June 11, 2010

Astros-Yankees series preview

The Yankees head back to the Bronx for three games against the worst team in the National League, the Astros, after taking two of three from the worst team in the American League, the Orioles.

Head to Head:
The Yankees have a very short history with the Astros — only six games — but they’ve had two very memorable events, both to the chagrin of Yankees fans.

First, the six-pitcher no-hitter. Roy Oswalt started it, left with an injury after an inning, and five relievers combined to allow no hits over the last eight. It was the last no-hitter at Yankee Stadium and the last time the Yankees have been no-hit. Not to mortify fans anymore of that game, but it just so happens they were no-hit on this day seven years ago.

Second, Chien-Ming Wang’s career-altering injury. While rounding the bases, Wang injured his foot and he was never the same. He went from a 38-game winner in two years to not even worth $5 million to the Yankees this past offseason. He hasn’t pitched yet this year for the Nationals.

Pitching Matchups:

Date: Astros starters Yankees starters
Fri., 7:05 p.m. Brett Myers (4-3, 3.01) Andy Pettitte (7-1, 2.47)
Sat., 1:05 p.m. W. Rodriguez (3-8, 4.95) J. Vazquez (5-5, 5.63)
Sun., 1:05 p.m. Brian Moehler (0-2, 6.12) Phil Hughes (8-1, 2.71)

Players to Watch:
Astros: Of a team with no .300-hitters, catcher Humberto Quintero is hitting .450 with a .900 slugging percentage in the last seven days. With Lance Berkman’s decline, Carlos Lee becomes the only major power threat.

Yankees: The team MVP Robinson Cano is still destroying the baseball, hitting .400 over the last week. He might have to sustain that this weekend if he’s forced into the cleanup role because of Alex Rodriguez’s groin injury.

The only game I’m worried about is Saturday. Wandy Rodriguez can pitch lights out sometimes and may want to show off his strikeout stuff against the Yankees. Two out of three at worst.

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