The truth, we are told, sometimes hurts and this weekend, Yankees Universe will have to face some.
As the New York Yankees brooms might have worked in Seattle this week vs. The Mariners, but the real test will be this weekend as they face the tough, AL leading Oakland Athletics (40-26) for a three game set.
The A’s took two of three games from the Yankees in the Bronx less than 10 days ago, and the one loss came with Tanaka on the hill.
My prediction is the Yankees will get swept by the Athletics, and here is why.
Unfortunately, Tanaka, and Chase Whitley will be watching, and not starting during this series at O.co Coliseum. The two don’t walk batters at all, and the A’s are walking machines leading the AL with 280 on the season.
Instead, the Yankees will have to win behind the shaky arms of David Phelps, Hiroki Kuroda and Vidal Nuno, which only makes the task that much harder.
So far this season, the A’s bats lead the AL in runs (336), RBIs (317), walks (280), OBP (.333) and have the second most homers with 77 and total bases (946).
The Yankees offense did pick up a little in Seattle, considering they finally scored six runs in a game and up until yesterday that had not been done since May 28th.
They might be sans Jacoby Ellsbury, who exited last night’s affair in the 7th inning with tightness in his right hip. Knowing skipper Joe Girardi you have to presume he will be unavailable at least for tonight, if not longer.
Joe Girardi said Jacoby Ellsbury's hip just "tightened up a little bit." He initially hurt it Sunday vs. Royals. #yankees
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) June 13, 2014
Ellsbury is on a 16-game hitting streak, the longest a Yankees center fielder has had since 2007. Over these 16-games, he is posting a .381 batting average with two homers, 12 RBIs and seven steals, so losing his bat is going to hurt badly.
And don’t forget that the A’s share their home with the Oakland Raiders, and the field has tremendously wide foul territories, which means foul balls that normally land in the stands turn into an out.
Like their batters, the A’s pitching also is dominating the AL. Batters have the lowest average vs. Oakland arms at .221. They have allowed the least homers (53) and earned runs (190) in the AL so far this season.
Well, thank goodness the Yankees don’t like to hit for those fans that enjoy quick ballgames because you could be in for a real treat this weekend.
My Final Thoughts:
The bottom line is the Yankees sweeping Seattle is no big sign of anything other than something that is supposed to happen.
But this Oakland series should be tough to win for both teams. But unless some miracle occurs from now until the first pitch tonight, losing could prove to be way too easy for the Yankees to carry out against the best teams.
My prediction is if the Yankees can win one of the three games vs. the A’s it will be because Kuroda pitches a gem on Saturday night, and they avoid the sweep. Otherwise, get ready for an ugly weekend.