July 3, 2009

Blue Jays-Yankees series preview

The Yankees (45-33) face off against the Toronto Blue Jays (42-38) for a four-game series. The Yankees just ended a seven-game winning steak, and the Blue Jays have lost their last two series against the Rays and Phillies.

The Yankees took two out of three against the Jays on May 12-14. The two teams meet again five times in August and six times in September.

Pitching Matchups:

Date Blue Jays Starters Yankees Starters
Friday Brian Tallet (5-5, 4.47) A.J. Burnett (6-4, 3.93)
Saturday Roy Halladay (10-2, 2.56) C.M. Wang (1-6, 10.06)
Sunday Scott Richmond (6-5, 3.69) Joba Chamberlain (4-2, 3.89)
Monday Ricky Romero (6-3, 2.85) Andy Pettitte (8-3, 4.25)
The series begins with Burnett facing his former team — he was booed off the mound when he lost against Halladay on May 12. Burnett is coming off his best start as a Yankee, while lefty Tallet gave up five runs in a loss against the Phillies last time out.

Saturday’s matchup looks like the most lopsided ever, but to Wang’s credit, his numbers have been a lot better lately. In fact, since his dreadful beginning to the season, his ERA has improved in each of his last eight appearances. Halladay has been great all season, but is coming off a recent DL stint.

Chamberlain hasn’t reached the seventh inning since June 1, and only has four wins to his credit. However, he never gets shelled, so the team has a chance to win and is 10-5 in games he starts. Richmond was good last time out, but took the loss against the Rays.

Pettitte has won three of his last four decisions, and Romero has been one of the hottest pitchers in the league. He’s 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA in his last starts and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 20 innings pitched at Yankee Stadium.

Lineup for Friday:
Blue Jays Lineup: Yankees Lineup:
Marco Scutaro SS Derek Jeter SS
Aaron Hill 2B Johnny Damon LF
Adam Lind DH Mark Teixeira 1B
Scott Rolen 3B Alex Rodriguez 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells CF Nick Swisher RF
Alex Rios RF Hideki Matsui DH
David Dellucci LF Francisco Cervelli C
Raul Chavez C Brett Gardner CF

Lineup Note: Cervelli is starting for the second game in a row as Jorge Posada is resting a bruised thumb.

This is a very important series against a division opponent. I wouldn’t expect more than taking three of four. These Jays are feisty and always have it out for the Yankees.

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