The Yankees received an ace performance from their true ace last night when they needed it. Masahiro Tanaka was lights out again as he improved to an MLB-best 11-1 and the AL lead in ERA at 1.99. His 113 strikeouts trail only David Price of Tampa Bay for the best in the bigs. Now it’s time for the Yankees to roll rookie right-hander Chase Whitley (2-0 2.41 ERA) out to the mound to clinch a series win. The righty is coming off arguably his best start of the year in Seattle as he went 7.2 innings and gave up just two earned runs on five hits. Whitley extended his streak of starts without a walk to four, and added six strikeouts as well. The Yankees are 5-1 in Whitley’s starts this year.
The Blue Jays will turn to their ace in Mark Buehrle (10-3 2.28 ERA), in Game 2 of the series. The lefty is coming off a loss to divisional rival Baltimore, where he gave up four earned runs in 6.1 innings. Not known for his ability to put hitters away, Buehrle has struck out just 55 batters in his 94.2 innings (11 were in his opening start this year). Look for the Yankees to get the bat on the ball and hopefully take advantage of the short porch in right field.
What to Watch For…
Jeter Heating Up: Derek Jeter is 12-for-27 over his past 7 games (.444) with 7 runs, 2 doubles, and 3 RBI. Look for Jeter to stay hot, as he has a career batting average of .313 against Toronto, and in 38 at-bats, Jeter has a .368 average against tonight’s starter, Mark Buehrle.
Home Sweet Home: The Yankees have won an incredible 14 straight games at home against the Toronto Blue Jays dating all the way back to 9/19/12 … the Yankees’ 36-11 (.766) all-time record at the current Yankee Stadium vs. Toronto is the best for any Major League team over any other team at any current stadium, min. 30 games according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Close Call Dominance: The Yankees are an MLB best 20-11 in games decided by two runs or less. This may be due to the fact that the Yankees’ bullpen has a major league-leading 254 strikeouts in 215.1 innings.