Heading into this game, Ichiro Suzuki had started eight of the Yankees nine games following the All-Star Break, and played the last four innings of the one game he did not start (the fourteen inning affair against the Rangers). And despite the heroics of Friday night, this does appear to be a much needed respite for Ichiro, who is batting .107/.167/.214 over that stretch. It also doubles as a strong match-up move for Joe Girardi, as Zelous Wheeler has mashed left-handed pitching throughout his professional career.
Brett Gardner (.686 OPS since the break) could probably use a breather, as well. Girardi has been quite good about getting his players rest throughout his tenure, and with nagging injuries throughout the lineup, that will become increasingly important down the stretch.
|Toronto Blue Jays||New York Yankees|
|Jose Reyes, SS||Brett Gardner, LF|
|Melky Cabrera, RF||Derek Jeter, SS|
|Jose Bautista, 1B||Jacoby Ellsbury, CF|
|Dioner Navarro, C||Carlos Beltran, DH|
|Dan Johnson, DH||Brian McCann, 1B|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||Chase Headley, 3B|
|Munenori Kawasaki, 2B||Francisco Cervelli, C|
|Juan Francisco, 3B||Zelous Wheeler, RF|
|Anthony Gose, LF||Brendan Ryan, 2B|
|J.A. Happ, SP||Shane Greene, SP|