The Yankees have won four in a row, their last five at home, and two of their last three home games three via walk-off hits. Just three teams in the American League have a better record than the Bombers entering this afternoon’s action (of course, two of them, the Red Sox and overachieving Blue Jays, are in the AL East).
Coming off last night’s thrilling comeback, the Yankees send ace CC Sabathia to the mound today to face 30-year-old rookie right-hander Matt Palmer. Palmer, who spent seven years in the Giants’ organization prior to joining the Angels this year, is making just his fifth major league start. He went 0-2 with a 8.53 ERA in three starts for the Giants last year and gave up five runs (four earned) in six innings against the Tigers in his only previous start this season. He walked three in that game against just one strikeout, though he also picked up the win thanks to ten runs of support.
Sabathia was excellent in his last start save for one ugly inning in which he gave up three runs. Still, he needed just 99 pitches to complete eight innings while striking out seven and walking none. Sabathia shook off his early struggles at this point last season. He also dominated the Angels the last time he faced them (two starts in 2007: 1.12 ERA over 16 innings). Here’s hoping the pitching matchup lives up to its apparent lopsidedness.
Nick Swisher gets the day off after having been hit in the elbow with a pitch last night. His x-rays were negative (which is positive) and he is day-to-day. Melky Cabrera moves to right field with Brett Gardner, who singled and walked in three trips last night, taking over in center. Last night’s hero, Jorge Posada, gets the day-game after the night-game off, leaving the catching duties to Jose Molina, who is 5-for-12 with two walks and a grand slam in his last four starts.