The Yankees got exactly what they needed in the series finale yesterday afternoon from starter Brandon McCarthy, as he tossed an absolute beauty, a 4-hit, complete game shutout, giving the Yankees’ bullpen a much-needed breather, as the Bombers avoided the sweep at the hands of the lowly Houston Astros, winning 3-0. The Yankees needed the sweep, and almost were swept themselves. If they have any intentions of getting to October in Derek Jeter‘s final run, it needs to start now. A players’-only, closed-door meeting was held to air out the issues, and they put up three whopping runs on the board. Let’s see if that meeting instilled any fire or sense of urgency to a lineup that has been one of the worst in the American League this year.
Shane Greene will toe the rubber once again for the Yankees. The right-handed rookie has surprised many, posting a 3-1 record, with a 2.91 ERA during his initial campaign in the Bronx. His last time out, Greene really opened some eyes, by striking out 10 Tampa Bay Rays over 6 innings of 2-run ball, and nothing the victory.
On the other side of the coin, the much-maligned and rumored trade piece, John Danks (9-8, 4.98 ERA) will face the Yankees. In his last three outings, which cover 17 innings pitched, Danks is 0-2, with a 8.46 ERA. Danks hasn’t had great success against the Yankees, posting a 2-3 record, with an ERA of 5.67. A handful of Yankees have had success against the White Sox starter, including Mark Teixeira (.667, 1 HR, 5 RBI), Ichiro Suzuki (.303 in 33 ABs), Derek Jeter (.455 in 11 ABs) and Jacoby Ellsbury (6-for-10). It could be a one-sided affair in the series opener. If Greene pitches the way he has, the Yankees’ bats could catch fire against a relative easy target in Danks.