- RHP Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (6-3, 4.01)
- RHP Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.80) vs. AJ Burnett (6-4, 3.86)
- LHP Jamie Moyer (6-6, 5.03) vs. LHP Andy Pettitte (8-1, 2.46)
- Alex Rodriguez will “hopefully” be in the starting lineup on Tuesday but my guess is that he probably won’t be. The rest of the Yankees lineup will have to make up for the drastic difference in power between A-rod and Ramiro Pena who has assumed the starting job at third. That gap has been filled, not surprisingly, by Robinson Cano and, surprisingly, by Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. While Jeter suddenly decided that he was Babe Ruth for a day against the Astros, let’s hope that two grand slams in two days will be enough to give Posada some confidence to get off the schneid and become the integral part in the batting order that he once was.
- Halladay going up against Sabathia will be an incredible matchup. With the Phillies struggling, dropping three of their last four and fourteen of their last twenty, Halladay will look to be the stopper. But, Sabathia will be looking to take advantage of a Phillies offense that has been struggling and might be able to pull out a victory.
- With 38 years of big league experience and 84 years on this earth between them, the matchup between Moyer and Pettitte is about as improbable as any pitching matchup you are likely to find in the MLB. Most players don’t last 5 years so having these two pitchers in the same game is pretty remarkable. That said Moyer and Pettitte couldn’t be more different. Moyer finally appears to be dropping off while Pettitte is having one of the best starts of his career.
Yankees Keys to the Series:
- Score at least two runs off Halladay. With the Phillies offense looking anemic in recent games, two runs should be enough for CC to keep the game within striking distance so that when (or if) the Phillies bullpen has to come in the Yanks have a chance to steal the game.
- Get some production out of the backups. Pena and newcomer Chad Huffman filled in nicely but in order to keep the Yanks in this series with A-rod still not 100 percent, if he plays at all, they will need to continue to come up with singles in important spots.
- Defense. Surprising that I would put defense as a key but I believe that the team that makes the fewest mistakes during this series will win it. Giving either of these offenses, despite the Phillies woes and the Yankees injuries, any extra chances could mean the difference between winning and losing a game.
- Look for the Yankees to take two from the struggling Phils. Even with all the problems the Yankees have had with their offense being completely shut down sometimes, they will have enough firepower to beat Kendrick and Moyer. Whether or not the Bombers can take down their nemesis Halladay is a different matter.