Coming off a tough series in which the Yankees lost two of three to the Red Sox at the Stadium, the Yankees will look to bounce back tonight, against the last place Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays come into this game with a record of 35-49, which feels very unusual, considering that every year since about 2007, the Rays have always been right there, fighting with the Yankees for that division crown. This year has been a different story however, as injuries, and lack of team chemistry has buried the Rays at the halfway point. The Yankees will look to capitalize on that.
On the mound for the Yankees tonight will be right-hander David Phelps. Phelps is coming off a start in which he was roughed up by the Blue Jays, for 6 runs over 5 innings. While not nearly as lethal offensively as the Blue Jays, the Rays should still not be taken lightly. When Phelps starts, it’s basically the same story every time. He gets through the first 4 or 5 innings without issue, and then he suddenly loses it, and the game falls apart. Phelps will have to make sure he corrects that, if the Yankees want any shot at a win tonight.
Opposing Phelps and the Yankees will be 25-year-old Chris Archer. Archer has had a pretty good season for the Rays, coming into this game with a 4-5 record, with a 3.29 ERA. In the past, Archer has dominated Yankees hitters. Ichiro Suzuki, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brian Roberts and Alfonso Soriano are a combined 4 for 28 when facing Archer, so unless he doesn’t have his good stuff, don’t expect too much run support from this Yankee lineup tonight…(did you really anyway?)
Things To Look For
Captain Clutch: Derek Jeter is batting .389 during a five-game hitting streak. He’ll look to continue that tonight.
Can Beltran Get On Hot Streak? Carlos Beltran went 3 for 4 with a homer in yesterday’s defeat after going 2 for 25 in his previous seven contests. Is this the first step towards a hot streak, or was it just one good game? Only time will tell.
Tex Message(s): Mark Teixeira has been on a power surge lately, going yard 4 times in his last 8 games. Will there be more tonight?