On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show (recorded Thursday night before the end of the Yankees’ game), I talked about the Yankees’ successful sweep of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. The New York Yankees (34-31) did get some reinforcements back in this series, as Shawn Kelley has returned to the bullpen to give Joe Girardi another option to use late in the game. The starting pitching was excellent in Seattle, including Masahiro Tanaka, who won his tenth game of the season on Wednesday with a complete game and 11 strikeouts. As far as the offense goes, Derek Jeter seems to love playing on the West Coast, since he had seven hits in the Seattle and has 12 hits on the road against AL West teams this season. Jacoby Ellsbury had some clutch hits against the Mariners, which extended his hit streak to 16 games.
The Yankees are now 4-2 so far on this nine-game road trip. They will end that trip in Oakland this weekend to take on the Athletics, who took two out of three games in the series at Yankee Stadium last week. It was a series where first baseman Brandon Moss and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes each hit a pair of home runs and the Yankees’ bats scored eight runs against Oakland pitching.
Ever since that meeting last week, the Oakland A’s (40-26) have been 3-3 over their last six games. In these past few days, the talk of the A’s has been Cespedes. While he has a nine-game hitting streak, all the talk around the left fielder has centered around his excellent throwing arm. He was able to throw out Howie Kendrick at the plate on Tuesday and Albert Pujols at third base on Wednesday.
Even though Oakland’s offense is second in the majors in runs scored, one of their star players, third baseman Josh Donaldson, has been in a slump as of late. Donaldson has not recorded a hit in his last 23 at-bats. Despite these struggles of late, Oakland leads the AL West by 3.5 games and has the top team ERA in all of baseball (2.83). Sean Doolittle continues to shine in the ninth inning as the closer. He has not blown a save since April 15th and has not allowed a run since April 26th.
For this episode, I was joined by Wes Mills, the host of Gold Jersey Dynasty Talk Radio, an A’s show on Blog Talk Radio. Wes and I broke down the pitching matchups in this series, as well as if the A’s are looking to make a move between now and the trade deadline. Here are some other topics we discussed on this episode:
- Any concern over Josh Donaldson‘s slump?
- Thoughts on Oakland’s 3-3 record over the last six games
- Brandon Moss one of the key players in Oakland’s lineup
- Sonny Gray trying to shake off a rough outing in his last start (Friday’s A’s starter)
- David Phelps looking to improve on a rough start to the month of June (Friday’s Yankees’ starter)
- Hiroki Kuroda vs. Scott Kazmir re-Match on Saturday
- Vidal Nuno vs. Jesse Chavez re-match on Sunday
- Kuroda’s consistency over his last five games
- Kazmir becoming the number two starter in the A’s rotation
- Chavez’s recent struggles after a great first month
- Nuno looking to build on a good start vs. the M’s from Tuesday
- A’s Players To Watch (Wes: Stephen Vogt and Craig Gentry)
- Yankees’ Players To Watch (Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira)
- Has Cespedes been overlooked in this Oakland lineup?