YGY Series Preview Show Rewind: Blue Jays-Yankees (9/18-9/21)


On this episode of the Yanks Go Yard Series Preview Show, brought to you by Knoda.com, I started off the show by recapping the New York Yankees losing two out of three to the Tampa Bay Rays. Even with the series loss, New York was able to avoid the sweep with a 3-2 win on Wednesday night. Brandon McCarthy was solid in the win over Alex Cobb, giving up two earned runs in seven innings of work. Two milestones were accomplished in that game for New York. McCarthy was able to throw the immaculate inning in the seventh and Dellin Betances broke the single-season record for strikeouts by a reliever (132), passing the mark set by Mariano Rivera back in 1996.

On the other hand, a lot of bad news hit the Yankees this week. Despite the promotion of second baseman Jose Pirela, the team found out that Martin Prado had to miss the rest of the season due to an emergency appendectomy. Carlos Beltran also had to leave the team to be with his wife after the death of their son due to a miscarriage. All of us at Yanks Go Yard send our thoughts and prayers to the Beltran family during this difficult time.

After a 2-5 road trip, the team gets set to play eight consecutive games at home, the final homestand of Derek Jeter‘s career. The first four games will be against the Toronto Blue Jays, who share an identical record of 77-74 with the Yankees. One of the highlights for this series will be the return of Masahiro Tanaka to the Yankees’ rotation for the finale on Sunday afternoon against Drew Hutchison.

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As for the Toronto Blue Jays, they are 8-7 in the month of September and have scored 74 runs this month, which is eighth in all of baseball, and 28 more than the Yankees (26th). The problem for Toronto as they were trying to make their playoff push a couple of weeks ago, was an injury to one of their best hitters. Left fielder Melky Cabrera has been out of the lineup since September 5th and will be out for the rest of the season, after undergoing surgery for a fracture on his finger. Cabrera, who hit .301 this season, will likely be receiving a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays next season, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. 

As for the rest of the team, Jose Bautista (.283, 32 HRs, 97 RBI) and Edwin Encarnacion (.264, 32 HRs, 87 RBI) are still the main centerpieces of this offense that is the top five in runs and slugging percentage in all of baseball. The pitching is still a problem for Toronto, considering they are 24th in baseball in ERA. During their past series in Baltimore, Marcus Stroman got ejected for throwing at the head of Steve Pearce on Tuesday. He is currently appealing his six-game suspension, and is scheduled to start Saturday against Chris Capuano. Despite being a surprise team in the first half of the season, the Blue Jays, after not making a significant move at the trade deadline, will join the Yankees as being spectators to the playoffs as the two teams fight for second after Baltimore clinched its first AL East title since 1997.

For this episode, I spoke with Jeff Morten from Jays Journal about the possibility of Cabrera returning to the team next season, as well as what should be the team’s number one priority in the off-season. During that question, you will want to hear why Jeff thinks David Robertson would be a good fit for the closer role if the Yankees let him go to free agency with Casey Janssen (23/28 in saves) being a free agent at the end of the year. Here are the other topics Jeff and I discussed on the episode:

  • Did Toronto’s late playoff push change the way the fans view GM Alex Anthoupolous and manager John Gibbons?
  • Pitching Matchup Breakdown
  • R.A. Dickey (Thursday’s Blue Jays’ starter) nearing 200 innings on the season and has given up three runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts
  • Why the Yankees pushing Shane Greene to 112 pitches is good for him heading into the off-season (Thursday’s starter)
  • Mark Buehrle (Friday’s Blue Jays’ starter) still winless vs. Yankees this season, but has a 2.57 ERA in September
  • Hiroki Kuroda (Friday’s Yankees’ starter)  has won both games vs. Toronto, but Jays hitting .327 against him
  • If Stroman doesn’t start Saturday for Toronto, who gets the ball? Daniel Norris?
  • Chris Capuano with a nice bounce back start vs. the Rays despite walking four batters
  • Which Drew Hutchison shows up for the Jays (1-hit shutout vs. the Yankees back on August 30)
  • Why the Bronx Bombers are making the right move in pitching Tanaka Sunday afternoon!
  • Blue Jays’ Players To Watch (Jeff: Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, Me: Jose Reyes
  • Yankees’ Players To Watch: Chase Headley and Chris Young
  • Will Aaron Sanchez be a starter or reliever in 2015?
  • How would Jeff grade the Blue Jays’ season?