I know I used the first half of that headline the last time Cory Lidle pitched, but Lidle did go out and throw six scoreless innings against the Red Sox in the final game of the massacre that day, so forgive me for going back to the well as the Yankees look to even their series with the Angels at one game a piece.
Save for the one time he took the mound with a stomach virus, Lidle has tossed three quality starts in his four Yankee appearances, considering the fact that he was acquired to fill a spot in the rotation that hadn’t received a quality start since May 6, the Yankees can’t have asked for much more. The curious footnote to that is that that one poor outing, though it did come while he was sick, also came against the Angels.
Ervin Santana takes the hill for the Angels. He last faced the Yankees in his season debut back on April 8 and held a very different team to one run on two hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. Since then, the 23-year-old Santana has developed a Chien-Ming Wang like home/road split, which is troubling for both Santana and the Yankees. In Anaheim this year, Santana is 7-2 with a 2.83 ERA a 1.08 WHIP and a .218 batting average against. He’s also been mighty stingy with the long ball, allowing just five home runs in 89 innings at home (that’s 0.51 per nine innings). In fact, Santana’s had just one poor outing at home all year, that coming against the White Sox back on April 30 when he lasted seven innings, walked one, and struck out four, but also allowed five runs on eight hits.
I’ll make a bold prediction: there’s no way the Yankees will be able to win today without a contribution from Mariano Rivera.