It hasn’t been pretty, or even all that encouraging given the injury to Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain’s first major league disaster start, but the Yankees are on the verge of sweeping this unusual wrap-around series of day games against the Blue Jays. I was going to title my series preview, “Toronto Blue Jays: You Ain’t So Tough,” but I didn’t want to jinx anything. With three games in the bag, however, I figure there’s no harm now.
Then again, if the Yankees thought they took care of the hard part by out-lasting Roy Halladay on Saturday, they likely failed to notice that this afternoon’s starter, former first-round pick Ricky Romero, enters today’s game with a 20-inning scoreless streak and a 1.91 ERA over his last six starts. Romero completed at least seven innings in five of those starts, all of the Toronto wins. In the exception, Romero lasted just 6 1/3 and the Jays lost 1-0.
Romero faces fellow lefty Andy Pettitte, who is coming off his best home start of the season, a seven-inning, two-run, 98-pitch gem against the weak-hitting Mariners. Andy beat the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre earlier this year, but needed 106 pitches to get through six and walked four. He’ll have to do better than that to beat Romero this afternoon and deliver the sweep.
Eric Hinske makes his Yankee debut in right field today as Nick Swisher plays first and Mark Teixeira gets a half day off at DH. Hinske can’t hit lefties, so Joe Girardi has set him up to fail in his debut in front of the home crowd. Good job, Joe. Johnny Damon gets a full day off as Melky plays left, giving the Yankees a bottom three of Cabrera, Hinske, and Brett Gardner.