Chase Whitley will make his second career start this afternoon for the Yankees as he squares off against Jeff Samardzija in the series finale of a two game set. The only problem–Whitley has to win or the Yankees will be swept by the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
It’s not entirely fair to put pressure on the rookie pitcher, especially a pitcher that pitched approximately four scoreless innings for the Yankees in the series against the Mets. He just got here and now he thwarted into a pitching match up that could either send the Yankees to the White Sox series with a split or with them being swept under the ivy.
The Yankees offense needs to have more consistency; aside from Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira and Yangervis Solarte, the hitting has looked lethargic, especially Jacoby Ellsbury, who is now 1-for his last-24. The bullpen needs to be the shutdown bullpen it’s capable of outside of David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren and Whitley, David Phelps and Vidal Nuno are going to have to start putting up starts that give the Yankees bats a chance to win the ball game nine-out of-ten times.
Yankees have two goals coming into today: keeping Jeff Samardzija win-less and trying to salvage a series split. No pressure Whitley, you’re just facing a guy with a 1.62 ERA, the Cubs offense hasn’t been able to win for him and you’re trying to prevent a sweep. No pressure at all.