Yes, it looks like Lance Berkman is headed to New York, with an official announcement to come tomorrow. Yay for that.
But there’s a game at hand, and we’re ready to cover that. Just two games separate the Yanks and the Rays, and it seems like it’s been that way for a month. They’ll face each other three times this weekend, and the series clearly represents big opportunities for both teams.
The opener features a duel between two similar pitchers, Phil Hughes and Wade Davis. They’re both 24, and they both broke camp in the rotation for the first time. They’ve also struggled similarly. Both have had some bad starts, and both have put up some good numbers against the poorer teams in the AL. As R.J. Anderson notes, they also lead the league in percentage of strikes as foul balls. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but it could be an indicator of their inabilities to put guys away.
In fact, when talking with R.J. earlier today he said something that stuck out to me. He mentioned that Davis would often get two strikes, but then keep going to the fastball and wasn’t able to put away batters. That sounds a lot like Hughes. Davis has a bit more of a swing and miss offering with his slider, but Hughes has other options, too. He’s been working in the curveball more often, and I’d like to see him bend two dozen or so tonight.
Also make sure to check out our Yanks-Rays series preview. That kinda got lost amid the Berkman hubbub.
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Curtis Granderson, CF
8. Colin Curtis, DH
9. Brett Gardner, LF
And on the mound, number sixty-five, Phil Hughes.