Oakland Should Be Just a Speed Bump on Yankees’ Road to Boston

August 17, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

After a rare loss in Seattle Sunday, the first place Yankees will attempt to get back in the win column Monday as they open up a three-game series in Oakland.

The A’s (52-65) have lost five of six to New York (74-44) this year and are in last place in the AL West, but the Yankees can’t look past them to the weekend series at Fenway Park.

Let’s take a look at the pitching matchups.


Monday, Aug. 17: A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.71) vs. Brett Tomko (1-2, 5.23)

Tomko will have a chance for revenge after the Yankees released the reliever on July 29.  The A’s signed him a week later and now send the right-hander to the hill for his first start since May 26, 2008, when he was with the Kansas City Royals.

In 260 career starts, Tomko is 88-91 with a 4.66 ERA.   He has also made 123 relief appearances, including five against New York, during which he is 2-0 with a 9.00 ERA.

Jorge Posada (4-for-6, 3 2B, HR) and Alex Rodriguez (4-for-8, 2 2B, 2 HR) have had a great deal of success against Tomko, but Nick Swisher (1-for-6) hasn’t, so Eric Hinske might get the start in his place.

Burnett, meanwhile, has allowed just three earned runs over his last 13.2 innings pitched and is 2-2 with a 4.14 ERA in six career starts against Oakland.

The right-hander should be aided by the fact that A’s first baseman Daric Barton is on the 15-day disabled list, because the lefty is 3-for-7 with a homer against him.

Burnett, however, dominates Mark Ellis (3-for-16) and Jack Cust (1-for-10, 4 K).

Prediction: Yankees 7, A’s 4


Tuesday, Aug. 18: CC Sabathia (13-7, 3.64) vs. Vin Mazzaro (4-8, 5.44)

The Yankees’ success this year against rookies included touching up Mazzaro for six runs on eight hits and four walks over 4.1 innings during a 6-3 victory on July 23.  Johnny Damon, Posada, and Mark Teixeira each collected two hits off of the righty, including Teixeira’s big two-run homer in the fourth.

That game was in the Bronx and the New Jersey native is even worse at home, where he sports a 1-4 record and a 6.15 ERA.

Sabathia tallied his 13th victory of the season on Thursday when he held Seattle to a single run through eight frames.  The lefty gave up only three hits, walked two, and struck out 10 in the win.  That’s back-to-back stellar performances for Sabathia, who shut out Boston over 7.2 innings on Aug. 8.

The Vallejo, California native has already faced Oakland twice this season, getting spanked for seven runs in a no decision on April 22, before defeating Mazzaro on July 23, when he surrendered just three runs in seven innings.

Sabathia is 4-7 with a 6.09 ERA in 17 career starts against the Athletics.  Bobby Crosby (8-for-26) has hit the southpaw well, while Jack Cust (Seven RBI in 17 AB) has been awfully clutch against him.

The Yankee pitcher, however, has been able to tame Adam Kennedy (2-for-10, 6 K) and Rajai Davis (1-for-8).

Prediction: Yankees 6, A’s 5


Wednesday, Aug. 19: Chad Gaudin (5-10, 5.13) vs. Brett Anderson (7-8, 4.55)

The Yankees continued to play with Joba Chamberlain’s mind by first telling him he wouldn’t start last Sunday and then telling him he would after they decided to push Gaudin’s replacement start off to Wednesday.  The result was a four-run, five-inning effort, leading to Joba’s first loss in two months.

Gaudin now takes the hill for his first start as a Yankee, following two relief appearances during which he allowed two runs on five hits and one walk, while striking out four in 3.1 innings.

The right-hander, acquired from the San Diego Padres earlier this month, is 20-28 with a 4.85 ERA in 69 career starts.  He’s given up seven runs in 2.1 lifetime innings against Oakland.

Nomar Garciaparra is 0-for-6 against Gaudin, while Crosby is 2-for-2 with an RBI double.

Anderson gave up seven runs on nine hits and three walks in five frames Friday against the White Sox.  He pitched really well during a three-start stretch in July, but things began to go downhill when he surrendered four runs on nine hits and two walks during a 6.2 inning effort in the Bronx on July 24.

The rookie also allowed five runs on three homers in 5.1 innings at Yankee Stadium on April 22.

Melky Cabrera is 4-for-5 with a double and a home run against Anderson, while Johnny Damon is 1-for-7.  This will probably be Posada’s off day this week, as he has struck out three times in six at bats against the lefty.

Prediction: A’s 6, Yankees 5


Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison.

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report’s New York Yankees Community Leader.  His book “Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man” is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

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