Kyle Kendrick had a 2.79 ERA over his last six starts, until he bombed against the Marlins in his last start on June 8. Kendrick got moved in the roaster so Halladay could pitch against Sabathia on Tuesday, so Kendrick threw out of the bullpen for two innings on June 11th to keep his arm warm. This youngster is a Yankees virgin, which is to his advantage, as the Yankees do not fair well against foreign pitchers. He has to figure out to rattle guys the Yankees from the start and keep them on their toes. Kendrick’s main job is to locate his fastball well, because it lacks speed. Kendrick’s doom against the Yankee bats is if he becomes predictable. He has a solid sinker, a good change-up and a newly added cutter (thanks to Halladay). His career ERA against lefties is 7.02, so he has to be careful with switch hitters like hotter-than-hell Posada and Swisher. Kendrick has to keep his confidence in a very intimidating place, against a line-up that could be it’s own all-star roaster.
AJ Burnett, another pitcher whose cutter comes via Roy Halladay. Even Halladay admits that Burnett’s cutter is the best in the game, but only if he can maintain control. This is the same old song for Burnett. It’s that one inning (usually the 3rd or 4th) where the mound turns to complete chaos, as Burnett can throw hard and he tends to hit batters. This season he leads the majors with eight batters hit. Burnett has struck out 60 batters in just 84 innings, which is insane. He has walked 29 batters, which is a big improvement compared to this time in his last two season. Burnett has to locate and control himself better, or Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will demolish him. It is in AJ’s hands, as he will control the game more so than any other pitcher.
Burnett will win, as it’s time for AJ to have a kick-ass night and against the Phillies is just what the doctor ordered.
Kendrick will fair all right, but Posada will go yard once again. Yankees win 4-1.
I decided to make this a three post series, so up next is Pitching Preview: Champs vs. Phillies Game 3. It is a battle of the ageless veterans, Jamie Moyar vs. Andy Pettitte. Who knew Pettitte was so young?
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