The Yanks make their first and only trip to Citi Field this weekend. Hopefully the Yanks will be as well-represented at Citi as the Mets were at The Stadium.
CC Sabathia left his previous start after 1.1 innings with biceps tendonitis, but after working out this week was deemed fit to pitch. That’s a relief for the Yanks, who want nothing more than to add a third game to their two-game rush. CC has given the Yanks the best chance to win all year, and tonight is made all the better because they’re facing the best of what the Mets will throw in Mike Pelfrey.
After tossing 200 innings to a 3.72 ERA last season, Pelfrey has been a bit of a disappointment this year, adding a full run to his ERA over his first 76 innings. Looking at his peripherals, it’s pretty obvious why. His strikeouts are down and his walks are up, leaving his K/BB ratio at a paltry 1.26:1. The saving grace is that he’s continued allowing home runs at a very slow pace, which is in large part why his FIP is 4.38.
The Rays hit Pelfrey well in his last outing, smacking eight base hits for four runs over five innings. He fared a bit better in his previous start at Camden Yards, where he held the Orioles to two runs over 5.2 innings. He also started against the Red Sox back in May, and that was perhaps his best outing of the year, a seven-inning, two-run affair in which he struck out six and walked just one.
As you might have heard, the Mets lineup at this point is nothing to write home about. They’re missing a number of key players, including Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes. When you go from those guys to Nick Evans, Jeremy Reed, and Alex Cora, you know you’re going to be in a bit of trouble.
On a final note before the lineups, CC Sabathia mentioned his 120-pitch outings from this year as a possible cause of his biceps tendonitis. I’d expect Girardi to pull him somewhere around 110 maximum. The bullpen picked up 5.1 innings for Andy Pettitte last night, so it might seem a bit taxed. That might not be the case, though, as the Yanks have a fresh Brian Bruney and Phil Hughes ready to take the bridge to Mo, who for his part tossed only six pitches in his one-out save.
Jeter’s out with an illness. There’s basically four, maybe five pitchers in the lineup tonight. Woo hoo.