Yanks Go Yard Radio Show Rewind: Yankees-Indians Preview (8/11-8/13)


On Sunday night’s episode of the Yanks Go Yard Radio Show, I started off the episode by talking about the level of concern that is around the New York Yankees (61-49). Over the weekend, they were swept by the Toronto Blue Jays at home and scored only one run in 26 innings. That run came on a Mark Teixeira solo home run in the second inning of Friday’s 2-1 loss.

The other topic that had fans shaking their heads was the bullpen decisions that Joe Girardi made in that series, whether it was taking Masahiro Tanaka out after 80 pitches on Sunday or leaving Ivan Nova in on 100 pitches Saturday, only to allow a grand slam to Justin Smoak in the sixth. Even though New York was swept, they are still up 1.5 games on the Blue Jays with a series to come against Toronto in Canada this weekend.

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Before that series begins, the Yankees are at Progressive Field to begin a three game series against the Cleveland Indians (51-59) tonight. It’s been a disappointing season for Terry Francona’s club as they are in last place in the AL Central after being picked by Sports Illustrated to win the World Series before the season began.

Despite being in last place, Cleveland has a few good young starters in their rotation. Even though they have a starter’s ERA of 4.14, the duo of Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco (tonight’s starter) have led the Indians’ staff to have the most strikeouts in the American League. The bullpen for Cleveland is tied for the fifth with the Yankees in ERA (3.24).

On offense, Cleveland is seventh in the majors in on-base percentage, but that has not translated into runs (19th in MLB). Center fielder Michael Brantley leads the team in RBI’s with 61 and is hitting .313 this year. However, the team is without second baseman Jason Kipnis (.326, 6 HR, 39 RBI’s) this series as he is out with a shoulder injury.

The Indians made an interesting trade with the Braves this past weekend when they dealt high salaries in Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn to the Braves in exchange for another hefty contract in third baseman Chris Johnson. In their weekend series against Minnesota, Cleveland scored 34 runs in three games.

To talk more about the Indians, I spoke with Merritt Rholfing, the host of the Wahoo’s On First Podcast. Merritt gave his take on Cleveland’s disappointing season and how the bullpen has been a strength for the Indians, despite closer Cody Allen blowing three saves this year. Here are some of the other topics we talked about:

– Grading Cleveland’s season so far
– Evaluating the trade that sent Brandon Moss to the Cardinals
– Did the Indians win their trade with the Braves this past weekend?
– Kipnis and Brantley carrying the load on offense
– Pitching Matchup Breakdown
– What to expect from Luis Severino (tonight’s Yankees’ starter) in his 2nd start
Carlos Carrasco has given up three hits in his last 18 innings
CC Sabathia (tomorrow’s Yankees’ starter) has a good track record against the Indians
Danny Salazar (tomorrow’s Indians’ starter) has given up three runs over his last 20.2 innings
– Why Nathan Eovaldi (Thursday’s Yankees’ starter) would be the Game 2 starter if the season ended today
Trevor Bauer (Thursday’s Indians starter) has walked 55 batters this season, the most in the league
– Yankees hitters to watch: Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius
– Indians hitters to watch: Francisco Lindor and Giovanny Urshela


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