So do the New York Yankees.
Pitching had the biggest role in the first series against the Rays, which the Yankees won two for three games.
Let’s look at the pitching match-ups for the two games, in this post Wednesday match-up and part two will cover Thursday’s game.
Wade Davis can throw for strikes, and has a 3.38 ERA so far I 2010. He must command the mound and use the Yankees inexperience against him by mixing up his pitches. Davis has surpassed top pitchers already this season, one being 2009 AL CY Young Zach Greinke. Davis needs to keep up that mindset once again. If he can keep his fastball’s velocity up and his curveball is on, Davis can limit the Yankees bats.CONS:
Davis inexperience in New York will be tested, whether he can handle it at 24 years old. Rodriguez and Jeter have manhandled Davis, who has only faced the sluggers for a joint 12 at-bats. Arod had a homer and three RBIs in his six, so Davis has to be careful. You can’t walk Arod, unless you think Cano is the better option. He also has not faced switch-hitting Jorge Posada, who can take advantage of this kind of pitcher.
When AJ Burnett is on, he is unhittable. He has one, if not the best curveball in the game. Burnett 0.89 ERA (earned runs average) and only give up 2 ER (earned runs) at home. Against the Rays, Burnett’s career numbers are great, in 240 at bats he has 67 strikeouts and held Tampa to a .229 batting average.
The Yankees have had a nice weekend at the plate and can take some of the pressure off Burnett by scoring some insurance runs.
Burnett pitching success tends to come in bunches. His last two starts went from horrible to mediocre and a third is very possible. Crawford and Longoria have the best chance against Burnett. Bottom line it all really is up to AJ Burnett to set the tone of the game. Burnett has to keep the walks down to a minimum, as the Rays are not fun on the bases because they all can steal. The Yankees can hit off the Tampa rookie. It’s a must not just Burnett but any pitcher facing the Rays hitters. Question remains, can Burnett stay in control? He has to throw for strikes, a number that dropped off in 2009, than he can beat anyone.
This will be a great match-up, as both love using the same two pitches, a curve and fastball. Also, neither has been completely consistent this season, a lot of similar stats like ERA and both love to walk hitters. Picking a winner or a loser is too tough, but home is always an advantage. Game being in Yankee Stadium, Burnett will be the winner.
- At least Burnett’s time in the Bronx was interesting (sports.yahoo.com)
- The value of A.J. Burnett (yankees.lhblogs.com)
- Strange end to a strange saga (yankees.lhblogs.com)
- End to the Riddle: A Postmortem on A.J. Burnett’s Yankee Career (pinstripealley.com)
- The Morning After: A.J. Burnett (riveraveblues.com)