On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, brought to you by Knoda.com, I started off the show by talking about the New York Yankees’ recent success. Ever since dropping the first two games to the Houston Astros, the team has won five in a row and the offense is starting to heat up. In a makeup game on Monday night against the Kansas City Royals, the team put up an 8-1 win against James Shields, including home runs from Stephen Drew and Martin Prado. Prado has been one of the key contributors over the last five games, putting up nine hits in 21 at-bats with four doubles, two home runs, six RBI’s, and a walk-off single that he had in Friday night’s win. The other main event during this winning streak was Brian McCann‘s walk-off three-run homer in Sunday’s win against Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox.
Over this winning streak, the Yankees have outscored opponents 27-11 and are now within 2.5 games of the Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card spot and six games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. The Yankees (68-61) will now continue their seven game road trip at Comerica Park against the Detroit Tigers, a team in which they took three out of four against at Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago. Detroit is going through their own issues, with an inconsistent offense and is now in second place in the AL Central.
In fact, the Tigers (70-59) would be out of the playoffs if the season ended today. They are a half game behind the Mariners for the second Wild Card spot and 1.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central. Their inconsistent struggles could be defined by what happened to them in a recent four-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. In the first two games of the series, the team was outscored 32-10. In the final two games of the series, Brad Ausmus‘ team reversed the trend by dominating Minnesota by a score 21-10. In the 17 games since the Yankees’ series, the team is 8-9.
The offense hasn’t really been the issue for Tigers considering they are third this month among all the teams in baseball in runs scored and batting average. When you talk about this offense, the two big names have been designated hitter Victor Martinez (.328, 25 HR, 84 RBI’s) and Miguel Cabrera (.308, 17 HR’s, 89 RBI’s). However, Cabrera has had a rough go of it this month, hitting .293 with one home run and eight RBI’s. This includes the Yankees’ series in which he went 1-for-10 with an RBI.
While the Tigers won’t be throwing three Cy Young winners this time around, Detroit will still throw out a 14-game winner in Rick Porcello on Tuesday and David Price, who gave up only one hit in a loss last time out, on Wednesday. The Tigers have a 4.22 ERA this month, which is nearly less than a run than the Yankees’ team ERA of 3.55. The problem hasn’t been the starting pitching, it’s been the bullpen. Closer Joe Nathan continues to struggle with Joakim Soria on the disabled list. Nathan has a near five ERA this month and has given up a run in each of his last three appearances.
For this episode, I talked with Josie Parnell, the co-editor of Motor City Bengals to get her thoughts on this week’s series as well as the Tigers’ wild series in Minnesota. We also discussed her thoughts on the comments Nathan has made throughout the season as well as what Detroit has to do in order to make the playoffs. Here are some of the other topics Josie and I discussed during the show:
- Our thoughts on the last Tigers-Yankees series at Yankee Stadium
- Detroit’s wild series in Minnesota
- The impact of a possible return to the rotation for Anibal Sanchez this weekend
- Pitching Matchups
- Rick Porcello having a fast pace to his outings, which includes three complete games
- Brandon McCarthy (Tuesday’s Yankees’ starter) with seven or more K’s in his last four starts
- David Price being everything as advertised for Detroit (Keep an eye on Brian McCann in this game)
- Shane Greene (Wednesday’s Yankees’ starter) ability to keep the damage down after the Abreu HR on Friday
- Josie’s scouting report on Detroit’s likely Thursday starter, Kyle Lobstein
- Hiroki Kuroda (Thursday’s Yankees’ starter) giving up two runs in each of his last two starts
- Tigers’ Players To Watch: (Josie: Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos, Me: Torii Hunter)
- Yankees’ Players To Watch: Martin Prado and Carlos Beltran
- My reflections of Joe Torre Day last Saturday