The Upcoming Schedule

Implications of Brett Gardner's injury
The Teixeira Analysis: Closing Thoughts
We'll be seeing Yu next week. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Yankees will wrap up their disappointing four-game set against the Twins tonight, ending the first homestand of the young season. They’ve been alternating wins and losses for nearly a full week now, but a win tonight would be a nice little confidence-booster — for the fans, not necessarily the team — before heading out on a nine-game stretch that is going to be as difficult as any they face this summer..

Following tonight’s game, the Yankees will head up to Boston for a three-game set against the Red Sox. They’re going to wear 1912 throwback uniforms for the first time ever tomorrow afternoon as part of the Fenway Park 100th anniversary celebration, which is pretty neat. Sunday’s series-finale is — of course — the ESPN Sunday Night game, and right after that the Yankees have to fly to Texas for a three game set with the Rangers starting Monday. Once they’re done with Texas, they’ll take Thursday off and fly back home for a three-game weekend series against the Tigers.

I know the Red Sox are struggling and Bobby Valentine is doing his best to make the Fenway faithful miss Terry Francona, but they’re still a very dangerous team. The Rangers have been baseball’s best club in the early going, which isn’t at all surprising after winning two consecutive AL pennants. The Tigers are just bludgeoning teams to death with the best three-four lineup combo since David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez circa 2004-2007. Other than a nine-game swing against the Angels, Tigers, and Rays in late-May/early-June and another nine-gamer against the Rays, Red Sox, and Angels wrapped around the All-Star break, this looks to be the toughest stretch of the schedule.

Aside from three starts — Ivan Nova against the Orioles, Hiroki Kuroda against the Angels, CC Sabathia against the Twins — the starting rotation has both underperformed expectations and saddled the bullpen with a heavy workload this month. That’s why right-hander Cody Eppley was recalled following Brett Gardner‘s injury last night, not another outfielder. The Red Sox, Rangers, and Tigers are three of the five highest-scoring offenses in the league right now, so these games could end up further exposing the pitching staff at worst or getting everyone back on track and on an extended run of strong play at best.

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Implications of Brett Gardner's injury
The Teixeira Analysis: Closing Thoughts
  • GardnergoesYardner

    Mike, I’m pretty sure the Detroit series is in the Bronx. Not that it makes it any less difficult, but at least we’d have the home field advantage. Still a tough spot in the schedule.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I … knew that.

    • jsbrendog

      yup, i’m going o the friday game

  • Jeff Karstens, Male Model

    Yankees starters have allowed an MLB worst .909 OPS against so far this season.

    • forensic

      Really, that number doesn’t even explain the full pitifulness of the starters. They are 75!!! points higher than the next highest in the AL and 113!!! point higher than the staff people here like to think is the worst in the league in the Red Sox.

      Batters are hitting .307/.357/.551 against them. That’s almost Granderson from last year with 50 points more average or Cano from last year with 20 points more slugging. Yikes!

    • Typical MIT Nerd

      Wow. At least there are upgrades for Hughes and Garcia. If only they weren’t so hung up on roles and experience. Phelps should get a promotion and one of those two should get demoted to the pen. What happened to that model of handling pitcher slumps?

      • MannyGeee

        the binder takes offense

      • GardnergoesYardner

        That practice died when Joe Girardi arrived, my friend. There’s a new modus operandi in town, and it’s called loyalty to mediocre pitchers.

        • jsbrendog

          only thing that changed from one joe to the next was the word veterans was replaced with pitchers

      • pat

        Surely an educated man like yourself would want a bit of a larger sample size than 2 games before making such rash decisions, no? Granted I want Phil banished as much as anybody, but I don’t think there’s a manager in baseball that pulls him from the rotation for a guy like Phelps (and I’m a Phelps believer, too). Freddy I’m not as worried about because he didn’t forget how to pitch, or how to command a pitch he is just missing his spots at very inopportune times and getting blasted. In fact, his bb/9 and k/9 are both currently better than what they were last year and his gb%(42.4) is right in line with his career #’s. It’s just that he’s rocking an unsightly .344 babip and a 25%! hr/fb% that’s killing him right now. I would expect both to come down a bit and we’ll see the good old Sweaty Freddy we’ve come to know and avoid hugs from.

    • CP

      FWIW, the Yankee’s starters also lead MLB in BABIP (.360 vs next highest of .332) and are second in HR/FB% (17.9%, Blue Jays lead at 18.2%). Both of those should regress as the season goes on, even if the starters don’t get any better.

      Which explains how the Yankee’s starters are 7th in MLB with a 3.49 xFIP (2nd best in the AL).

  • Monterowasdinero

    I’m about ready for the healthy, rested, highest paid player in baseball to make a significant contribution to help us win a game or two.

    Hope I’m not expecting too much.

    • GardnergoesYardner

      Agreed. Girardi almost seems paranoid of an injury to his vets now, and might be resting them unneccesarily. Rest is always good in the course of a long season, but my god, if the batting practice show from ARod that Kay and co. described was true, plus his declaration that he felt the best he had all year, rest him another day Joe. Or at least pinch hit him where he can actually make a difference. Too much reliance on Nunez in the early going, IMO, and we need some big plays from ARod in Boston and Texas for us to win.

      • forensic

        A-Rod always puts on a show in BP, that’s why it’s BP. It has nothing to do with how someone will do in a game, good or bad.

        Though I agree it’s almost like he’s managing scared now.

        • GardnergoesYardner

          I know everyone always does well in BP, but still, it had to be disappointing for him if he felt that good and then was told he wasn’t playing.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You don’t need him with Babe Jeter around now.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Move Jeter down in the lineup. Bat him 4th.

  • Annie Oakley

    It’s going to be a rough stretch if our pitching staff can’t get in track. Kuroda and Freddy were unable to neutralize Minnesota’s lefties and it’s only gonna get worse with Adrian Gonzalez, Big Papi, Hamilton, Fielder. Pineda and Andy won’t be back until May so we have to go with what we have. CC and Nova will need to carry the staff.

  • MannyGeee

    another Sunday night game???? YAAAAAAAWN. sooooooo tired

    Sincerely,
    Adrian Gonzalez

    • Erica

      Yo Adrian,

      You’re not emotionally committed.

      Love,
      Bobby V

  • http://twitter/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    I know they’ve been awful so far, but I’m really not that concerned about the rotation going forward. CC will be great, Kuroda will be good, Nova will be good, and I don’t see Pineda being a question of if he will be great but when. It’s been dozen games so far, a lot of the guys don’t have their best stuff and there’s been a hell of a lot of bad luck (MLB leading .336 BAbip against).
    This rotation is the best one since ’09 at least, I’m sure of it, and that turned out pretty well.

  • V

    I love that Boston gets Thursday off while the Yankees play a night game. Ugh.

    • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

      Victims. Waaa.

      • V

        Obvious troll is obvious?

  • http://riveravenueblues.com dan scabet

    no one is running way in the division, yanks should be patient,iam sure there will be several moves with the starters even a trade or so. need to be dead on when you pull that string, hard to be dead on after
    only thirteen. of which were 7 and thee in the last ten.as a life long yankee fan since 1949 i do realize how hard that is.