Fresh off a weekend series at home against the most successful franchise in National League history, the Phillies take to the road for a quick trip up I-95 northbound to the Bronx. There they will meet the storied New York Yankees at new Yankee Stadium in a 3-game set.
I was honored to appear as a guest last night on the Yankee-centric “Yanks Go Yard” podcast with host Ricky Keeler. We did a preview of this upcoming series, and also discussed a number of issues surrounding the Fightin’ Phils: the trade rumors, the NL East race, Ruben Amaro, Ryne Sandberg, Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Aaron Nola, Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford and much more.
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The Yanks are, surprisingly to some observers, right in the middle of the AL East and American League playoff battles. They bring a 38-31 record into the series, and sit just one game behind the Rays in the division. Their record is good enough to currently hold the top AL Wildcard slot.
Perhaps the biggest stories around this post-Jeter club are a pair of aging veterans having strong seasons, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. ARod just recorded his 3,000th career hit with a homerun, just as Derek Jeter did back in 2011. Rodriguez is hitting to a .282/.384/.557 slash line with 14 homers and 40 RBI. Tex leads the Yanks with 18 homers and 49 RBI. The Yanks also have Brian McCann at catcher. A Phillie-killer while with the Braves, McCann has 10 homers and 43 RBI.
Monday: RHP Kevin Correia (0-1, 1.69 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (8-3, 3.54 ERA) – Correia gets his 3rd start since being scraped out of the AAA salvage yard by the Phillies as a veteran innings eater. He hasn’t been bad in his first two outings, but there is a reason that the 34-year old, 13-year veteran was languishing in the minor leagues. Pineda is a 26-year old up-n-comer who has been a bit hot and cold this season, but who seems to be stepping forward to become the solid starter that the Yanks hoped they’d be getting when they dealt for him with Seattle back in January 2012.
Tuesday: RHP Sean O’Sullivan (1-5, 4.79 ERA) vs. LHP C.C. Sabathia (3-7, 5.31 ERA) – O’Sullivan has been a half-game starter, and that’s about his limit. Go his 5-6 innings and keep the Phillies in the game. Very similar to Correia the night before. Sabathia is not the pitcher that he used to be, now at age 34. Over the course of a long season, he does not seem able to play the ace any longer. The Phils have a ton of lefty bats, so this would be a game where the righty guys like Maikel Franco and Jeff Francoeur have to step up and do something.
Wednesday: LHP Cole Hamels (5-5, 2.96 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (0-0, 0.00 ERA) – Hamels is rolling along with his typical strong season, this time amidst a torrent of unrelenting trade rumors and speculations. The Phillies ace needs to keep the ball in the yard early, get on his typical roll, and showcase his talent against a high-profile opponent. Nova is coming back in his first start after recovery from Tommy John surgery, so what the Yanks can expect out of him has to considered a total question mark.
Correia/O’Sullivan solid outings – the Phils send out stereotypical 4A-type starters here, guys with some experience, both usually capable of going those 5-6 innings that you look for as a minimum. If either or both can produce actual Quality Start efforts, the Phils could make this a difficult series for the hosts.
Keep the Yanks in the Yard – the name of the podcast that I guested on last night was “Yanks Go Yard”, and they are fully capable of banging the ball around the Bronx these next three games. I expect there to be a few homers, but the Phils pitching needs to limit that to a minimum.
Cole Hamels – the Phillies need a big outing from Hamels, for a number of reasons. Of course, on the field, in order to compete for the victory. But also for his trade value. A big game on a big stage here against a top contender would be huge.
|Monday, June 22||@NY Yankees||7:05 PM||CSN||1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Sp.)|
|Tuesday, June 23||@NY Yankees||7:05 PM||CSN||1210 WPHT, 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Sp.)|
|Wednesday, June 24||@NY Yankees||1:05 PM||NBC 10, MLBN||1210 WPHT, WTTM 1680 (Sp.), 94 WIP|
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE for Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York
Mostly clear, with a low around 75. West wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2pm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. Partly sunny and hot, with a high near 90. Southwest wind 8 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Tuesday Night – ALERT
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. West wind 8 to 10 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunny, with a high near 85. West wind 7 to 10 mph.
INJURIES / DISABLED LISTS
|Ellsbury, Jacoby (CF)||06/22||15-day DL||Possibly July||LCL sprain in right knee||Taking batting practice, running as of June 18 update.|
|Heathcott, Slade (RF)||05/30||15-day DL||Likely June||Right quadriceps strain||Placed on 15-day DL on May 30 retroactive to May 29.|
|Miller, Andrew (P)||06/10||15-day DL||TBD||Strained left forearm||Placed on 15-day DL on June 10.|
|Nova, Ivan (P)||06/15||60-day DL||Possibly June 24||Recovering from April 2014 Tommy John surgery||Sent on Triple-A rehab assignment June 11.|
|Santos, Sergio (P)||06/22||Out for Season||2016||Torn UCL in right elbow||Will undergo Tommy John surgery as of June 21 update; transferred to 60-day DL on June 22.|
|Teixeira, Mark (1B)||06/22||Any day||Day-to-day||Neck stiffness||Not in starting lineup June 22.|
|Whitley, Chase (P)||05/24||Out for Season||2016||Recovering from May 2015 Tommy John surgery||Underwent Tommy John surgery May 19; transferred to 60-day DL on May 20.|
|Williams, Mason (CF)||06/21||15-day DL||Possibly early July||Jammed right shoulder||Placed on 15-day DL on June 21 retroactive to June 20.|
|Billingsley, Chad (P)||06/15||15-day DL||Possibly July||Grade 2 right lat strain||Sent on Triple-A rehab assignment June 15.|
|Hamels, Cole (P)||06/21||Any day||Likely June 24||Right hamstring strain||Threw bullpen session June 21.|
|Hollands, Mario (P)||04/20||Out for Season||2016||Recovering from April 2015 Tommy John surgery||Underwent Tommy John surgery April 8.|
|Lee, Cliff (P)||04/05||60-day DL||Possibly 2015||Left common flexor tendon tear||Shut down from throwing, placed on 60-day DL on March 16.|
|Pettibone, Jonathan (P)||05/09||60-day DL||TBD||Recovering from June 2014 right elbow surgery||Transferred to 60-day DL on April 28.|
|Williams, Jerome (P)||06/17||15-day DL||Possibly early July||Left hamstring strain||Placed on 15-day DL on June 17.|