Blue Jays-Yankees Preview
While the New York Yankees survived without their ace pitcher
for three weeks, the Toronto Blue Jays may have a tough time making
a playoff push with their best slugger on the disabled list.
The Yankees will activate CC Sabathia from the DL and he’ll take
the ball Tuesday night looking to continue his dominance over a
Blue Jays team that will be without Jose Bautista.
Sabathia (9-3, 3.45 ERA) hasn’t pitched since facing the New
York Mets on June 24, going on the DL a few days later with a
strained groin. His first trip to the DL since 2006 was tough to
take for the six-time All-Star known for his durability.
“You feel like you’re not contributing and helping the team,”
said Sabathia, who has thrown at least 230 innings in each of the
last five seasons and is second in the majors with an average of
111.6 pitches per game. “For me it’s a little embarrassing.”
The Yankees (55-34) did just fine in his absence, winning 12 of
18 and extending their AL East lead over Baltimore from 2 1/2 games
to nine. They won Monday’s series opener 6-3 on Raul Ibanez’s
tiebreaking grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning.
Sabathia missed two starts while sidelined but kept his same
between-start throwing routine. He said the pain in his groin has
been nonexistent since a bullpen session June 26, and the time away
might help his endurance down the stretch.
“I’m going to throw until they tell me to stop,” he said.
It is uncertain what kind of pitch count Joe Girardi will
enforce in his return, but the Blue Jays (45-45) probably hope it’s
low considering the left-hander has gone 7-0 with a 2.73 ERA in his
last eight starts against them. Sabathia’s last loss to Toronto
came Sept. 4, 2006, while with Cleveland.
Sabathia won’t have to worry about facing Bautista – not that
those matchups have been much of a concern for the Yankees’ top
Bautista, tied for second in the majors with 27 homers, left the
opener in the eighth inning after injuring his wrist on a swing. He
was diagnosed with inflammation in the area and was placed on the
15-disabled list, with no timetable for his return.
The Jays called up outfielder Anthony Gose, who played in the
Futures Game for top prospects last week, from Triple-A Las
Toronto, two games out of the second AL wild-card spot, can’t
afford to lose its most dangerous hitter for an extended time, but
Bautista’s absence may not have made much of a difference Tuesday.
He is hitting .053 with eight strikeouts in 19 career at-bats
Robinson Cano has experienced similar woes against Brett Cecil
(2-1, 6.75), but he enters this contest riding a career-best
19-game hitting streak.
Cano had two hits Monday for his third consecutive multihit game
and is batting .413 with six homers, six doubles and 20 RBIs during
the run. He has gone 2 for 17 against Cecil since the start of 2010
– his lowest average versus the 18 pitchers he has at least 14
at-bats against in that stretch.
Cecil was knocked around for seven runs in 4 1-3 innings against
the Chicago White Sox on July 8, but the Blue Jays won 11-9. It was
the second time in three starts the left-hander yielded at least
This will be Cecil’s first start of the season versus the
Yankees after going 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in two starts against them