Yankees Turn To Luis Cessa In Game 2 Against Toronto

  • Yankees 71-65
  • Blue Jays 77-60
  • Bronx, NY Yankee Stadium
  • 40% chance of rain, 77 degrees 

The Yankees look to Luis Cessa (4-0 4.17ERA) to hold down the Blue Jay offense. Cessa comes into the game making his 4th start of the season. Over his first three starts in the majors he has definitely gotten the job done turning in a quality start in all of his first three starts. His numbers as a starter are: 18 IP 14H 6ER and just 3BB. That gives him an ERA of 3.00 and a 2-0 record. The Yankees have also won all three games he has started to this point. 

Opposing him will be the Blue Jays Aaron Sanchez who has been masterful this season. He has posted a 13-2 record with an ERA of 2.88. His last start he turned in 6 scoreless innings against Baltimore; however, his previous start he was pulled after 4 innings and giving up 4 runs at Cleveland. Sanchez has averaged 98 pitcher per game, and 15 pitches per inning. The Yankees should key on making him work early and often. Even if they fail to score off of him Toronto is worried about the work load he has had this season, so they will be careful with him, and if you can get into the middle relief in a close game this becomes a very winnable game.

The Yankees line up will be faced with the task of playing some runs against the right-handed Aaron Sanchez. Below is everyone’s career numbers against Sanchez.

  1. Ellsbury (3-10, 1BB, 0K)
  2. Gardner (1-10, 3BB, 3K)
  3. Sanchez —
  4. Headley (0-6, 1BB, 3K)
  5. Teixeira (0-8, 0BB, 2K)
  6. Torreyes (1-3, 0BB, 0K)
  7. Gregorious (3-8, 1 2B, 1BB, 2K)
  8. Austin —
  9. Castro (0-2, 1RBI, 0BB, 0K)
  10. Judge —
  11. McCann (1-7, 1HR, 1RBI, 2BB)
  12. Refsnyder —
  13. Romine —
  14. Young Jr–

The Blue Jays have also never faced Cessa.

My Take: 

The Yankees need to make Aaron Sanchez work hard. Especially early, scoring runs is always nice, but if you can’t manage to plate any runs then trying to work counts and fouling off pitches would be a huge bonus. The Blue Jays have been worried about the work load and the stress that Sanchez has had this season, so his leash will be short. If Cessa can hold down Toronto’s offense, and the Yankees can stay in the game and get to Toronto’s middle relief it could spell out great things for the Yankees. Being able to limit Sanchez to just five innings would be a huge victory for the Yankees.

What’s At Stake For The Yankees:

The Yankees enter play just 3 games behind Baltimore, and Detroit. They also are only 4 games behind the Red Sox, and just 5 games out of the division behind Toronto.

What’s the best the Yankees could be tonight? They could pull within 2 games of Detroit and Baltimore (who play each other in a 3 game series later this week) and within 3 games of the first wild card position. They could also pull to just 4 games out of the lead for the division. 

17-9 the magical number? With the Yankees playing teams mostly in front of them, and with the teams in front of them mostly playing each other if the Yankees went 17-9 they could almost guarantee themselves a playoff position. The closer we get to the end of the season the more that the entire American League is coming back closer to the Yankees. If the Yankees could finish this home stand 7-2 over their next 9 they could very well be leading a wild card position.

My Projected Line Up:

  1. Gardner LF
  2. Ellsbury CF
  3. Sanchez C
  4. Gregorious SS
  5. Castro 2B
  6. McCann DH
  7. Austin 1B
  8. Refsnyder RF
  9. Torreyes 3B

Though I know that Headley will most likely play over Torreyes, and Judge will most likely play over Refsnyder I feel this line up gives the Yankees the most realistic chance at victory.

Picture Taken By Mark DeVoe 

Player To Watch: Tyler Austin

I said it yesterday, and I will say it again today. Watch out for the hot swinging first baseman. Austin has swung a hot bat over the past two games, and finally is starting to square the ball up, and make solid contact. This is important because he is showing the ability to hit the ball with authority now that he did in the minors. He has also made an adjustment and started laying off pitches down in the zone. Look for Tyler Austin to potentially have an impact on this game.

Yankees Key’s To Victory:

  • Knock Sanchez out of the game early. Pitch count is crucial.
  • Get another quality start from Luis Cessa.
  • Make the most of opportunities with runners on.
  • Look to use legs in the line up to get runners into scoring position.
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