Until I remembered that the Yankees faced Bedard at the Trop back on April 18th, and scored four earned runs off him in the second inning. Mind-you, the Yankees lost the game 11-5, thanks to their bullpen being ineffective and the Rays relievers doing the opposite.
Ideally the Yankees batters need to come at Bedard swinging early, and score enough runs if Sabathia is done after the five innings, which is a crap-shoot at this point.
It was clear yesterday that Ray’s skipper aficionado Joe Maddon purposely rested his bullpen knowing not to expect Bedard to give him length.
The 35-year old Bedard didn’t make the Rays roster out of Spring Training, but due losing Matt Moore for the season and Alex Cobb being sidelined for a month, the southpaw was brought back.
In three starts this season, Bedard has pitched a total of 12.2 innings, as he has yet to make it out of the fifth inning. He is posting a 6.39 ERA, giving up nine earned runs, nine walks, while fanning a total of 10 batters.
Sabathia, the pitcher formally known as Ace, has to get rid of his inner AJ Burnett, and not have that one bad inning. Or else the game could start resembling batting practice real quick.
His last outing was not pretty, as Sabathia crumbled in the fourth and was tagged for four earned runs by the Mariners bats.
And at home, Sabathia is 0-2, with a 6.00 ERA. He has given up 15 hits, two homers, eight earned runs, as opposing hitters are batting .294 against him at Yankee Stadium.
My guess is the daylight, warmer weather and the fact that Sabathia had his best outing vs. the Rays this season will help Sabathia a ton this afternoon. And walking Even Longoria wouldn’t hurt either, as he has a .411 batting average with six homers, seven doubles, 13 RBIs and 12 walks in his 59 career at-bats vs. Sabathia.
Another plus for New York is that the Yankees designated Cesar Cabral for assignment after his last, disastrous outing down in Tampa Bay. This prevents binder-happy skipper Joe Girardi from making the mistake of using Cabral in one of his failed confidence boosting attempts.
The Yankees win the rubber match, beating the Rays by a score of 7-4.