After losing the first four games of the road trip, including three painful losses to the rival Red Sox, I'm sure many Yankees fans are happy they were able to salvage the final two games of the trip. As I said after Tuesday's game it was important that they head home on a high note and I'm very happy that they were able to make that happen. Now with A-Rod's return on the horizon the Yankees need to gain some momentum. Hopefully it starts tomorrow against the Angels.
The Yankees have a 11-10 record and are currently in third place in the AL East, three games behind the first place Red Sox.
It hasn't been an easy beginning of the '09 campaign for the Angels. They've been devastated by injuries to many key players, including Vlad Guerrero, John Lackey, Ervin Santana and others. They've also had to deal with the tragic death of rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart. All things considered, they're not doing that bad. They have a 9-11 record and are currently three games behind first-place Seattle.
Torii Hunter has been doing much of the damage in the absence of Vald. He's been killing the ball, hitting .329/.386/.740 with 8 HR and 16 RBI. He leads the team in HR, RBI, R, and OPS.
On the pitching side Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver have both been very good. Saunders is 3-1, with a 3.41 ERA, and Weaver is 2-1, with a 2.45 ERA. If it wasn't for those two we might be looking at a team that's seven or eight games under .500. And yes, the Yankees will face both in this series.
For the second straight series at the new stadium the opposing team will be bringing an old friend back with them, this time Bobby Abreu. Abreu has gotten off to a very nice start with his new team, hitting .363/.422/.425 with no homers and 12 RBI. He has also stolen eight bases and scored nine runs. I expect that like Giambi last week, Abreu will receive a nice ovation from the Yankees fans in attendance tonight.
Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS 880
A.J. Burnett RHP (2-0, 5.47 ERA) vs. Anthony Ortega RHP (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Game 2: Tomorrow @ 7:05 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS 880
Andy Pettitte LHP (2-1, 2.96 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver RHP (2-1, 2.45 ERA)
Game 3: Saturday: @ 1:05 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS 880
CC Sabathia LHP (1-2, 4.73 ERA) vs. Matt Palmer RHP (1-0, 6.00 ERA)
Game 4: Sunday @ 1:05 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS 880 LHP
Phil Hughes RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders RHP (2-1, 3.51 ERA)
Players to Watch
Maybe playing against his former mates will inspire him, who knows. He hasn't faired that well against them in his career, hitting just .257/.362/.473 with 16 HR and 57 RBI in 84 games. Prior to being traded to the Angels last year, he played three games against them and his .385/.429/.385 with 3 RBI.
Teixeira vs. Ortega: NR
Teixeira vs. Weaver: .231/.375/.692 (3-for-13), 2 HR, 5 RBI
Teixeira vs. Palmer: NR
Teixeira vs. Saunders: .222/.364/.222 (2-for-9)
ANGELS - Bobby Abreu: Welcome back, Bobby. I always like seeing how former Yankees do when they return for the first time so Abreu is my Angel to watch for this series (If Abreu wasn't a former Yankee it would have been Hunter).
He's only played 14 games against the Yankees, obviously all prior to his 2006 trade to the Bronx. In those games he hit .260/.351/.500 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. Abreu always hit well at the old stadium, hitting .314/.391/.508 with 29 HR and 133 RBI in 192 games.
Abreu vs. Burnett: .328/.437/.483 (19-for-58), HR, 10 RBI, 16 K
Abreu vs. Pettitte: .154/.267/.154 (2-for-13, 4 K
Abreu vs. Sabathia: .167/.286/.167 (1-for-6)
Abreu vs. Hughes: NR
- Alex Rodriguez, 3B: 15-day DL with a torn labrum in right hip. He is down in Tampa rehabbing at the Yankees' minor-league complex in Tampa. He's expected back in early to mid May.
- Xavier Nady, RF: 15-day DL with an injured right elbow. It was thought that he would need season-ending surgery, but it is now being reported that he may avoid the surgery and miss just 4-6 weeks.
- Cody Ransom, INF: 60-day DL with a strained right quad.
- Brian Bruney, RP: 15-day DL with a sore right elbow.
- Chien-Ming Wang, SP: 15-day DL with hip abductor muscle weakness.
- Ervin Santana, SP: On the 15-day DL with a sprained MCL in his right elbow.
- John Lackey, SP: On the 15-day DL with right elbow inflamation.
- Kelvim Escobar, SP: 60-day DL as he recovers from right shoulder surgery.
- Valdimir Guerrero, RF: 15-day DL with a torn pectoral muscle. He'll be out 4-6 weeks.
- Dustin Moseley, SP: On the 15-day DL with right elbow irration.
- Darren Oliver, RP: 15-day DL with a sprained left triceps.
- Kevin Jepsen, RP: 15-day DL with lower back spasms.