A day after the Yankees faced perhaps the best pitcher in the AL over the past few years, they’ll run into another obstacle. Tonight it comes in the form of Scott Richmond, a 29-year-old indy-baller who caught on with the Jays after the 2007 season. Unfortunately for the Yanks, they have not yet seen him. Unseen mediocre righty* + Yankees lineup = offensive futility. Or so we’ve seen in the recent past.
* That’s not to say Richmond isn’t having a good season. He is. In the long run, though, there’s no way Toronto can expect him to maintain a 3.29 ERA.
Thankfully for the Yanks, less than half of their lineup tonight has been part of these debacles in years past. Only Damon, A-Rod, Cano, and Melky saw significant playing time over the past few years when the Yanks have suffered this strange phenomenon. Unfortunately, the other five guys don’t exactly inspire confidence. Rounding out the lineup will be a slumping Nick Swisher, an invisible Mark Teixeira, and a black hole at the bottom of the lineup: Gardner, Pena, and Cervelli.
The Yankees will again turn to Andy Pettitte to get things going. He faced the Blue Jays three times last year and was putrid in two of those starts, allowing 10 runs over 12.1 innings. The other start was a gem, though, as he allowed just one run over seven innings, striking out four and walking none. He’s probably going to need another one of those performances tonight to keep his team in the game. That is, unless they break this abhorrent curse of not hitting pitchers they absolutely should hit.
(Can you tell that this pisses me off more than almost any aspect of the Yankees over the past few years? I mean, seriously. Matt Palmer. And that’s just the start. It seems every time the Yanks face off against a guy they should smack, they can’t hit a ball out of the infield. That’s what’s supposed to happen against Roy Halladay, not freaking Garrett Olson. /rant)
1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Melky Cabrera, LF
7. Brett Gardner, CF
8. Ramiro Pena, SS
9. Francisco Cervelli, C
And on the mound, number forty-six, Andy Pettitte