Yankees Preview: Yanks Look To Veteran CC Sabathia To Carry Momentum Into Tampa Series

  • Yankees 73-65
  • Rays 59-79
  • Bronx, NY Yankee Stadium
  • Mostly cloudy with a high of 82.

The Yankees are flying high after pulling off the improbable sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. Today, the Yankees will turn to veteran lefty CC Sabathia (8-12 4.20ERA). CC has pitched much better of late, and unfortunately the numbers do not support that as he has been one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball. He shut down Baltimore at Yankee stadium and a ball bounced away from Starlin Castro that would cost CC 3 runs. Look for CC to continue attacking with his slider and pitching backwards.

The Yankees have to hold onto their momentum they’re carrying. This series is a perfect example of a trap series. The Yankees are 4-5 against the Rays this year, and got swept in a three game series in the final week of July; however, this is a much different team now. The presence of the Baby Bombers will be on full display tonight as the Yankees continue their playoff push.

Opposing CC will be Alex Cobb (0-0 3.60ERA) Cobb is just now returning to action after missing much of this season with an injury. Tampa Bay will be monitoring his pitch count, so being patient at the plate could prove to be very beneficial for the Yankees.

The Starting Line Ups For Tonight’s Game

New York Yankees

  1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
  2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
  3. Gary Sanchez (R) DH
  4. Didi Gregorious (L) SS
  5. Starlin Castro (R) 2B
  6. Brian McCann (L) C
  7. Chase Headley (S) 3B
  8. Tyler Austin (R) 1B
  9. Aaron Judge (R) RF
  10. Starting Pitcher: CC Sabathia 

Tampa Bay Ray’s:

  1. Forsythe (R) 2B
  2. Keirmaier (L) CF
  3. Longoria (R) DH
  4. Miller (L) SS
  5. Mahtook (R) LF
  6. Franklin (S) 1B
  7. Souza Jr (R) RF
  8. Shaffer (R) 3B 
  9. Casali (R) C

My Take:

Tonight’s game is vital for the Yankees to win. They can’t afford to have a let down after such an impressive past four games. They have to continue riding the momentum. This is also the .5 game that has been hanging over the Yankees head as most teams in front of them do not play today; however, Houston did, and they lost today. The Yankees could leapfrog them with a win.

The Yankees once again have to look at pitch count and pitch selection. Cobb is coming back after missing a lot of action this season, and I wouldn’t look for Tampa to push him. If you have pitches to hit obviously drive them, but if you’re ahead in the count make him come to you. 

Player To Watch: Aaron Judge RF

Earlier today I went out on the ledge, and said that Aaron Judge is about to start heating up. I stand by that and think that he can have an impact on the game tonight for the Yankees. He has made more contact over the past two games, and is getting more aggressive early in the counts. Sometimes, I think that when other players get hot it rubs off on others. I think Tyler Austin’s recent stretch may rub off on Judge, and I think he can start getting things going in the right direction today.

Keys To The Game:

  • Work on Cobb’s pitch count.
  • CC must provide some much needed length.
  • The Yankees need to strike early, and give CC a lead to work with. 
  • Keep the momentum from the previous series.
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