On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, I started off by recapping the New York Yankees losing two out of three to the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. After Carlos Beltran hit a walk-off three-run homer off of Zach Britton on Friday, the next two games featured a lack of offense from New York. Overall, the Bronx Bombers would only score one run in the final 18 innings of the series. This included Sunday’s game on Old Timer’s Day, where the team got shut out and saw Masahiro Tanaka take his second loss of the season. While New York did have a successful homestand at 4-2, losing the final two games of the series has to sting a little bit. Now, the Yankees (38-35) will head up to Canada to face the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that they swept at Yankee Stadium last week and is going through a slump of their own.
The Toronto Blue Jays (42-35) have lost 11 of their last 15 games, including losing two out of three to the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. Last week, the Blue Jays’ bats struggled to hit Yankee pitching, as they managed to score eight runs over the course of three games. Toronto got a case of the injury bug over the weekend, as third baseman Brett Lawrie fractured his right index finger on Sunday and is heading to the disabled list. Plus, slugger Jose Bautista is experiencing left leg tightness and will have a MRI on Monday. Even with the lack of offense, first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (24 HR, 63 RBI) is still on a tear, as he has hit three homers and driven in eight runs over the past week.
The Yankees will see the same three pitchers that they saw last week at Yankee Stadium as Marcus Stroman, Mark Buehrle, and Drew Hutchison are scheduled to take the mound at Rogers Centre in this series. The only different pitcher that will throw for the Yankees in this series is Hiroki Kuroda on Wednesday. Chase Whitley and David Phelps will take the ball on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Some of these pitchers have been the victim of a lack of run support, including Buehrle. The ten-game winner is 1-3 with a 2.30 ERA this month. After last week was seen as a statement series for the Yankees, this series could be seen as a statement chance for Toronto. This is the case because the Jays are 1-5 against New York this season. At least Toronto is away from the Bronx, considering they have lost 16 straight games at Yankee Stadium.
For this episode, I spoke with Jeff Morten from Jays Journal to get his thoughts on the impact of the Lawrie and Bautista injuries, the main cause of Toronto’s struggles in the last two weeks, and much more. Here are some of the topics that we discussed below:
- Takeaways from the Toronto-New York series that took place at Yankee Stadium?
- Pitching matchup breakdown
- Yankees needing to stay patient against Stroman, who threw 98 pitches in 3.2 IP last Tuesday
- Stroman’s comfort level at Rogers Centre
- Chase Whitley keeping the Yankees in the ball game
- Mark Buehrle not having a win since June 1st, but still pitching solid baseball
- David Phelps pitching well against great lineups – 115 pitches in his last start vs. Toronto
- Yankees dominating Drew Hutchison in two games this year
- Hiroki Kuroda‘s ERA going down as the months goes on
- Blue Jays’ three-man catcher rotation (Josh Thole, Dioner Navarro, Erik Kratz)
- Player To Watch from Toronto: Jeff: Juan Francisco
- Yankees’ Players To Watch (Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira)
- Is Jason Hammel more realistic for Toronto than Jeff Samardzija?
- Return of Colby Rasmus to the lineup
- Is John Gibbons being too cautious with Casey Janssen?