Preview: Yankees @ Blue Jays (9/17/13)

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After getting swept by the Red Sox over the weekend, the Yankees playoffs hopes are fading faster than the old rickety bodies that make up the roster. Andy Pettitte (10-9, 4.04 ERA) gets the ball first against the knuckle baller R.A. Dickey (12-12, 4.36 ERA.) Pettitte has been the Yanks most reliable starter as of late. In his past six starts, the oldest starter in baseball is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA. He beat the Jays with seven innings of scoreless ball on August 27th in Toronto. He has won all three of his starts against Toronto this year, posting a 1.77 ERA while limiting them to four runs on 14 hits over 20 1/3 innings.

“It’s just battle; figure out a way,” Pettitte said after his last start on Wednesday. “We’ve been doing it all year. We’re going to continue to do it. We’re going to continue to push through this and no matter how you lose a game here or there, it’s not over until we’re eliminated, as far as I’m concerned.”

Dickey’s 15 game streak of pitching at least six frames was snapped his last time on the mound against the Angels. The veteran allowed four earned runs and was pulled after 5 1/3 innings. He did, however, surpass 200 innings for the third consecutive year.

The Bombers have fallen to three games back in the playoff race entering their off day Monday. The Blue Jays are firmly out of the postseason picture and now just play the roll of spoiler. The Yankees’ three game series in Toronto will still be a crucial one. They have only 12 games remaining, and each one will be critical to their chances of catching the Rays or Rangers and making the playoffs.

The team could be forced to open the series without Alex Rodriguez, who departed Sunday’s series finale in Boston early with a new injury. Already dealing with a tight left hamstring, Rodriguez left Sunday’s game in the fifth inning due to tightness in his right calf. The Yankees were originally planning on putting Rodriguez back at third base on Tuesday after he spent the last five games as the club’s designated hitter while nursing the hamstring injury, but that now seems unlikely.

Alfonso Soriano returned to action on Sunday after missing Saturday’s game with a sprained right thumb. Though he is not 100 percent, Soriano said it’s the type of injury he needs to play through given the Yankees’ current situation in regards to the postseason race. “We’re in the race and it’s not time to take a day off,” said Soriano, who added he was simply in too much pain to play effectively on Saturday. “I just want to do the best I can and help the team to win.”

Notes on the game.

Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis is hitting .550 (11-20) in his career against Pettitte.

The Yankees are 13-3 against the Jays this season, marking the third straight year they have won the season series. Since 2001, Toronto has won the matchup just one time, going 10-8 against them in 2010.

First pitch at 7:05 PM on MY9

RJ Loubier

Born and raised in Connecticut right on the Massachusetts boarder aka I've had to live with Red Sox fans my entire life. However, my dad is a lifelong Yankees fan and he raised me right! The long, storied history of the team and the legendary players who have worn the Pinstripes captivated me at a young age and never let me go. With a degree in journalism and broadcasting writing about the Yankees just made sense (@ThoseRJs)

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