We are now officially two weeks away from September and the Yankees trail the Tigers for the final wildcard spot by four games. If the Yankees are going to make a run, it has to start tonight in Tampa. Today the Yankees start a three game set against their division rivals, the Rays. The Bombers come into this series on a four game losing streak in which they have been unable to score runs. Tampa has dominated the Yankees all year going 7-3 in head to head matchups. Tonight will not be any easier for the Yankees.
They face tough righty, Alex Cobb. Cobb ( 7-6 , 3.41 ERA) has not faced the Yankees this year, but has dominated this team in the past. ( 4-1, 2.01 ERA ) There is nobody on this current roster who has any success against Cobb. On the mound for the Yankees is Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy has turned into the Yankees ace since being dealt from Arizona. ( 4-1, 2.21 ERA) He has dominated hitters with his hard sinker and looks to continue to do so tonight. McCarthy has had good success against the Rays in the past going 4-2 with an impressive 2.93 ERA. The Yankees will need McCarthy to continue to dominate since they are having issues scoring runs.
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They rank in the bottom half of the league in batting average and runs scored. If the Yankees are going to make a run they need to start hitting. The guys making the big bucks such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira need to start producing. If the Yankees continue to falter at the plate then they will be home in October.
– Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to throw off the mound tomorrow
– Bids for Rusney Castillo are due today. Castillo is expected to make a decision next week.