Last weekend at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees (82-74) saw two of their greatest pitchers of the last 20 years received their swan songs. Andy Pettitte announced his retirement on Friday and pitched a great game on Sunday, giving up only two runs over 7+ innings. Of course, we saw the great ceremony that honored Mariano Rivera, including a performance from Metallica. As those players are seeing their careers come to a close, the Yankees saw their 2013 pennant hopes virtually come to a close despite winning two of three from the San Francisco Giants. New York is four games back of the second wild card spot with just six games left in the season. Even if the Yankees win out, their chances are slim to none. To add injury to disappointment, CC Sabathia will miss the rest of the season with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. That being said, they get to play a role of a potential spoiler for the first time in five years.
The Tampa Bay Rays (87-69) have rebounded from struggles early on in September and seem once again to be clicking all cylinders. Tampa Bay has won four straight games and were able to eliminate the Baltimore Orioles from wild card contention with some dramatic wins in a sweep this weekend. This included an 18 inning game on Friday night that Tampa Bay was able to win via the help of a David DeJesus RBI single. This is a Tampa team that will play its last six games on the road and in the AL East. The problem for the Yankees is that they have to face the Rays’ top three starters in Matt Moore, David Price, and Alex Cobb in this series.
On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show presented by BaldVinny.com (recorded Sunday night), I give my take on the pending retirements of Rivera and Pettitte and what Yankees’ fans should remember them for as this era comes to a close. Plus, David Hill from Rays Colored Glasses joins the show to talk about Tampa’s push for the Wild Card, the impact of Wil Myers on Evan Longoria in the lineup and the improvements of Fernando Rodney in the closer role. Also, why one Rays’ starter could play an impact in the bullpen down the stretch and David and I give our players to watch in the series.