Series Preview: Yankees vs. Indians II

The Yankees (62-35, 1st place in AL East, 3-game lead) head to Cleveland to play four games against the sad Indians (41-57, last place in AL Central) for the final time this season. Last time the two teams squared off during Memorial Day Weekend the Yankees won three of four, and really should have swept if not for an epic meltdown by Joba Chamberlain.

In tonight’s game the Yankees will send the enigmatic Javier Vazquez (4.68 ERA; 4.93 FIP; 4.60 xFIP) to the mound against Jake Westbrook (4.74 ERA; 4.59 FIP; 4.44 xFIP). Vazquez was cruising in his last start before completely unraveling in the fifth, though one would hope that he has enough to keep the Indians’ mediocre offense at bay. Jake Westbrook is having a fairly typical Jake Westbrook season, and the Yankees always seem to hit him pretty well, so this one should be in the bag for the good guys.

In the second game, CC Sabathia (3.18 ERA; 3.64 FIP; 3.88 xFIP) faces rookie Josh Tomlin.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks take three of four from Cleveland

I finally caught some Yankee baseball over the long weekend, although it would be short-lived due to another stunning day in New York City featuring a fantastic picnic in Central Park that capped off a phenomenal Memorial Day weekend.

The Yankees took care of business, routing the Indians 11-2 and taking three of four, as I expected they would. I’m still mildly disappointed that they didn’t sweep, but it’s hard to quibble with 37 runs scored over four games. That’s right; the Yankees averaged more than nine runs per game against Cleveland’s AL-worst pitching.

I ended up catching the first five innings and left for the Park after the 5th with the Yankees up 2-1. Alex Rodriguez would see to it that the team had plenty of room to breathe in the bottom of the 7th inning, belting his 20th career grand slam — his seventh of the season and 590th career home run — en route to a 6-RBI day.… Click here to read the rest

Burnett goes eight strong as Tex comes through with huge go-ahead home run in seventh

For the third straight day I was out and about enjoying what’s been a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, this time partaking in an awesome family barbeque up in Ardsley, Westchester. As a result, I was once again following the Yankees via BlackBerry, and things were looking grim after the top of the 7th, as the Indians jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

My family was busy cursing the Yankees for inexplicably not jumping all over Justin Masterson and were ready to chalk up another unacceptable loss to a terrible baseball team. Fortunately Nick Swisher, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira had other ideas, pacing the Yankees to a five-run seventh culminating in a much-needed go-ahead three-run jack off the bat of Teixeira.

The Yanks would add two more and go on to win 7-3. In addition to the offensive heroics, the story of the game was A.J. Burnett, who gave the team eight innings of three-run ball (only one earned) while striking out eight.… Click here to read the rest