Strange how the schedule works out sometimes. As noted in Friday’s Jays preview, the Yankees hosted Toronto last Labor Day weekend as well, and, in yet another parallel to 2010, once again follow that set up with a series at home against the Orioles.
As you may recall, a year ago the O’s surprisingly took the first two against the Yanks and were on the cusp of administering the first-ever sweep of the Yankees at new Yankee Stadium (and the first sweep of the Yankees in 2010) until Nick Swisher intervened and hit a two-run walkoff bomb against former Oriole closer Koji Uehara.
The two teams play their final set of the 2011 season starting this afternoon, with the first three games at Yankee Stadium while the fourth is down in Baltimore, making up the game that was rained out due to the hurricane a week and a half ago. The Yankees then get to travel to Los Angeles for a three-gamer on Friday, marking three games in three cities in three days. Can’t wait to see how crisp the Bombers are this weekend against the Halos.
Anyway, being that the Yanks and O’s basically just played each other, there isn’t all that much new to share with you. Baltimore’s still bad and the Yankees are still good. Be nice to see the Yanks close this set out in style after only managing a split in Baltimore last time out.
Probable Pitching Match-Ups
It’s possible the Yankees’ pitching plans will have changed, but as of this writing the following is how the rotation shakes out.
In today’s Labor Day matinee (1:05pm) Freddy Garcia will toe the rubber against
Jo-Jo Reyes Brian Matusz. The Yankees have torn the soft-tossing Reyes apart a handful of times as a member of the Blue Jays (12 ER over 8.1 innings); I see no reason for the carnage not to continue. Matusz has struggled since returning from AAA, including a six-run, 5.1-IP outing against the Yankees on August 28.
Tuesday night’s (7:05pm) game has Phil Hughes facing Tommy Hunter. Hunter, despite terrible peripherals, managed to keep the Yankees almost completely in check last time out. There’s no excuse for the Bombers not to have performed better against Hunter; I’d be shocked if he’s able to stifle them a second straight time. Hughes last saw Baltimore on April 14 when he gave up five runs in 4.1 innings and was subsequently sent to the DL.
The Wednesday afternoon (1:05pm) game features A.J. Burnett vs. Zach Britton, who was spectacular against the Yankees two weeks ago, and if he’s actually figured out what had been ailing him, he’ll continue to be a tough customer.
And after heading back down to Baltimore for the fourth game, Ivan Nova takes on Alfredo Simon on Thursday afternoon (1:05pm). Simon also threw strongly against the Yankees last time out, and so this could be a pretty good pitching duel.
The Yankees should have won three games in their last series with Baltimore, and that remains the prediction this time around — especially since they’ll be playing three of these four on their home turf.
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