They were also in the process of taking a series from the Rays, but it was Tampa who was sitting atop the Division and holding comfortable cushion for a postseason berth. This time around, however, the roles have been reversed, with the Yanks sitting pretty and the Rays down and out.
One of the Rays' September call ups last year will be today's starter. The first overall draft pick in '07 out of Vanderbuilt, David Price, who emerged as a reliever for the stretch run in '08 was transitioned into the rotation after being called up at the end of May this year. Much like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, Price excelled in his role in the bullpen, and while he has had some exceptional moments, has struggled to become an effective starting pitcher. Price is averaging just 5 1/3 innings over 18 starts and has an ERA of 4.75 (96 ERA+) and WHIP of 1.469. That's average a best, and actually not as good as Joba has been this year in fewer innings.
As you may or may not recall, on September 14th last year, David Price faced the Yankees for the first time and and Derek Jeter welcomed him to the Bronx with a 9 pitch at bat that ended with a solo home run to right-center field. It has been his only hit in 5 plate appearances against Price but he has also worked a walk.
Making his 3rd start of the year for the Yankees is Mr. Chad Gaudin. In his last one against the Blue Jays, he was staked to a 5-0 lead but hit a major snag in the 4th inning. He gave up a walk, a HBP and 3 singles which led to three runs before being pulled in favor of Alfredo Aceves. He threw 80 pitches that day and figures to be able to extend that number towards 100 today since he is functioning on normal rest.
After the line up was disrupted for several days due to the turf in Toronto and the doubleheader yesterday, the Yanks are nearly at full strength, with the exception of Jeter DH'ing while Jerry Hairston plays shortstop (instead of Ramiro Pena for whatever reason). At this point of the season, I guess that doesn't really matter than much.
The games played this September figure to be almost as meaningless as the ones last year, but since 2008 was so empty and unfulfilling, it makes it that much better this time around.
In the days of my youth,
I was told what it was to be a man,
Now I've reached the age,
I've tried to do all those things the best I can.
No matter how I try,
I find my way to do the same old jam.
Good times, bad times,
You know I've had my share