This week was special for the New York Yankees in a lot of ways. We had HOPE Week and it culminated with the always entertaining Old-Timer’s Day at the Stadium. Even though it seemed like New York blew an opportunity to win in the first game of their series against the Chicago White Sox, they were still able to salvage a split of the series thanks to timely home runs from Robinson Cano and great pitching from Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes.
Now, the Yankees hit the road for their 4th of July week as part of a seven-game trip to end the first half of the season. It begins in St. Petersburg, Florida as the Bombers take on the suddenly falling Tampa Bay Rays. In the beginning of the season, Tampa seemed to have the Yankees’ number. However, New York has four of the last six meetings and has a chance to bury the Rays in the standings. Tampa has lost six of their last seven and 17 of their last 26 at home.
They have not received good, consistent performances from their offense except for maybe second baseman Ben Zobrist. This is mainly because of the absence of their perennial All-Star at third base Evan Longoria, who has been out due to a hamstring injury. The pitching has been good from their ace David Price and closer Fernando Rodney, but they need the offense to help them out.
What could be the antidote for them this week? The Yankees are throwing Freddy Garcia and David Phelps, both of whom are on pitch counts for their starts. Unless the bats come to play in Tropicana Field, a place where New York has lost their last seven games, then they will be in for a long series.
For this podcast, I talk with Steve Kinsella from DRaysBay.com. Steve joined me on the show last week to talk about the Cleveland Indians, but today he joined me to break down the pitching matchups, the Rays’ offensive woes and what direction their front office will take as we get closer to the trade deadline. Also, we get into a good discussion about pine tar on gloves and Dewayne Wise.
Enjoy the Show and have a Happy 4th of July. Keep in mind, this Thursday, we will have our last show of the first half of the season as we break down the second series of the year against the Boston Red Sox.