Yanks Go Yard Radio Show Rewind: Yankees-Rays Preview (5/11-5/14)

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On last night’s episode of the Yanks Go Yard Radio Show, brought to you by KNODA.com, I started off the show by talking about the New York Yankees (20-12) winning three out of four games against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. There were three things that stood out during this series against the O’s.

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The first was in Thursday’s game when Alex Rodriguez hit his 661st home run in the third inning against Chris Tillman to pass Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. There were great performances once again by Dellin Betances and the leader in saves in the American League, Andrew Miller. Finally, how about Michael Pineda, who struck out 16 Orioles yesterday and did not walk a batter over seven inning. With Masahiro Tanaka out, Michael Pineda has stepped his game up and become the ace of the staff.

The Yankees will now go on the road for the next nine games and it begins tonight as they take on the Tampa Bay Rays (17-15) at Tropicana Field. New York has won five of the first six games against Tampa Bay this season. While the Rays are only three back in the division, their injuries in the starting rotation may start to take their toll.

Last week, it was announced that Alex Cobb, who some thought was the best pitcher in the AL East to start the season, has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery. Then, on Sunday, it was announced that lefty Drew Smyly, who struck out ten Yankees in his start vs. New York in April, has a torn labrum in his shoulder. Tampa Bay has the best starter’s ERA in the American League (3.32), but can it hold up for the duration of the season?

Offensively, Evan Longoria is starting to find his form. While New York has held him to four hits in 22 at-bats this season, Longoria is hitting .290 with three home runs and eight RBI’s. Plus, he has walked seven times this month, which is noteworthy considering he walked 12 times for the entire month of April.

To talk more about the Rays and how big a series this could be for Kevin Cash’s club as they try to show they can beat New York, I spoke with Joe Saunders of Rays Colored Glasses. Here are some of the topics that were discussed on the show:

  •  Matt Moore’s rehab going quicker than expected
  • How do the Rays replace Cobb and Smyly in the rotation?
  • What is behind Longoria’s recent hot streak?
  • Pitching Matchups
  • CC Sabathia (tonight’s Yankees starter) with a bad record against the Rays
  • Getting to know tonight’s Rays starter, Alex Colome
  • What has been behind Chris Archer’s recent struggles (Tuesday’s Rays starter)
  • Nathan Eovaldi (Tuesday’s Yankees starter) struggled with command in his last start
  • Nathan Karns vs. Adam Warren for the third time this year on Wednesday
  • Matt Andriese the likely starter for Tampa Bay on Thursday
  • Chase Whitley (Thursday’s Yankees starter) trying to rebound off a tough start against the Orioles
  • Rays hitters to watch (Steven Souza Jr., James Loney, and Kevin Kiermaier)
  • Yankees hitters to watch: Brian McCann and Chase Headley
  • Can the Rays bullpen match up with the Yankees bullpen?

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