[Update: The game is scheduled to start at 8:20]
As the Yankees return from a rare day off in the middle of a homestand, they start their final series against the Orioles this season. It's the first team in the division they will complete the requisite 18 games against which is appropriate since they opened the season at Camden Yards.
Despite dropping the first two against the O's, the Yanks have roundly dominated the season series, going 11-1 since. The last time the O's took a game from them was on May 9th, back when the Yankees were 14-16, A-Rod had just made his triumphant return, and Phil Hughes was still in the starting rotation. Since then, the Yanks have been on the good side of 3 three-game sweeps in a row and have won 10 straight dating back to the series before.
Andy Pettitte allowed four runs in six innings against the Blue Jays his last time out but didn't derail his streak of 4 consecutive wins. The Yankees have won in each of Pettitte's last 7 outings dating back to the beginning of August. Since the All-Star break, he has an ERA of 2.88, a record of 5-1 (Yanks are 8-2 when he's pitched), and has held opposing batters to an anemic line of .208/.267/.305. To give some perspective, that .573 OPS is notably lower than Zack Greinke's .612 over that same period.
Taking on Pettitte will be the ninth starting pitcher the O's have thrown at the Yankees this year, Chris Tillman. A part of the package sent from Seattle in return for Erik Bedard (which apparently is the gift that keeps on giving), Tillman is only 21 years old and was called up from AAA at the end of July. He threw 96 2/3 IP for the Norfolk Tides of the Eastern League this year, posting a 2.70 ERA and striking out 99 while walking only 26. Since he's been up in the Majors, Tillman as made 8 starts to a decent 4.66 ERA but has only struck out 17 while issuing 13 free passes in 35 1/3 IP leading to an ugly FIP of 6.23.
Johnny Damon is scheduled to take a breather tonight with Melky Cabrera taking his place in right field and Brett Gardner manning center. However, if someone doesn't stop the rain that's currently blanketing the NYC area, everyone might be getting the night off.
Long as I remember,
The rain been coming down,
Clouds of mystery falling,
Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages,
Trying to find a sun,
And I wonder, still I wonder,
Who'll stop the rain.