The first round of the Subway Series turned out to be instant success for the New York Yankees. During their sweep, they blew out a quality pitcher in Johan Santana, got some solid starting pitching, and some timely hitting. The clutch hitting culminated with Russell Martin‘s walk-off home run in the 9th inning on Sunday to end the sweep. The Bronx Bombers have won four straight and went 5-1 on the homestand. However, they now face a tough six-game road trip against two solid National League East teams.
It starts tonight as the Yankees begin six games in seven days with the Atlanta Braves (34-26). The Braves have won six of their last seven and just like the Yankees, they have received solid outings from their starting pitchers since June 1st. Plus, they just received some great news that their franchise leader, Chipper Jones, is back from a bruised calf injury he suffered on May 18th.
It is important against Atlanta to get the lead early especially since they have one of the best closers in the game in Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel has a 1.53 ERA and has eighteen saves in nineteen chances. However, manager Freddie Gonzalez has used his back end of the bullpen very sparingly after overworking them in their collapse last season. But, Atlanta is firing on all cylinders and this is a perfect test for the Yankees both on the mound and with the bats.
For this podcast, I talked with Fred Owens of Tomahawktake.com to talk about the pitching matchups, Atlanta’s surging offense, their bullpen, as well as reminiscing about John Smoltz. In turn, Fred asks me about the Soler sweepstakes, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and former Brave Andruw Jones.
Keep in mind, Fred will also be joining us next Sunday on the show to talk about the second part of this series that will take place at Yankee Stadium next week. Also, on Thursday night, at 8 PM EST, Aaron Somers will join me from DistrictonDeck.com to talk about all things Washington Nationals!