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 (70-63) losing two out of three to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. For the Yankees, it became a disappointing road trip. After beating Kansas City in the first game, the Yankees lost four out of six to the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays for an under .500 road trip (3-4). The lowlights of the Toronto series came when the team was one-hit by Drew Hutchison in a 2-0 loss on Saturday and right fielder Jose Bautista hitting a home run in every game.
There were some highlights in the Blue Jays’ series, including Brett Gardner‘s extra-base hit filled weekend. Despite a rough August, Gardner finished the month on a high note, going 4-for-12 with a double, triple, home run, and two RBI. New York also had an injury during the series when Jacoby Ellsbury injured his ankle on a play at the plate during Friday night’s contest. Ellsbury did pinch-hit on Sunday afternoon, but the team is awaiting a MRI to find out the severity of the injury.
With the rosters now expanding to 40 as we are here in the month of September, every game becomes critical for the Bronx Bombers as they are now 8.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East and four games behind the Detroit Tigers for the second Wild Card spot. New York will look to start an extended winning streak tonight as they begin a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox (60-77).
Ever since the last Yankees-Red Sox series back in August (Yankees won two of three), the Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a 7-year, $72.5 million contract. Castillo, who is 27 years old, was playing in the Gulf Coast League Championship the past couple days vs. New York’s affiliate and is heading to AA on Wednesday.
John Farrell‘s team had lost eight straight games at one point during the month of August, but recently won four out of seven games on a road trip against the Blue Jays and Rays. Of course, Boston still has David Ortiz in the lineup, who is having another great season at the plate (.265, 30 HRs, 95 RBI). While Yoenis Cespedes is off to a great start (.276, 4 HRs, 22 RBI with the Red Sox), the team could be without second baseman Dustin Pedroia for this series. Pedroia (.280, 7 HRs, 51 RBI) has missed the last two games due to a concussion.
As for the pitching, the Red Sox as a whole had a 4.14 ERA in the month of August with the starters having a 4.29 ERA for the entire year (25th in baseball). Clay Buchholz has bounced back in his last two starts, giving up three earned runs in his last 17.2 innings pitched, including a complete game. The other issue that Boston faces with their pitching is at the closer spot. The usually reliable Koji Uehara had an ERA of over five in the month of August and has not appeared in a save situation since August 25.
For this episode, I talked with Sean Sylver, the co-editor of BoSox Injection, about his thoughts on the team’s signing of Castillo as well as whether or not this year’s team is worse than the one that was managed by Bobby Valentine back in 2012. Here are some of the other topics that Sean and I discussed during the show:
- Should Jackie Bradley Jr. still be part of the Red Sox’ future outfield plans?
- Should Boston have traded Koji Uehara and should he get the bulk of the save opportunities in September?
- Pitching Matchup Breakdown
- Joe Kelly (Tuesday’s Red Sox’ starter) with 18 walks in his first five outings in the American League
- Shane Greene (Tuesday’s Yankees’ starter) hasn’t given up more than three runs in his last six games
- Anthony Ranaudo (Wednesday’s Red Sox’ starter) has thrown six innings in each of his three starts
- Hiroki Kuroda (Wednesday’s Yankees’ starter) with much better command in his last three games (three walks)
- Allen Webster (Thursday’s Red Sox’ starter) has given up six runs in each of his last two starts
- Chris Capuano (Thursday’s Yankees’ starter) coming off of a solid outing against the Blue Jays
- Red Sox’ Players To Watch: (Sean: Yoenis Cespedes and Mookie Betts, Me: Brock Holt)
- Yankees’ Players To Watch: Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira