The morning rains have subsided, and there seems to be nothing else in the way to stop the Yankees and Indians tonight from playing the second of four games this week at Progressive Field.
The Yankees have won four of their last five games after defeating the Indians, 5-3, last night in the series opener. Since hitting the road last week, the Yankees' offense has seemed to finally wake up, scoring at least five runs in all four of their wins so far on this trip -- 28 total in five games. Starts to make you wonder if it's a sign of a turnaround, or just going up against bad pitching. Maybe it's both.
I saw this in the NY Post today: Shane Greene (first big league victory), Dellin Betances (first big league save), and Brett Gardner (three hits to raise his season average to .289) all played big parts in helping the Yankees win last night's game. A lot of people like to talk about the Yankees not growing any good talent in their farm, when there are actually several players on this roster -- including David Robertson and Chase Whitley -- that have helped the Yankees not only this year, but in the past few years.
Now, if only we could get Rob Refsnyder up here to start helping out.
Tonight's lineup against Cleveland:
LF Brett Gardner
SS Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
DH Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
2B Brian Roberts
RF Ichiro Suzuki
1B Kelly Johnson
3B Zelous Wheeler
* Carlos Beltran is still out with some swelling in his knee. He told reporters a few minutes ago that it's more of a cautionary day off, and that he could enter the game late as a pinch-hitter if needed.
* The Yankees announced today that they have activated Brandon McCarthy, while sending right-handed Bruce Billings back down to Triple-A Scranton. McCarthy, by the way, will wear No. 38 while in pinstripes.
Pitching matchup preview:
Happy Tanaka Tuesday, Yankees fans! Looking for a third straight victory, the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound tonight as he is also looking for his Major League leading 13th win of the season.
Tanaka is coming off of his first non-quality start of the season in 17 outings last Friday when he gave up four runs in seven innings against the Minnesota Twins.
Named an All-Star on Sunday -- he will probably have to back out of the game because he'll pitch this Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles -- Tanaka is 12-3 this season with a 2.27 ERA and an insane 130-to-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio. No doubt that he deserved to be an All-Star, and you could easily make a case for a Cy Young award as well.
As for the Indians, they'll have right-hander Trevor Bauer on the mound tonight. Bauer, once one of the game's top pitching prospects, hasn't been able to find his footing in the big leagues, making several trips to and from the minors with both the Indians and his first club, the D-Backs.
2-4 with a 4.42 ERA this season, Bauer has given up at least three earned runs in each of his last six appearances. In his most recent outing, he gave up three runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out two.