This is do or die for Javier Vazquez. And unfortunately for Javy the way John Danks has been throwing the ball lately, it is looking more like the former. Fans are not going to be kind to the man who is making $11.5 million dollars who has been outpitched by 23 year old Phil Hughes who is making $447,000. Hughes is far and away performing better than Vazquez this year and the Yankees fans are certainly going to let him know that.
On the bright side Robinson Cano has been playing out of his mind, Andy Pettitte is off to one of the best starts of his career and is looking to finish April with a flawless record, and AJ Burnett, despite some really wild pitches, has been rock solid in 4 of his 5 starts. Even more heartening is the fact that Yankees have the third best record in the league, behind Tampa Bay and St. Louis, all while Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez have been performing poorly, Vazquez has yet to get off the schneid, and backups like Francisco Cervelli and Marcus Thames are performing well.
The White Sox, on the other hand, have not been playing very well. Coming off losing a series to Texas, there are serious questions about the pitching staff. Perhaps the only player who is performing well is John Danks. Danks put together back to back 8 inning starts against Tampa Bay and Seattle, only giving up one run to the potent Tampa offense. Which is why it is all the more unfortunate that Vazquez is going to be facing him. If Danks can hold down the Rays it is more than likely that he can hold down the Yankees as well.
LHP Andy Pettitte (3-0, 1.29) vs. RHP Freddy Garcia (0-2, 5.82)
RHP Javier Vazquez (1-3, 9.00) vs. LHP John Danks (3-0, 1.55)
RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 2.00) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (2-3, 4.68)
- If Cano finishes better than .400 for the game tonight, he will finish April with 8 homeruns and a .400 batting average, something no Yankee has ever done.
- Posada has been listed as doubtful for the game tonight. His knee is still swollen after being hit by a pitch by Jeremy Guthrie.
- Vazquez needs to perform well on Saturday. It is just a fact.
- Teixeira is hitless against Garcia in 11 at bats with one walk and four strikeouts.
Yankees Keys to the Series:
- Javier Vazquez will need to hold down the fort against a surging John Danks.
- Get to their starters quickly. The White Sox have one of the best bullpens in baseball and have not given up a great deal of runs. Hammering the starters is the way the Yankees will win this series
- Will the real Mark Teixeira please stand up?
I hate to say it, but I don’t think the Yankees will sweep. And the reason they won’t will be Javier Vazquez. Look for Pettitte and Hughes to win their respective starts and while I believe that Vazquez will pitch well, Danks will in all likelihood pitch better. I really hope I am wrong.