Series Preview: The First Half Closes
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Yankees head into the final series of the first half and so far this year, the team has not impressed too much. C.C. Sabathia and Carlos Beltran have been injured and now worst of all, Masahiro Tanaka. McCann has underperformed, and Alfonso Soriano has been designated for assignment. The first half certainly has not been pretty but the Yanks hope to go out on a good note.
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Yankees @ Orioles
Hiroki Kuroda Friday, July 11th: 7:05 pm EST Miguel Gonzalez
Shane Greene Saturday, July 12th: 4:05 pm EST Ubaldo Jimenez
TBA Sunday, July 13th: 8:05 pm EST Chris Tillman
Who’s Hot?: Nick Markakis and Manny Machado have been on top of their game over the last week. Markakis is hitting over .300, with no homers, but three doubles to even it out. Machado has been nearly impossible to get out, hitting well over .500 during the stretch. He also has a couple of doubles and long balls to add to a handful of RBI.
Ichiro Suzuki and Brian McCann have been swinging hot sticks for New York. Although they have not driven in too many runs over the span, they are both hitting over .300. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira on the other hand, although not hitting for high averages recently, have both hit a couple of dingers and have collected over five ribbies each.
Who’s Not?: J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis have fallen on some rough times over the last six games. The two are both hitting under .200 with have only managed one home run each. The two sluggers have combined to strike out nearly 20 times! However, both players are having off years as Hardy has struggled to find his power stroke and Davis’ season average continues to hover around the Mendoza line.
*What To Watch For*
Hiroki Kuroda will make his final start before the All-Star Break on Friday in the first of three against the O’s in Baltimore. There are many players who have face Kuroda on the Orioles but only three have had some success. The names shouldn’t be a shock as it is Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis. The trio is 22 for 73 (.301) with three long balls and seven RBIs. The key to the 39-year old’s success is silencing those big bats.
Shane Greene will get the nod for the middle game. Greene of course never pitched against the birds in his young career but he is coming off his first career start which was excellent. Against the Indians, the rookie pitched six strong innings while giving up only two runs on four hits. With momentum on his side, Greene will look to be overpowering again.
Masahiro Tanaka would be starting the final game of the first half but unfortunately as we all know, The Yankees got a huge blow finding out he will be heading to the disabled list. As of now, it is unknown who will start that game in his place but most likely will be Chase Whitley. Tanaka was scheduled to meet with the Yankee’s doctor in Seattle so we should know how serious the injury actually is in coming hours.