The Yankees visit Tropicana Field winners of 10 of their last 12 games to revive their playoff hopes. They have a record of 68-59 and trail the Boston Red Sox by 6 games and the Oakland Athletics by 3.5 games for the final wild card.
The Yankees team that visits Tropicana Field this weekend will have a vastly different look then the previous matchups. The Yankees have spent much of the year struggling to score runs with a lineup that could best be described as Robinson Cano and friends.
The offense has been revitalized with the acquisition of Alfonso Soriano and Mark Reynolds and the return of Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson.
The pitching matchups for the weekend series will be Chris Archer (6-5, 2.95 ERA) vs Hiroki Kuroda (11-8, 2.41 ERA) on Friday, David Price (7-5, 3.29 ERA) vs C.C. Sabathia (11-10, 4.83 ERA) on Saturday night at 7:10 p.m., and Alex Cobb (8-2, 2.85 ERA) vs Ivan Nova (7-4, 3.17 ERA) on Sunday at 1:40 p.m.
The Yankees continue to shorten the game with their bullpen. Not only do they have the 9th inning covered with Mariano Rivera and the 8th with David Robertson they also have found a gem in Shawn Kelley who has only allowed 5.71% (2 of 35) inherited runners to score. The following table shows the Yankees bullpen in the 2nd half.
The Yankees have averaged 4.94 runs per game in the month of August and a lot of that has to do with Alfonso Soriano who since being acquired by the Yankees has a slash line of .284/.327/.489 with 9 home runs and 28 RBI. Along with Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, and Alex Rodriguez the lineup now has teeth.
The Starting Pitchers
Over his last 5 starts Kuroda has a 2-2 record with a 1.56 ERA. He has worked 34.2 innings allowing just 8R/6ER on 34 hits striking out 28 and walking 4. His last outing was on August 17th against the Boston Red Sox where he worked the first 5.2 innings allowing 5R/3ER on 11 hits.
It will be his first start against the Rays this season. He faced the Rays 3 times in 2012 going 2-1 with a 6.11 ERA.
Over his last 5 starts Sabathia has a 2-2 record with a 7.06 ERA. He has worked 29.1 innings allowing 24R/23ER on 35 hits striking out 23 and walking 17.
He has made 4 starts against the Rays this season and has a 1-3 record with an ERA of 8.31. He last faced the Rays in Yankee Stadium on July 26th allowing 7R/ER in 5 innings in a Rays 10-6 victory. His last start at Tropicana Field came on May 26th allowing 7R/ER in 7 innings of work taking the loss in a 8-3 Rays victory.
Over his last 5 starts Nova 3-1 with a 2.34 ERA. He has worked 34.2 innings allowing 9R/ER striking out 31 and walking 8.
He last faced the Rays on July 27th allowing just 1R/ER in 7 innings of work but Chris Archer was better as he tossed a complete game shutout leading the Rays to a 1-0 victory.
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