The Yankees come into a very crucial series against the Toronto Blue Jays where the outcome could place them as contenders of baseball or pretenders. To get off on the right foot, the Yankees are going to send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound, who has undoubtedly been the Yankees best pitcher this season.
Tanaka is coming off his second career complete game, but he was two outs shy of pitching a shutout as well. Tanaka gave up two runs on six hits against the Seattle Mariners, the two runs coming off the bat of former New York Yankee Robinson Cano in the 9th inning. The Blue Jays are no strangers to Tanaka as they’re only the second team to face Tanaka the second time around, the first being the Chicago Cubs. In his last start against the Blue Jays, he went seven innings giving up three runs on six hits while striking out eight.
While the Yankees feel confident about having Tanaka on the mound, they have to find a way to get the offense clicking. After winning four games in a row, the Yankees dropped their last two against the Oakland Athletics, the five runs they scored coming late in the game.
The Yankees will send Chase Whitley and David Phelps to the mound this series. Whitley is attempting to build on his good season while David Phelps is coming off an outing where he gave up no runs, an outing that defined the kind of pitcher he can be if his stuff is working for him. I’ll have the pitching matchups later in the afternoon, also the ‘who’s hot and not’ against the opposing pitchers. Here’s a hint for Joe Girardi: play both Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki against Mark Buehrle, two left handers who have good numbers against a left handed pitcher.