The Yanks go for lucky number seven in a row tonight as the O's come to town for the middle series of the homestand.
Baltimore should have centerfielder Adam Jones back in the line-up tonight. The centerpiece of the package Seattle swapped for Erik Bedard after the 2007 season, Jones has not played since tweaking his hamstring last Wednesday. Before leaving the line-up, the 23 year-old had really blossomed this year, hitting .370/.426/.669 and combining with Nick Markakis to form 2/3rds of a good young outfield. Unfortunately for the Orioles, the other third of their outfield is an abject wasteland, as the assorted garbage they've trotted out to left this year has hit .219/.318/.320. Yikes.
Rookie Brad Bergesen takes the hill for the Orioles. The Yankees have never faced him before, so that could spell trouble for the Yanks. Hopefully the Yankees will give Bergesen the same treatment they gave Scott Richmond in Toronto last week. After ptiching well in high-A and AA last year, Bergesen was called up after just 11 AAA innings this year. He carries a 5.71 ERA and 1.76 WHIP through his five MLB starts. He's struck out just 4.6 per 9, but has walked only 2.6 per 9. It'll be interesting to see how the Yankees' patient approach fares against a pitcher who appears to be around the plate consistently. The league is hitting .348 against Bergesen thus far, but he may be a victim of bad luck - he has a .364 BABIP against - far higher than the league average of .302. Most pitchers end up around the league average as the season progresses, and since Bergesen rarely registers a K, his unusually high BABIP has a major impact on his numbers.
The Yankees counter with CC Sabathia. The big lefty has faced the O's twice already this year. After a poor Opening Day outing, CC dominated the O's on May 8th, tossing a shutout and stiking out eight against only four hits and a base-on-balls. Sabathia followed that up with another strong outing in Toronto last Thursday.
Brian Bruney is slated to be activated from the DL in time for tonight's game. Bruney will provide some desperately needed help to the bullpen, particularly with Phil Coke likey unavailable tonight after using up 36 pitches to get 4 outs last night. No word on the corresponding roster move yet, but I would imagine Berroa, Tomko, Veras, Aceves, Ramirez, and Albaladejo are all being dicussed. My guess is that it will be Edwar - he, Aceves, and Albaladejo are the only ones with options left. The other two have been good of late; Edwar has not.
The O's come in having alternated wins and losses in each of their last nine games. Having lost their previous game, that would make them due for a win tonight. But the Yanks have some good mojo working, so at 7:05, 7 days after their last loss, the 6'7" Sabathia will throw the game's first pitch, as the Yanks look for 7 in a row. And CC says "Don't you mess with me".
On the seventh hour,
of the seventh day,
of the seventh month,
seven doctors say:
"He born for good luck"
And that you'll see
I've got seven hundred dollars
Don't you mess with me
Hey - with seven hundred dollars you could get yourself a nice Legends Suite for tonight. Plenty of good seats available.
Burch Smith and the Problem of Holding Velocity
11 minutes ago