Monday, May 10, 2010

The Series Ahead: Yankees @ Tigers

Yankees @ Tigers
Comerica Park
(4 Game Series)

We all know about the state of the Yankees, but if you need a quick refresher, here you go. They're 21-9, they've won 9 of their last 11, and enter play tonight a half game behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tigers have started the year pretty well. They're currently 17-14 and are just 3.5 games behind the Central Division leading Twins. This team can hit. Austin Jackson (and his ridiculous .511 BABIP) leads the league with a .371 batting average. Miguel Cabrera is second in the league at .370. To go along with those two, their lineup also includes former Yankee Johnny Damon, Magglio Ordonez, Brandon Inge, and rookie outfielder Brennan Boesch, who is hitting .318.

Their starting rotation has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but With guys like Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, and new and improved Dontrelle Willis, they should be improving soon. They have a very good bullpen. Jose Valverde is the closer. Joel Zumaya is healthy and has had a very good start to his 2010 campaign. Eddie Bonine,former Yankee Phil Coke, and Fu-Te Ni have also started the year very well. Overall, their bullpen ranks no. 1 in baseball with a 2.17 ERA. On the other hand, that struggling starting rotation has combined for the 29th worst ERA in baseball at 5.71.

This might be a tough series for the Yankees, especially with Javier Vazquez and Sergio Mitre going in the first two. Based on that, I'm hoping the Yanks can get out of Detroit with a split.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Tonight @ 7:05 p.m. | TV: YES, ESPN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Sergio Mitre (0-0, 2.79) vs LHP Dontrelle Willis (1-1, 3.99)

Game 2: Tuesday @ 7:05 p.m. | TV: MY9 | Radio WCBS
RHP Javier Vazquez (1-3, 9.78) vs RHP Rick Porcello (2-3, 7.50)

Game 3: Wednesday @ 7:05 p.m. | TV: YES, ESPN | Radio: WCBS
RHP Phil Hughes (4-0, 1.69) vs RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 5.74)

Game 4: Thursday @ 1:05 p.m. | TV: YES | Radio: WCBS
LHP C.C. Sabathia (4-1, 3.04) vs RHP Justin Verlander (3-2, 4.50)

Three Questions
  • Can the Yankees, and most importantly their bullpen, survive the first two games with Vazquez and Mitre starting?
  • How will Johnny Damon do against his former team?
  • Is Alex Rodriguez on the verge of a hot streak? In his last three games he's 5-for-9 with a homer and 3 RBI.
Injury Report

- RHP Chan Ho Park is on the 15-day DL with a slightly strained hamstring.
- CF Curtis Granderson is on the 15-day DL with a grade 2 strain of his left groin and is expected to be out another 2-4 weeks.
- RHP Mariano Rivera has missed the last few games with stiffness behind in his side. He was available the last few games in Boston.
- LHP Andy Pettitte has elbow inflammation and is being evaluated on a day-to-day basis a DL stint is unlikely, but he will miss his scheduled start tomorrow.
- C Jorge Posada has a mild calf strain. He'll probably see most of his time this series at DH.
- RHP Alfredo Aceves is day-to-day with back problems.

- LF/3B Carlos Guillén is on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring.
- RHP Zach Miner is on the 15-day DL with right elbow tendinitis.
- LHP Bobby Seay is on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder strain.

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