This weekend the Yankees host the Cleveland Indians in a four-game series (beginning Thursday) while the Mets travel to Colorado for a three-game series with the Rockies.
The Bombers paid a visit to Cleveland just over a week ago and the result was a 2-1 series loss, including a heartbreaking defeat in 16 innings. The Yankees will attempt to get revenge as they fight with the Blue Jays for the AL East lead.
Thursday’s game will feature Josh Tomlin and Ivan Nova starting for the Tribe and Bombers, respectively. Tomlin made his first start of the year just last week and it was a solid one; only five hits and two runs surrendered in 6.1 innings. The Yankees have had mixed results against Tomlin in his career; Jacoby Ellsbury has only three hits in 16 ABs but Mark Teixeira has four hits in 13 ABs with two home runs. Ivan Nova has won four of his last five starts and his WHIP in August is just 1.04.
The Yankees will face Carlos Carrasco on Friday and he has been brilliant lately for the Tribe, going at least seven innings in each of his last four starts. He picked up the win against the Yankees on August 11 when he pitched eight innings and allowed just two runs, both on home runs. Masahiro Tanaka will counter for the Yankees and he was masterful in his last start, as he pitched a complete-game shutout against the Blue Jays on August 15. The Yankees are 12-5 in games Tanaka starts this year.
Saturday is a day game that will feature Danny Salazar for the Indians and newest Yankee starter Luis Severino. Salazar shut down the Yankees on August 12, going 7.1 innings while allowing just one run on four hits and striking out eight. Salazar has given up just one run in each of his last four starts. The Yankees have yet to win a game in which Severino pitches, and the Indians weren’t intimidated by the young phenom on August 11; they got two runs on seven hits and struck out just twice, and now they have film on Severino to study. The rookie will have to be sharp to match Danny Salazar and keep the Yankees in the game.
Sunday’s series finale sees Trevor Bauer and CC Sabathia taking the hill for their respective clubs. The Bombers knocked around Bauer on August 13 to the tune of six runs on seven hits (two homers) in just 3.1 innings. Bauer proceeded to get shelled by Boston on Tuesday, allowing five runs on six hits in less than two innings. CC Sabathia, who was involved in a spat at a Toronto nightclub on Saturday night, was mediocre against the Twins on Tuesday, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks, but his team won the game 8-6. Sabathia gave up just two runs on nine hits against his former team when he pitched in Cleveland on August 12.
The Mets three-game stand with the Rockies kicks off on Friday when Bartolo Colon faces off against rookie Jon Gray. Colon has been trying to fight his way out of a deep funk; he held his own against the Pirates last weekend going seven innings and allowing just one run on five hits, but he still has only one win since June 12. Gray faced the Mets on August 10 and was marvelous, allowing only one hit and one run in six innings. He followed that up with a solid start against the Padres, so the Mets will have to be on their guard against this promising prospect.
Southpaw Jon Niese goes for the Mets on Saturday, and he has done well against the Rockies in the past; Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Reyes and Nolan Arenado are a combined 7-for-35 against him. The Rockies answer with Chris Rusin, who just pitched a complete game shutout against the Padres on Sunday. He lowered his ERA almost half a point because of that.
Sunday will bring the series to the close, and Matt Harvey takes the mound at Coors Field. Harvey has been dominant lately, allowing just two earned runs in his last four starts (28.2 innings). More importantly Harvey has rediscovered his control, allowing only one walk in that span. The Rockies look overmatched as they send out David Hale to counter; after posting an ERA over five in eight starts Hale got hurt in a game with Atlanta on July 9. His rehab starts in Triple-A were dreadful and his first start back against the Nationals was miserable.
Probables for Indians/Yankees
Thursday – Tomlin (1-0, 2.84) vs. Nova (5-4, 3.57)
Friday – Carrasco (11-9, 3.63) vs. Tanaka (9-5, 3.56)
Saturday – Salazar (11-6, 3.16) vs. Severino (0-2, 3.18)
Sunday – Bauer (9-10, 4.62) vs. Sabathia (4-9, 5.24)
Probables for Mets/Rockies
Friday – Colon (10-11, 4.58) vs. Gray (0-0, 2.40)
Saturday – Niese (7-9, 3.50) vs. Rusin (4-5, 3.99)
Sunday – Harvey (11-7, 2.57) vs. Hale (3-4, 6.17)