After taking it on the chin in last night’s game, the Yankees look to Andy Pettitte to halt a two game losing streak and even the score with the Rays. With a win, the Yankees would also eke out a winning home stand by finishing 4-3.
The Yankees not only hope that Pettitte will be able to quiet the Rays’ bats, but also slow down their running game. Pettitte’s legendary pick-off move could be a key weapon in a close game as the Rays will undoubtedly seek to run wild on the bases.
After a three game absence, the Yankees welcome Nick Swisher back to the lineup. Swisher had been unable to swing the bat left handed because of a right biceps injury. Although Swisher’s return is certainly a welcomed sight, it is tempered a little by the loss of Marcus Thames, who will miss tonight’s game with a sprained ankle. A makeshift lineup has become an everyday occurrence for the Yankees, so they’ll need to make the most of their opportunities against James Shields, who comes into the game not having allowed more than two earned runs in a start since April 17 in Boston.
Before the game, the Yankees also made a series of roster moves precipitated by Jorge Posada’s trip to the DL. Chad Moeller has been recalled from Scranton to serve as the back up for Francisco Cervelli. To make room for Moeller on the 40-man roster, Nick Johnson was transferred to the 60-day DL. Finally, Kevin Russo has once again been promoted, while Mark Melancon rides the shuttle back to Scranton.
Although there are no must win games in May, this one is still very important. Should the Rays gain the two game sweep, it would not only open up a sizeable five game gap in the standings, but also introduce an air of panic heading into the always frantic Subway Series. A win, however, would send the confident Rays a message and keep the Yankees within shouting distance as they wait for their walking wounded to rejoin the roster.
|vs. Scott Shields||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|vs. Andy Pettitte||PA||BA||OBP||SLG||HR||RBI|
|Jason Bartlett SS||20||0.389||0.450||0.722||1||5|
|Carl Crawford LF||41||0.308||0.341||0.333||0||2|
|Ben Zobrist 2B||15||0.333||0.467||0.583||1||1|
|Evan Longoria 3B||18||0.125||0.222||0.375||1||2|
|Carlos Pena 1B||42||0.314||0.429||0.771||4||7|
|BJ Upton CF||30||0.250||0.367||0.333||0||3|
|Willie Aybar DH||12||0.091||0.167||0.091||0||0|
|Dioner Navarro C||20||0.294||0.333||0.647||2||4|
|Gabe Kapler RF||26||0.280||0.308||0.440||1||3|
|Yankees vs. Rays|
|Season: 2010||Season: 2009||Season: 2008||All-Time|
|TIED: 2-2||NYY: 11-7||NYY: 11-7||NYY: 135-71|
- With a win Andy Pettitte would start the season at 6-0 for the first time in his career. At 5-0, he matched a career best set in 1997.
- Tonight’s match up pits the leagues best home and road teams. The Yankees currently have a 13-5 record at the Stadium, while the Rays sport a 16-4 record when living out of hotels.
- The Rays 29-11 record after 40 games is the fourth best mark in major league history. Only the 1984 Tigers (35-5), 1998 Yankees (31-9) and 2001 Mariners (31-9) burst out the gate in better fashion.
- At 0-4, the Yankees are the only team in the majors without a victory in one-run games.