The New York Yankees (34-25), fresh off a Subway Series sweep of the New York Mets, are now set to begin a six-game road trip tonight versus the Atlanta Braves (34-26). The Yanks will then travel to Washington, D.C. to take on the current NL East leading Nationals (35-23).
The Yankees are winners in thirteen of their last seventeen games dating back then they were 21-21. The Braves are also clicking once again winning eight of ten after an eight-game losing streak. The series is very important for both teams as they are each trying to stick close to first place. The Yankees are one-half game back of the Tampa Bay Rays while the Braves have moved back to within two games of the Nationals.
In tonight’s series opener, Yankees youngster Ivan Nova (7-2, 5.09 ERA) could tie for the league lead in wins with a victory tonight. Nova is 23-6 since last season and has won his last three starts. His last time out he allowed one run on four hits and walk in a victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Nova has never made a start against the Braves and as yet to face anyone on their roster.
The Braves counter with one of their young pitchers, Randall Delgado (4-5, 4.26 ERA) who has won his last two starts, including a one-run effort on two hits and walk in 6.1 innings against the Miami Marlins in his last start. Delgado has never faced the Yankees, but has set down Raul Ibanez and Chris Stewart twice a piece without allowing a hit.
In the middle game of the series, the Yanks trot out CC Sabathia to face Mike Minor. Sabathia (7-3, 3.39 ERA), is coming off a rough game against the Rays. He allowed five runs (three earned) despite striking out twelve batters.
Minor has been a major disappointment for the Braves. He holds a 4-5 record with a 6.57 ERA. He left-hander is very erratic. He holds a 1.49 WHIP in 63 innings pitched. In his last start, Minor managed to allow only one run on four hits and five walks in five innings.
In the series finale, Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 3.46 ERA) is set to make the start assuming all is well with his bruised left foot. Kuroda suffered the injury in his last start against the Mets when Daniel Murphy lined a ball off Kuroda’s foot. Kuroda stated from the beginning that he would be fine to make the start. He is 2-0 with 2 ER allowed in his last 22 innings pitched. Kuroda has made five starts in his career against the Braves all while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He did not fare well in the win column (1-4) but pitched to a 2.10 ERA in 34.1 innings. He’s given fits to Michael Bourn (4-for-18) and Dan Uggla (4-for-17), while Martin Prado (3-for-8, 1 HR) has had success in a small sample size.
The Yankees draw Tim Hudson in the final game of the series. He is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA so far this season. Hudson’s last outing was a complete game shutout of the Marlins in Miami. Hudson carries a 1-3 record with a 3.78 ERA in 10 starts against the Yankees. Only one of those starts came during his Braves tenure and he allowed five earned runs in five innings in that game. Alex Rodriguez has had plenty of success against Hudson (14-for-39 with 3 HR) and Russell Martin was has fared poorly against the 14-year veteran (1-for-10).
Below is a chart of the statistical leaders for both teams through yesterday’s games.
This should be a hard fought series between two teams who are clicking in most aspects of the game and should make for some good baseball.
Topics: Alex Rodriguez, Atlanta Braves, CC Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, Dan Uggla, Derek Jeter, Detroit Tigers, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Martin Prado, Mike Minor, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Rafael Soriano, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Tim Hudson, Washington Nationals, Yankees