Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yankees Ready Themselves to Affect Wildcard

Let's Get Wild

With a 3-2 win over the Oakland A's last night, the Yankees completed their very successful west coast swing with a 5-2 record. They flew to Boston last night to start a series of games that will directly impact the AL Wildcard race.

After a 3-game series in Beantown the Yankees will return home to face the Texas Rangers for 3 games. With a victory over Toronto last night, combined with the Rangers loss to Minnesota, Boston moved back to a 1 game lead over Texas in the WC standings. The two teams conclude those respective series tonight with Texas heading to Tampa Bay for a big 3-game series with the Rays.

Pitching match up for Boston series.

Friday - Andy Pettitte vs. Brad Penny
Saturday - A.J. Burnett vs. Junichi Tazawa
Sunday - CC Sabathia vs. Josh Beckett

On paper, the match ups clearly favor the Yankees, but games aren't played on paper and anything can happen in Fenway.

The Rangers series starts Tuesday night and we believe the pitching should look something like this:

Tuesday - Joba Chamberlain vs. Kevin Millwood
Wednesday - Andy Pettitte vs. Derek Holland
Thursday - Sergio Mitre or Chad Gaudin vs. Dustin Nippert

The Yankees could switch things up too to give Pettitte and extra day's rest and have him go on Thursday rather than Wednesday.

The Joba Rules

Joba Chamberlain
sat down with Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland, and now has a clear picture of what the rest of the season holds for him. Chamberlain will get 6 more starts during the regular season, though Eiland said Chamberlain could get additional starts at the end of the season if 1st place and/or Wildcard are still on the line.

Billy Wagner?

The Mets have placed their former closer, Billy Wagner, on waivers as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery. Considering he's owed about $3.6 million for the remainder of this season plus a buyout for next year, he's not likely to be claimed. But once he goes through waivers, he could very well be dealt and you have to wonder if the Yankees would be interested.

The two left-handers in the Yankees arsenal are Phil Coke, who has been up and down, and Damaso Marte, who will probably be activated tomorrow despite the fact that his stuff isn't really up to snuff.

It wouldn't be a bad for the Yankees as long as they don't have to give much up, especially if they have to absorb most of the salary. If someone does claim Wagner, it would be hard to imagine the Mets, still smarting from the Madoff scam (whether they want to admit it or not), pulling him back off of waivers.

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