By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
W2W4: New York Yankees vs San Diego Padres Series Preview
After a split in Los Angeles against the Dodgers to start the New York Yankees eight-game road-trip, the Yankees will now be in San Diego to start a three-game series against the Padres. The Yankees are now (56-51), which is 8.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East, and this looks to be a winnable series on paper against the Padres, who are just (50-59).
- Pitching Match-Ups
In Game 1 of the series it will be the struggling C.C. Sabathia (9-9, 4.65), who has lost three of his last four starts, and has given up seven runs in each of his last two starts, facing Andrew Cashner (7-5, 3.88). In Game 2 Ivan Nova (4-4, 3.41) will be on the mound facing Tyson Ross (2-4, 2.90), who has won his last two starts, only allowing one run in 14 innings. In Game 3 the Yankees will be facing a familiar face in Ian Kennedy (3-8, 5.23), who will making his debut with the Padres against his former teammate Phil Hughes (4-9, 4.58).
- Return Of Granderson
The Yankees lineup will be getting a boost on Friday night, as Curtis Granderson is expected to be in the starting lineup. Granderson hasn’t played since May 24th against the Tampa Bay Rays, which was the game he was forced to leave early after breaking his finger on a hit by pitch. He has only played eight games so far this season in which he is batting .250 with one home run and, but if he isn’t to rusty, he should be able to provide some much needed pop to the usually quiet Yankees offense. The return of Granderson also now gives Joe Girardi a bit of flexibility when setting a lineup, as he now has five capable Outfielders in Granderson, Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, and the man who will probably see his playing time cut the most in Vernon Wells.
- Heating Up
Since the All-Star break the Padres are playing some pretty good baseball winning their last three series against the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks on the road, before most recently taking two out of three at home against one of the better teams in baseball in the Cincinnati Reds. The Yankees are a better team overall than the Padres, but if the Yankees sleep on them especially at home the Padres have shown to be pesky.
The big key for the Yankees in this series has to be to get at least a decent start from C.C. Sabathia to try and take the first game and start the series on a positive note, as they need to start winning some series if they want to make a run in the AL East.