The Yankees look for a little payback sweep as CC Sabathia (12-11, 4.91 ERA) and Erik Johnson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) go head to head in the last game of the series. In his last nine starts, Sabathia gave up at least five runs six times. He earned a win despite giving up five runs over 5 2/3 innings against the Orioles his last time out. In six August starts, Sabathia has a 5.94 ERA. The big lefty has won three of his last four starts, but a 6.17 ERA in that stretch has him heading for a career high. He could use some solid starts in September, and if he can settle into a groove, that can only help the Yankees down the stretch.
“It makes it easier if you have five starters on a roll, obviously,” Joe Girardi said Tuesday. “We could go out and bang 10 runs a game, and pitching becomes less of a factor. Obviously, we’d like to see Kuroda and Sabathia get on a roll in September, and if it does, it’s really going to help us.”
In the ultimate ‘Welcome to the big leagues’ moment, Johnson was called up to the White Sox from Triple-A Charlotte and will make his Major League debut Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. He is ranked the number two prospect in the White Sox system. This season in the minors he is 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA (31 ER/142 IP), three complete games and 131 strikeouts over 24 starts between Triple-A Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham. “It’s a great opportunity,” Johnson said of making his debut at Yankee Stadium. “If you ever wanted to start somewhere in your Major League debut, this would be it.”
With the Yankees fighting to pick up ground in the postseason race, Girardi knows there’s a tendency to check the out of town scoreboard once in a while. “It’s hard not to scoreboard watch. It’s right in front of you, and it’s flashing at every ballpark,” Girardi said. “Does it take your attention away from the game? No. But it’s pretty hard not to look.”
The Yankees are 21-11 against the AL Central this season. They’ll play 17 of their last 24 against AL East opponents, and they have a 32-27 mark against their own division.
Notes on the game.
New York’s second straight win over the White Sox on Tuesday came after Chicago had claimed six consecutive over the Yankees dating back to last season.
The Yanks go from one sock to another as the Red Sox come to town for four games after tonight.
First pitch at 7:05 PM on Yes