Game 144: Avoiding the sweepBy
In yesterday’s game recap, I made an error. “The Yanks look to avoid their first sweep since early May tomorrow afternoon.” It shows how much I’ve put the Anaheim series out of my mind. So this will be the Yankees looking to avoid their first sweep since mid-July. They beat the crap out of the Orioles for most of the season, so let’s just chalk up the last two games to a market correction and hope they right the ship today.
The Yanks faced Jeremy Guthrie a few weeks ago, so you can catch his story in that post. Since then, it appears Guthrie has recovered. He allowed just two runs over six innings in the August 31 game, and followed that up with a seven-inning shutout of Texas.
In his last four starts, Guthrie is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA, striking out 15 and walking just four. It’s a nice recovery from a mostly poor season. His ERA stood at 5.66 after the Angels shellacked him on August 15, which was preceded by the A’s thumping him. He has allowed just two home runs in those 27 innings, which is a good sign for Guthrie, who currently leads the AL in home runs allowed.
A recovery would be good not only for Guthrie, but for the Orioles. He’s headed to arbitration for the first time this off-season, and will be 31 years old just after Opening Day 2010. The rebuilding Orioles would do well to get a young player or two in return for him. He’s probably not going to help the team contend, and he could be attractive to other teams because he still has three arbitration years.
The Yanks send out CC Sabathia to stop the bleeding. Carsten Charles, league leader in games started and close in innings pitched, has been nothing but excellent for the Yanks of late. Since his five-run performance against Chicago in early August (which really wasn’t a totally bad game), CC has tossed 51.1 innings and allowed only 10 runs, striking out 63 to 11 walks. That’s the kind of K/BB ratio that made his run in Milwaukee last season so special. He’s basically been reproducing that for the Yanks since the beginning of August.
Damon’s back in the lineup after sitting out the past two days with a sore back. Girardi’s not messing around today. It’s the A-lineup to avoid the sweep.
And on the mound, number fifty-two, Carsten Charles Sabathia.