The New York Yankees went on the road for a grueling nine game trip to the West Coast and Detroit. They were able to pass the test with consistent quality starts from their starting pitching and the big bats coming through.The telling game of the road trip occurred last Sunday. After a tough loss against the Tigers on Saturday, Derek Jeter homered on the first pitch against reigning AL MVP Justin Verlander and Phil Hughes threw a complete game. Now, they face a six game homestand against some tough starting pitching from both the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Mets.
It all starts tonight against those pesky Rays who come back to the Bronx after beating the Orioles two out of three games over the weekend. After New York got swept in Tampa to open the year, they responded by winning two of three back in May at the Stadium. The two teams come into tonight’s game with the Rays only 1.5 games ahead of the Bronx Bombers. It will be tough to take two of three in this series for the Yanks with the prospects of facing both James Shields and David Price in this series.
However, that is not the major storyline. The big story is the return of Hideki Matsui. Matsui has been a Tampa Ray for a little under a month and already has two home runs for the team. When Godzilla returns, it is always an emotional story in New York after his great postseason in 2009 that led the Bombers to a World Series title. Manager Joe Maddon has been using him in left field at times as well, but you never know the lineup Tampa will throw out there without Evan Longoria once again.
Here is what I talk about on the latest edition of the Yanks Go Yard Podcast:
- Breakdown of the Yankees’ Road Trip
- Pitching Matchups
- Shields’ struggles with command
- Andy’s first AL East Test
- Cobb – a familiar face
- Progression, not Regression for Nova
- Price vs. CC – battle of red-hot aces
- Breakdown of Yankees’ first round draft pick!
- Matsui’s return to the Bronx
- Hitters to watch for Tampa
- Even they have pitching concerns!