The Oakland Athletics are playing great baseball and are going to have to continue to play great baseball with the best team coming into town. The New York Yankees will be in Oakland for a 4-game series. The Yanks have the best record in baseball at 57-34 and are in first place in the A.L. East, ten games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees’ pitching staff is second in the American League in strikeouts (749), third in ERA (3.72), and they are tied for first in saves with the Baltimore Orioles with 31 apiece. Oh yeah, they can hit really well also. Why do you think they are called the ‘Bronx Bombers?” New York’s offense leads the A.L. in home runs with 146, they are also first in Slugging Percentage (.467), second in extra base hits (320), and are third in runs scored with 449.
The Athletics have not seen the New York Yankees since the 27th of May. This was during a time that nobody wants to remember but is hard to forget. The A’s were swept in three games by the Yankees in the last weekend of May when they were out scored 17-5, which was right in the middle of the Athletics’ 9-game losing streak. The positive side to this is at the A’s were playing their worst baseball the last time New York was in Oakland, and now they are visiting during a time the A’s are playing their best baseball.
As of today the A’s are the hottest team in baseball during the month of July. On top of that, Oakland is coming off their Major League leading 9th walk-off win against their division rival; the first place Texas Rangers. The Athletics are going to have to play fundamentally sound baseball against the Yankees and execute on every play if they want to win. Pitching, hitting, and defense will need to be grade “A” perfect during this 4-game series.
The Athletics will look to the rookie A.J. Griffin to start them off in game one of the series. It will be young versus old as the Yankees will be sending the crafty veteran Freddy Garcia to the mound. A.J. Griffin, who finally received his first win in his last start, is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA and has pitched tremendously since being called up on June 24th. As for Freddy Garcia, things have been a little rocky for the seasoned veteran. Garcia has spent some time in the bullpen for the Yanks and is 4-2 with a 5.25 ERA.
Game 2: Ivan Nova (10-4, 4.18 ERA) vs Tommy Milone (9-6, 3.54 ERA)
Game 3: Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.22 ERA) vs Jarrod Parker (6-4, 3.16 ERA)
Game 4: CC Sabathia (10-3, 3.27 ERA) vs Bartolo Colon (6-8, 3.88 ERA)