Pitching matchups – Yankees vs. Tigers
Here are the pitching matchups for this weekend’s series at Comerica Park (and no, David Wells won’t be available for these three games…):
Tonight: Kei Igawa, LHP (0-0, -.–) @ Kenny Rogers, LHP (2-3, 6.27)
Yankees: After an up-and-down spring, this will be Igawa’s first big league start of ’08. The Japanese import had a shaky first season in the Majors and started this season 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A. Igawa did not face the Tigers in the 14 big league appearances (12 starts) he made last year, and was 0-2 with a 5.76 ERA in five starts away from Yankee Stadium.
Tigers: Rogers retired the first 11 Twins he faced in order Sunday at the Metrodome before Minnesota began chipping away at what had been a six-run lead. He arguably should have finished his afternoon with seven innings and three runs allowed, but a two-out error in the seventh extended the inning for the Twins’ go-ahead rally. Rogers allowed two runs on six hits in six innings to the Yankees last week in the Bronx.
Saturday: Darrell Rasner, RHP (1-0, 3.00) @ Jeremy Bonderman, RHP (2-3, 4.17)
Yankees: Rasner made his first 2008 start in the Majors against Seattle on Sunday. He gave up two runs on two hits in the first inning, and then settled in to pitch five scoreless innings, during which he gave up only three hits. With youngsters Phil Hughes, who is injured, and Ian Kennedy, who is working out his pitching problems in Triple-A, not around, Rasner has a great chance to stick with the team and said he intends to take advantage of it. He didn’t walk a batter on Sunday and yielded only six in 31 innings at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Tigers: The good news for Bonderman was that his slider was more consistent as an out pitch in his last start against Boston. The bad news was he yielded a pair of two-run homers that sank his fortunes in defeat. He needed 113 pitches to last six innings, but he was much more efficient in his previous start against the Yankees. If he can keep that up in the rematch, he could continue his pattern of alternating wins and losses so far this season.
Sunday: Andy Pettitte, LHP (3-3, 3.77) @ Nate Robertson, LHP (1-4, 6.64)
Yankees: Pettitte started and recorded a no-decision in his 400th career start on Tuesday, despite limiting the Indians to two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings and striking out a season-high six batters. His only blemish was a two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta on a sinker that did not cut quite enough, a problem Pettitte continues to fight in his bullpen sessions. He lost to the Tigers on April 30 in New York, allowing five earned runs in six innings for his third loss.
Tigers: Robertson doesn’t have a quality start in seven outings so far this year, and he has been inefficient with his pitches in his last two outings. Still, if he can repeat the last five innings of his victory over the Yankees from May 1, he’d be pretty happy, considering he gave up a three-run home run to Bobby Abreu three batters into his outing that night.