Series Preview: Yankees @ Indians
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
The Yankees needed to at least win three of four in Minnesota and that is exactly what they did. Now the Yankees head to Cleveland for a four-game series, and they need to do it all again. By that, I mean taking three of four. They must start winning series after series to get back to respectability and first place. They Bombers did their job against the Twins, and must now do the same to Cleveland.
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Yankees @ Indians
Shane Greene Monday, July 7th: 7:05 pm EST Justin Masterson
Masahiro Tanaka Tuesday, July 8th: 7:05 pm EST Trevor Bauer
Brandon McCarthy Wednesday, July 9th: 7:05 pm EST Josh Tomlin
David Phelps Thursday, July 10th: 7:05 pm EST T.J. House
Who’s Hot?: Michael Brantley and David Murphy have been on top of their game. Over the last week, Murphy is 5 for his last 14 on top of driving in four runs. However, Brantley has not been human this year or week as he has picked up nine hits in his last 25 at-bats (.360) with a home run and four RBI.
Brian Roberts has been the only Yankee putting up good numbers lately. His numbers are not just good though, they’re great. The second baseman is 10 for past 27 with six extra base hits! He has raised his average from the low .230s to nearly .250 in the process.
Who’s Not?: Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Bourn have been scuffling with the bat. The Indian’s shortstop is hitting .222 in his last seven games and has not driven in even one run. As for Michael Bourn, he has been much worse over the stretch hitting under .200 with just one long ball and one ribbie.
*What To Watch For*
Shane Greene, who was just called up for the Yankees, will make his first start of the season. Greene has pitched to a 5-2 record with an ERA of 4.61 for the Triple-A RailRiders. It will obviously be the first time he will face the Indians in his young career.
Masahiro Tanaka will go after win number 13 in the second game of the four game set. Tanaka, who of course is making many firsts in his inaugural season, has never pitched against Cleveland before giving the Japanese pitcher a clear advantage. Those Indian hitters don’t know what is coming.
The Yankees made a big trade. Big only because it sends Vidal Nuno far far away. Nuno has been traded to the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash and Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy who has seen success with the A’s will make his Yankees debut on Wednesday. The newest Yankee owns Mike Aviles and David Murphy. The two have combined for a .167 average (4 for 24). Nick Swisher has some success going 4 for 11 but other than him, the right hander owns most of the bats in that Indians line-up.
Finally, David Phelps will make his final start of the first half on Thursday. Phelps is coming off a brilliant performance in which he gave up just one run on three hits. Cleveland bats have been very silent against Phelps. The team as a whole (ten players) have only managed seven hits in 39 at-bats which comes out to .179. Murphy is the only player with more than one hit against the 27-year old. Look for him to pitch well again for the Yanks.