On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, I started off the episode by talking about the New York Yankees (53-48) taking three out of four games from the Texas Rangers to improve their record on the ten-game homestand to 6-1. Despite making five errors in a loss on Monday, New York rallied to tie Tuesday’s game in the 13th inning, and then would win it in the 14th on a Chase Headley walk-off single. There was the shortened game on Wednesday, where the Yankees were able to defeat Yu Darvish and Brett Gardner having a home run and two RBI in the series. Of course, the big move that the Yankees made was the trade for Chase Headley. By trading Yangervis Solarte and Rafael De Paula for Headley, the Yankees get an every-day third baseman and a player that is currently hitting .324 in the month of July.
The other news for the Yankees is that the team will make a decision on whether or not first baseman Mark Teixeira will need to go on the disabled list after he missed all four games of the Rangers’ series due to a strained lat. With the success the Yankees have had since the All-Star Break, the Bronx Bombers now are tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card spot in the American League, and three games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the division. New York also acquired Chris Capuano via trade on Thursday and are interested in starting pitchers Ian Kennedy and Jorge De La Rosa. With all the rumors buzzing just a week before the trade deadline, the Yankees get set to finish the homestand against the aforementioned Blue Jays (54-49), who have had little success in the Bronx to say the least over the last few years.
The Blue Jays have lost 16 straight games in the Bronx, having not won a game in Yankee Stadium since September 2012. That being said, this is a Toronto team that has also been playing some good baseball since the All-Star Break. Toronto is 5-2 in their last seven games since they went into the break losing eight of their last ten. The problem for the Blue Jays has been their injuries, as Edwin Encarnacion (strained quad), Adam Lind (fracture in his right foot), and Brett Lawrie (broken finger) are all out at the moment. Even with those players out of the lineup, Jose Bautista has still been the main power hitter, with three homers in the month of July. Also, Melky Cabrera is leading the team with a .311 batting average and has 13 RBI this month.
During the Red Sox series, the team promoted pitcher Aaron Sanchez from Triple-A Buffalo to help strengthen their bullpen due to Steve Delabar being in Triple-A and Sergio Santos being designated for assignment. Right now, the Blue Jays are hoping that their starting pitching can pick up where Marcus Stroman left off. Stroman had a no-hitter into the seventh inning in Thursday’s win against the Boston Red Sox. The series will start with Mark Buehrle on the mound. Buehrle, who is the team’s number one starter, has not won a game since June 1. Toronto is currently 24th in all of baseball with a combined ERA of 4.15. The question now will be whether or not general manager Alex Anthopoulos will go out and trade for either a starting pitcher or a hitter to improve the team’s playoff chances.
For this episode, we also made a special announcement. Starting in the next week or so, the show will now be sponsored by Knoda.com, a site that allows fans to make their own predictions and compete with your friends to see who can get the most right.
Our guest for the show was Brandon Nickel, a staff writer from Jays Journal. Brandon gave his take on the Aaron Sanchez promotion as well as what needs the Blue Jays need to fill at the trade deadline and the importance of this series for Toronto going forward. Here are some topics that Brandon and I discussed on the show:
- Was the Red Sox series a huge stepping stone for the Blue Jays in Brandon’s opinion?
- Injury Updates on Encarnacion, Lind, and Lawrie
- Pitching Matchup Breakdown
- Buehrle not getting much run support from the offense as of late.
- Hiroki Kuroda (Friday’s Yankees’ starter) giving up two runs combined in his last two starts
- Yankees’ domination of Drew Hutchison (Saturday’s Blue Jays’ starter)
- Shane Greene throwing 113 pitches in his last start. Were the errors partially Yankee Stadium nerves?
- J.A. Happ (Sunday’s Jays’ starter) hasn’t given up a home run since June 21!
- Which Chase Whitley will show up against Toronto in his third game against them on Sunday?
- Blue Jays’ Players To Watch: (Brandon: Ryan Goins and Anthony Gose, Me: Juan Francisco and Colby Rasmus)
- Yankees’ Players To Watch: (Me: Chase Headley and Francisco Cervelli)
- Toronto’s Trade Deadline Needs: Could Alex Rios be returning to the Blue Jays?)