If the kids are alright then perhaps a veteran or two could be dealt off-season to get some much needed pitching.
Not Worth Admission Price: I will say this until it happens but Arencibia needs to go. After watching the likes of Jason Castro this weekend, it is nice to see what could be had from anyone else. I am not saying we would trade for him (the Astros can’t be that nuts) but it shows there is more to catching than 20 home runs. Even this far into the season his defense is deplorable.
I say bring up the Bisons….bring up the Fisher Cats. Let’s see how the future of our franchise is doing…how they are progressing. At least give us Stroman whom many thought would be the first person from his draft class to make the majors (oops…steroids). I just want to see some reason for hope and since all the vets are hurt, now would be the time. Give us something to look forward to.