Since the inception of baseball blogs sometime in 2001 or 2002, perhaps no recording artist has been quoted as frequently as Meatloaf. Writers and bloggers invoke his second hit single, “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad,” before nearly every rubber match. Hey, two out of three is a .667 winning percentage, which extrapolates to a 108-win season. We haven’t seen one of those in quite a while.
The cliche could be no more true than for the Yanks today. Not only can they take two out of three from the Jays, and thereby their second straight series, but they can do it in the most acceptable of ways. Hey, if you face Roy Halladay in the series opener and can come back to win the next two, that’s all right in anybody’s book. The Yanks get their chance against reliever-turned-starter Brian Tallet.
Yanks fans will recognize Tallet’s name because he’s been with the Jays since 2006, pitching mostly in relief. This will be his sixth start of the season, and his seventh since becoming a Blue Jay. He entered the Jays’ rotation amid injuries to most of their starters: Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Rickey Romero, and Jesse Litsch are all on the DL. Tallet has filled in admirably, allowing 16 runs, 15 earned, in 29 innings so far as a starter. He’s having a bit of trouble with the walks, which the Yanks will surely try to exploit tonight.
As a reliever, Tallet has given the Yanks some trouble. He’s faced them 20 times in his career, spanning 28.1 innings, in which he has allowed 9 runs. The walks are still an issue, as he’s issued 12 through those 29 innings — almost the exact rate he’s showing as a starter so far. Hopefully the Yanks can catch up to Tallet in an extended viewing.
The Yanks send their guy to the mound tonight, the behemoth that is CC Sabathia. He was masterful his last time out, pitching like the guy the Yanks signed to a $161 million contract this winter. As Pettitte did last night, he’ll face a righty-heavy Blue Jays lineup tonight. It’s even more extreme tonight, with John McDonald entering the lineup. That makes it righties or switch hitters one through nine. Something tells me this will not bother Sabathia one bit.
Both Jeter and Matsui make their return to the lineup tonight. Jeter is a bit more concerning at this point. Obliques are tricky muscles, and the last thing the Yanks want is for Jeter to try to play through a small strain and turn it into a considerable tear. Missing 15 days now is obviously better than missing two months. We just have to put our faith in the Yanks training staff at this point.
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Johnny Damon, LF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Brett Gardner, CF
9. Francisco Cervelli, C
And on the mound, number fifty-two, CC Sabathia.