On Friday, the New York Yankees will face the remade Toronto Blue Jays for the first time this season. Veteran lefty Andy Pettitte will take the mound after getting a few extra days off because of back spasms.
Pettitte comes into the contest with a 2-0 record and an earned run average of 1.20. In his last start nine days ago, he pitched seven innings, allowing one run against the Cleveland Indians. The Blue Jays will send Brandon Morrow to the bump. He is 0-1 on the year and hasn’t lasted more than six innings in any of his three starts. Toronto has lost all three of his starts.
Although they lost on Thursday, the Yankees come into the Toronto series pretty hot. They have won seven of their last nine games and are in second place in the American League East. Toronto started the weekend at 7-9, not quite where they had hoped to be after their offseason shake up.
It is a good sign that Pettitte is coming back to the rotation for the Yankees. They will need to rely heavily on their solid pitching staff if they are to contend for a playoff spot. The have received some good production from their patchwork lineup, but they can’t count on that continuing for the whole season.
Instead, the starters will need to shut down the other team and win a bunch of 3-2 ballgames. Hopefully Pettitte won’t have a recurrence of the back spasms and he can put up close to 200 innings. If that happens, I think the Yankees will be playing important games in October.