What a difference a week makes in the world of the New York Yankees (46-39). After dropping five straight, including a sweep to the hands of the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, the Bronx Bombers finally brought the bats to the party against the Minnesota Twins. At Target Field. the Yanks were able to win all four games of the series against Minnesota with great hitting from Robinson Cano, The Yankee second baseman was 7-15 with three home runs and 9 RBI’s in the series. On Thursday, Ichiro Suzuki finished a home run shy of the cycle and Vernon Wells had three RBI’s in the victory that gave New York the sweep that they had to have. There are more new faces in New York with the acquisition of Luis Cruz at shortstop and a new wrinkle to the rotation with Ivan Nova taking over Hiroki Kuroda‘s start Friday due to a hip flexor problem for Kuroda. Last week, the Yankees failed their litmus test against possible contending teams. This weekend, they get to take a re-test.
The Baltimore Orioles (48-38) have won five straight against the Yankees for the first time since 1996 and things have been on the up for Buck Showalter all season. This week, however, the team struggled in the Windy City, losing two of three to the Chicago White Sox. The problem for the O’s is they do have 117 home runs on the season, but they give up 117 home runs, which is the most in the major leagues. Now, the Orioles did add to their starting pitching by trading for Cubs’ pitcher Scott Feldman on Tuesday for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Feldman brings depth to a rotation that has the second-worst ERA in the majors.
This is an offense, however, that is second in the majors in runs scored. First baseman Chris Davis will look to continue his success against the Yankees after hitting three home runs against New York last weekend. With the two teams separated by just 1.5 games in the Wild Card standings, it is a chance for both teams to separate from each other in the standings, and for the Yankees, win a series against a contending team before the first half of the season ends next weekend.
On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show (recorded Wednesday), presented by BaldVinny.com, I discuss the latest Yankees’ injury news, the impact of a possible Michael Pineda to the bullpen move, and the importance of a good series against the Orioles this weekend. Steve Katz from BirdsWatcher.com joins me to talk about Davis’ home runs, Manny Machado‘s doubles, the Feldman trade, and gives us a look back on his take of the Orioles’ sweep of the Yankees last weekend.