Series Preview: New York Yankees (79-71, 4th AL East) vs Toronto Blue Jays (68-81, 5th AL East)
Aug 5, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes (left) celebrates with center fielder Colby Rasmus (28) after they scored runs in the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. The Blue Jays defeated the Mariners 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
We have a chance to be a thorn in the side of the AL East. After being bludgeoned to death by the Bronx Bombers this year it would be nice to keep playing some great ball and snuffing out the Yankees chances of making the post season this year. The Yanks are 2 1/2 back of the 2nd wild card with 4 teams to jump in order to make it. If we can get 2 of 3 or a sweep I would say the chance of the Yankees making it would be next to nil. That, my friends, is worth playing hard throughout the end of a lost year.
We have seen Ryan Goins come back to earth a bit, Jose Reyes flashing brilliance as his wonky ankle heals up, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle pitch like we expected and J.P. Arencibia continue to battle for worst hitter in the major leagues. Lots of intrigue. The Jays will not hit .500 ball this year so it’s the time to let it all hang out and play for their playing lives. No one is safe. No one. Expect this to be the last gasp of this cast of characters.
Game 1: Andy Pettitte (10-9, 4.04 ERA) vs R.A. Dickey (12-12, 4.36 ERA)
A battle of big game pitchers. Andy Pettite is perhaps the best starter going for the Yankees right now and is a great fit going up against Dickey. Pettitte has won all three of his starts against the Jays this year, with a 1.77 ERA. In his last 7 starts overall his ERA is 2.13. Doesn’t look good for the home side but Dickey has been very good since August 1st with an ERA of 3.56. His ERA in three starts against the Yankees is 3.38 so this could become a pitchers duel where one missed spot could lead to a loss.
Game 2: Phil Hughes (4-13, 5.07 ERA) vs J.A. Happ (4-6, 5.15 ERA)
Phil Hughes is back in the rotation out of necessity. He has failed to live up to the hyped expectations and could be pitching for his playing life. If he wants to stay in the Yankees rotation a win here against an also struggling J.A. Happ could help the perception that he is a failed starter who should be in the pen. Happ is also pitching for his starting life. If he doesn’t come up with some gems the last few starts then he is going to get pegged back in the rotation to 7th or 8th in line. Norhing he wants but something he may not be able to do anything about with Kyle Drabek, Brandon Morrow, Drew Hutchison and possibly some of the AA starters figuring into the mix for next season.]
Game 3: Hiroki Kuroda (11-11, 3.13 ERA) vs Todd Redmond (3-2, 4.10 ERA)
Kuroda has been the Yankees best and most reliable starter this year. It is a travesty that his won loss record is only at .500 because without him the Yankees would most likely be battling us to stay out of the AL East basement and above .500 overall. Redmond has been doing what it takes to secure his spot in the rotation fight for next season….kind of what Happ was doing with the Jays at the end of last season. He just needs to keep fighting and pitching as he has and it should work out for him in the end.
Probable Stating Lineups
New York Yankees
1. 2B: Dustin Pedroia
2. RF: Daniel Nava
3. DH: David Ortiz
4. LF: Mike Carp
5. 1B: Mike Napoli
6. C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
7. S: Stephen Drew
8. 3B: Xander Bogaerts
9. CF: Jackie Bradley Jr.
Toronto Blue Jays
1. SS: Jose Reyes
2. 3B: Brett Lawrie
3. DH: Edwin Encarnacion
4. 1B: Adam Lind
5. CF: Colby Rasmus
6. RF: Moises Sierra
7. LF: Rajai Davis
8. 2B: Ryan Goins
9. C: Josh Thole
Worth the Price of Admission
Andy Pettite. Sure you may have seen him pitch before but this may be the last hurrah for one of the best lefties of this generation. He is smart, level-headed and ready to fight for the Yanks lives. I would put Moises Sierra in here due to his torrid hitting of late but to watch one of the master lefties do his thing sounds like the price of admission to me.
Worth the Price of Aspirin
J.P. Arencibia…and he has done nothing but get even worse. He is dreadful but if you like him keep watching because this will be the last season of J.P. in a Blue Jays uniform.
I love this team and it has been great to see the likes of Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion fighting their ailments to play with regularity and drive. It is another audition for next year but I see a huge breakout for Colby next year. Edwin is just a great find and I look forward to keeping him around for years beyond. As for the team, go out and watch them. Show them you aren’t going to give up on them….yet. Send them into the off season with positive vibes instead of the wrath of the fan and we should see a great team contend next year.