The New York Yankees (3-3) were able to bounce back from their disappointing series in Houston by taking two of three up in Canada against the Toronto Blue Jays. On Sunday afternoon, Brett Gardner hit the first home run of the entire season for the Bronx Bombers. It was a series that saw the debuts of Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda in pinstripes, Derek Jeter passing Paul Molitor on the all-time hit list, and a controversial play at the plate that involved replay on Saturday. Now, the scene shifts to Yankee Stadium as New York will begin their nine-game home stand against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles (2-4) had a tough schedule to begin their season as they took on the two teams, the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers, who competed against each other in last year’s ALCS. Baltimore has pitched to a 5.86 ERA over the first week, which is 27th in all of Major League Baseball. The offensive standout for Buck Showalter‘s team has been Nelson Cruz, who has two home runs and four RBI on the young season. The team also is breaking in a new closer in Tommy Hunter, who has two saves in two opportunities.
Last year, the Yankees were 10-9 against the Baltimore Orioles. Considering these two teams also played an intense five-game series in the 2012 ALDS, there is no reason not to think why the meetings between these two teams should not be equally on intense.
On this edition of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, I spoke with Scott Cahoon from Birds Watcher to breakdown this week’s pitching match-ups and some players to watch for both teams in this week’s series. Here are some of the topics that we discussed on the show:
- Thoughts on the Orioles’ start to the season
- Tommy Hunter’s adjustment to the closer roles
- Manny Machado Injury Update
- Ubaldo Jimenez‘ rocky Orioles debut
- Hiroki Kuroda‘s home dominance and why he is due for a win!
- Wei Yin-Chen’s fly ball tendencies
- Ivan Nova‘s lack of command vs. Houston
- Tanaka’s Home debut
- Miguel Gonzalez – last start a blip or trend?
- Players To Watch (Orioles: Matt Wieters, Adam Jones)
- Yankees: Brett Gardner and Yangervis Solarte.