The Yankees will open a three game weekend series with the first place Oakland A’s tonight at 10:05 PM. David Phelps (1-4, 4.88 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bombers as they go up against the Oakland ace and one of the best young pitchers in the game, Sonny Gray. Gray is 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA. Gray is not a pitcher in the mold of a hard-throwing, strikeout machine. He is a control pitcher, who gets a lot of groundball outs. His fastball will hit the mid-90s, and he changes speeds exceptionally well with a slow curveball. Phelps meanwhile. has lost his last four decisions, the longest such stretch of his career, and will look to right the ship against the best team in the American League.
One thing the Yankees will need to avoid in this series is running on Yoenis Cespedes. The man has a cannon for an arm, and uses it. He has multiple Web Gems this week, throwing guys out at home and third. The Yankees, who are prone to base running blunders this season, need to avoid running themselves out of an inning against one of the premier arms in the American League.
Some things to look for in tonight’s game:
- Solarate Sits: Yankees’ rookie star Yangervis Solarte will get the night off, as backup Kelly Johnson will start for the Bombers at third base and bat in the nine hole. No injury to report on Solarte, just a day off according to manager Joe Girardi.
- Bad Streak: The Yankees have lost seven straight games in the Coliseum. That is the second-longest road losing streak to the A’s franchise since 1914 (lost 10 straight from 9/9/89-5/1/91).
- Good Streak: Jacoby Ellsbury will play tonight, despite a bruised hip suffered in last night’s game. He brings his 16-game hitting streak to game, which is the longest active streak in the majors, and third longest this season in the American League.