Tues., May 12
Roy Halladay (6-1, 3.29) vs. A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.26)
A.J. Burnett matured alot as a pitcher under Roy Halladay (or maybe it was because he was in a walk-year) and the two will face each other for the first time since Burnett bolted Toronto for the bright lights and dollar signs of the Big Apple. Over his last 3 starts Burnett has surrendered 15 earned runs while pitching 18 innings, in the process raising his ERA from 3.20 up to 5.26. If there any good news for the Yankees to take from those 3 starts, it is that they managed to win one of those games and they were in every ballgame, even the 16-11 loss to Boston. You have to think that Toronto has the edge in this matchup with their ace Roy Halladay on the hill. He has owned the Yankees over his career owning a 15-5 record while sporting a sparkling 2.86 ERA. He has gone at least 7 innings in all 7 of his starts and has not walked more than two batters in any of those games, so if the Yankees are going to beat him, they are going to have to earn it.
Wed., May 13
Scott Richmond (4-1, 3.29) vs. Andy Pettitte (2-1, 4.38)
Richmond has pitched surprising well to this point in the season, his only blemish being the first inning of his last start against Oakland in which he surrendered 5 runs and blew an early 3-0 Jays lead. He finished the game strong not allowing another run the rest of the way enroute to a complete game. Pettitte got off to a good start to the season but he, much like the rest of the Yankees, has struggled of late, giving up 5 ER in each of his last two starts.
Thurs., May 14
Brian Tallet (2-1. 4.95) vs. C.C. Sabathia (2-3, 3.94)
Tallet's numbers are not all that exciting, unless you investigate a little deeper. Despite have a 4.95 he has absolutely commanded in 4 out his 5 starts, the lone exception being a 4 inning 10 ER performance against Kansas City. If you take out that one poor performance his ERA in his other 4 starts is a miniscule 1.80. Not too bad for a reliever thrown into a starters role due to injuries. What can I say about Sabathia? He is prone to slow starts and amazing finishes. He is coming off a 4 hit shutout of the Orioles that has seemed to make everyone remember why he was considered for the NL Cy Young award last year despite only pitching in that league for about 2/3 of the season.
Yankees: The addition of a healthy Alex Rodriguez could not have come at a better time for the Yanks. They were comin off a 5 game losing streak and in addition Manny Ramirez had just been busted for PED's, so the lights shining on Rodriguez in his return would be at least a little dimmer. Rodriguez' impact was immediate, having homered on the first pitch he faced and leading the Yankees to a 4-0 win. They lost the following day but rebounded Sunday to take the series finale and the series. A win in this series with the Jays could go along way to the Yankees rebounding and returning to the contender fold.
Jays: The hot bats of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind have led the Jays to a 7-3 record in May heading into the series at home against the Yankees and they look to get off to a fast start in this series with Halladay on the mound in the opener tonight. After that, I believe a split in the final two is what we can expect to see. Going forward there is an expectation that B.J. Ryan could return sometime in the weekend series with the White Sox and this would be a big help for the little talked about bullpen, even if he returns in a role that is not the closer. Yes folks, there are reports that Ryan will return in a new role and GM J.P. Riccardi has gone on record as saying that his role will be determined after he returns but for the moment Scott Downs will remain the closer.