On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, brought to you by Knoda.com, I started off the show by giving my take on the New York Yankees (64-61) losing two out of three to the Houston Astros. It was Brandon McCarthy‘s complete game shutout on Thursday afternoon that saved the Yankees from being swept and losing five out of six to Houston on the season. New York did receive some injury news during the series as Carlos Beltran has missed the last two games due to more pain in his elbow. The team called up Zealous Wheeler and sent down Chase Whitley on Thursday to bring another offensive bat to the roster.
Even though Brian McCann and Stephen Drew went deep in the series, the offense still struggled with nine runs over the course of the series and have now lost four of their last five at home. Despite the series loss to the Astros, the team still remains in the Wild Card race, trailing the Mariners for the sec ond Wild Card spot by four games. The team gets set to finish a six-game homestand this week against the Chicago White Sox (59-68).
These two teams faced each other back in late May, when they split a four-game series up at U.S. Cellular Field. On Thursday night, the White Sox sent second baseman Gordon Beckham to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later in return. It has been a rough year for Robin Ventura‘s team as the White Sox come into Yankee Stadium after being swept at home by the Baltimore Orioles and losers of 10 of their last 14 games.
That being said, Yankees’ fans are in a treat with Jose Abreu coming to the Bronx this week. The White Sox’ rookie first baseman has had an outstanding season. Abreu is hitting .303 on the season with 32 home runs and 90 RBI’s and did not face the Yankees back in late May when he was hurt. Despite Chicago’s lackluster record, they still have an offense that is in the top ten in league in runs, batting average. slugging percentage, and home runs.
As for the pitching, that has been a problem for the White Sox all season as the team has a combined ERA of 4.43, which is third to last in all of baseball. The one bright spot is starting pitcher Chris Sale (Sunday’s starter vs. Chris Capuano). Sale, who threw six-innings of one hit ball against the Yankees back in late May with ten strikeouts has seven or more strikeouts in each of his last five starts. The other issue for Chicago is in the bullpen, where they have a combined ERA of 4.48 and are trying to find a regular closer. Currently, Jake Petricka holds the team lead in saves with nine. [related-topic]
For this episode, I spoke with Louie Penna, a staff writer over at Southside Showdown, to get his thoughts on the upcoming series between the Yankees and the White Sox. Louie talked about the impact that Avisail Garcia could have on the lineup the rest of the way as well as the rise in the system for the third pick in this year’s draft, pitcher Carlos Rodon. Here are the other topics that Louie and I discussed on the show:
- Louie’s reaction to the Gordon Beckham trade to Los Angeles – Could the team have received more in a trade?
- Impressions from the last Yankees-White Sox series
- Jose Abreu‘s Standout Season
- Pitching Matchups
- John Danks (Friday’s White Sox’ starter) giving up 4+ runs in four of his last five starts:
- Can he repeat his shutout performance he had against the Yankees back on May 24?
- Shane Greene (Friday’s Yankees’ starter) coming off of a ten strikeout performance vs. Tampa Bay
- Scott Carroll (Saturday’s White Sox’ starter) with a 8.15 ERA in three starts this month
- Hiroki Kuroda (Saturday’s Yankees’ starter) only getting ten runs from Yankees’ offense in last four games combined
- Chris Sale averaging nine strikeouts per start this month
- Chris Capuano tiring out in the 5th and 6th inning last two starts respectively, but racking up the strikeouts
- White Sox’ hitters to watch: (Louie: Alexei Ramirez, Me: Conor Gillaspie and Adam Dunn)
- Yankees’ hitters to watch: Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann
- Yankees potentially facing James Shields in a makeup game in Kansas City on Monday
- How does the White Sox’ front office go about fixing the bullpen in the offseason?
- Does Louie think that the Royals and Tigers will both make the playoffs this year?
- Should David Phelps be a starter or bullpen piece for the Yankees going forward?