On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, I started the show by talking about the New York Yankees (35-33) losing two out of three to the Oakland Athletics. While Vidal Nuno left a lot to be desired with his poor pitching performance on Sunday, the team did a good job getting to Sonny Gray on Friday when David Phelps shutout the A’s and held them to two hits over six innings. Derek Jeter continued his success at the plate with three hits in the series as well.
While the Yankees dropping the last two in Oakland was disappointing, the team still managed to go 5-4 on the nine-game road trip. Now, the Yankees get set to head home to take on the Toronto Blue Jays, a team who they have not seen since the first week of the season. That being said, they will see a lot of them in the days to come considering the two teams will face each other six times over the next nine days.
The Toronto Blue Jays (41-30) have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. Even after a disappointing 2013 season, it was a given that the offense was an above-average lineup, and it has proven form so far this year. With Edwin Encarnacion (20 home runs, 54 RBI’s) and Jose Bautista (.314, 15 HR, 47 RBI’s) leading the way, Toronto is third in all of baseball in runs scored, second in slugging percentage, and leads all of baseball in home runs with 92.
The question has always been the rotation for John Gibbons‘ squad, but that has partially been answered by the great first half Mark Buehrle has had. Buehrle, who will start Wednesday’s game against Chase Whitley, has 10 wins on the season (tied with Tuesday’s Yankees’ starter, Masahiro Tanaka) and a 2.28 ERA. Overall, the Blue Jays have lost six of their last ten games, but this is still a team that is far different from the squad the Yankees saw in April. Two notable Blue Jays’ players who didn’t play in that series who will be in the Bronx this week are shortstop Jose Reyes (15 stolen bases) and closer Casey Janssen (12 saves in 14 chances).
For this episode, I spoke with Jason Ramnauth from Jays Journal to talk about his thoughts on why Toronto is in first place as well as the mindset of the Blue Jays as they head into Yankee Stadium, a place where the team went 0-10 just a season ago. Here are some of the other topics that were discussed on the show:
- HOPE Week will be this week at Yankee Stadium
- Marcus Stroman (Tuesday’s starter) making a good impression in his first three starts
- Tanaka facing Toronto for the second time this season
- Are Buehrle’s last two losses a blip or a trend?
- Chase Whitley trying to build off pitching into the eighth inning against Seattle
- Drew Hutchinson’s solid road numbers this season (Thursday’s Jays’ starter)
- Can Phelps somewhat resemble how he pitched against Oakland?
- Blue Jays’ Players To Watch (Jason: Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera, Ricky: Jose Reyes)
- Yankees’ Players To Watch: Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran
- Alfonso Soriano with good numbers lifetime against Buehrle?
- Where does Casey Janssen rank among the top closers in the division?
- Update on Adam Lind‘s foot injury