We’d all like to forget the past two days in Anaheim, and there’s no better way to do that than with a win. The Yanks will trot our their best for some redemption, and he’ll face the pitcher who, over the past few years, has been the Angels best.
John Lackey made his major league debut on June 24, 2002, pitching the second game of a doubleheader against Texas. Anaheim sat two games behind the Mariners at that point in the AL West. The young Lackey impressed, pitching seven innings and allowing just three runs, but picked up the loss because his own team scored only two. He had certainly earned the call-up, having pitched 101.2 innings to a 2.57 ERA at AAA Salt Lake. He would get his first win in his next start, pitching six innings of one-run ball to beat the Dodgers.
Lackey didn’t start against the Yankees in the ALDS that year, but the Angels handled them well enough. By the end, he wouldn’t care much. His highlight was starting Game 7 against San Francisco, pitching five innings of one-run ball and turning the ball over to the stellar Angels bullpen. Brendan Donnelly, Francisco Rodriguez, and Troy Percival closed out the World Series victory.
Over his career Lackey has had ups and downs against the Yankees, pitching 95.1 innings to a 4.81 ERA. He faced New York in two consecutive starts last year, pitching six innings and allowing four runs the first time, and seven innings, three runs the second. The Yanks and the Halos split the couple, the home team taking each game.
The big news for the Yankees today was yet another quality start from Sergio Mitre. And not quality start in the six innings, two runs sense. Mitre dominated the Bisons, pitching eight innings of shutout ball, allowing six hits, striking out five, and walking none. He’s one day off schedule for the July 21st start, but it would seem to be his. The Yanks could give him a short start on three days’ rest before moving him to the rotation on regular rest.
Also, strange lineup today. Personally I would have swapped Jeter and Gardner, but it doesn’t make a huge difference.
And on the mound, number fifty-two, CC Sabathia.