Cleveland Indians Series Preview: New York Yankees, June 3-June 5

The best reliever ever - Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians start perhaps their toughest road trip of the year, with the hated New York Yankees.

Cleveland heads to New York to complete their season series with the Yankees. Monday's game is at 7:00 PM as it is the ESPN game of the day. Tuesday's game starts at 7:05 PM with the Wednesday game an afternoon start of 1:05 PM. After the game, the Indians get a well-deserved day off before finishing off the trip in Detroit and Texas for three games each.

Team in a Box

New York Yankees

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

31-24

Runs/Game

4.1

11th

Runs/Game

3.9

2nd

AL East

2nd

OBP

307

12th

H/9

8.9

9th

Last 10

3-7

SLG

400

10th

BB/9

2.4

1st

Last 30

16-14

Steals

32

7th

SO/9

8.2

7th

*[All stats through Saturday's results]

The Tribe lost the first two games of the original series in April in horrific fashion before the Wednesday and Thursday games were rained out. Those two were made up as an old-fashioned doubleheader in May where Cleveland earned a split mainly on a 1-0 Masterson gem. Since that doubleheader, the Yankees have struggled, going 7-10. Granderson was activated shortly afterwards as well, but went right back on the DL with a fractured knuckle from another hit by pitch a few days later. Youkilis and Teixiera were both just recently activated, leaving core players Jeter, A-Rod and Granderson still on the DL. The lack of their star players has finally taken a toll on the lineup as they are in the bottom third of most offensive categories. As those guys return and shake off the rust, the hitting should improve. The pitching staff only currently has one elite starter in Kuroda, and of course the ageless wonder in Rivera. But even with the rest of the staff closer to league average, their team ERA is fantastic, third in the league. And they also issue the fewest walks in the league.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

CF

Brett Gardner

L

235

258

328

411

100

3B

Kevin Youkilis

R

80

254

338

394

99

2B

Robinson Cano

L

239

291

347

532

135

1B

Mark Teixiera

L

8

143

250

143

11

LF

Vernon Wells

R

213

253

300

439

98

DH

Travis Hafner

L

157

248

363

481

128

RF

Ichiro Suzuki

L

187

257

292

343

72

SS

Jayson Nix

R

164

248

317

303

71

C

Chris Stewart

R

96

262

309

369

84

When Kazmir pithes, I expect Hafner to sit with Youkilis being the DH and David Adams playing third. Austin Romine is the backup catcher and Reid Brignac, Lyle Ovverbay and Brennan Boesch fill out the bench. With Youkils and Teixiera activated, we will have to see how rusty they are. The lineup has finally started showing the results of missing key cogs. Cano and Hafner have been the only real offensive threats. And it is a testament to Girardi they have a better record than us with a much worse lineup.

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

June 3

Pettitte (Masterson)

L

3.83

49.1

109

8.9

2.7

7.1

June 4

Phelps (Kazmir)

R

4.65

50.1

90

8.6

3.6

8.9

June 5

Sabathia (Kluber)

L

3.71

80.0

112

9.7

1.8

8.0

We luckily miss their best starter in Kuroda. Pettitte has looked mortal this season and is just off of the DL. He did pitch a gem against us back in April in the 14-1 beatdown. Phelps was the hardluck loser in the day game of the doubleheader where Masterson beat the Yankees 1-0. We finally get a shot at the last active Cy Young Award winner residing in the AL. He has only made six starts against us since joining the Yankees. His last two starts in 2011 and 2012 were excellent, only allowing one run in 14.1 innings. Although his numbers look poor this season, he was very good in his last one against the Red Sox.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Mariano Rivera

R

1.77

20.1

238

8.4

0.9

7.5

David Robertson

R

2.78

22.2

151

5.6

2.4

11.9

Boone Logan

L

1.80

15.0

236

9.0

1.8

11.4

Rivera has been amazing as usual, but hasn't pitched in any of the previous four games. He has been good but not extraordinary against us historically. In 41 games, a 2-2 record, 29 saves, and a 8.6 K/9 in 57.1 innings. Robertson also hasn't pitched against us yet this season. He has excellent numbers in only 10.2 innings against us. Logan has pitched a scoreless 1.2 innings against us this year. Joba Chamberlain, Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren and Preston Claiborne are the other guys in the pen.

On the Shelf

  • P Cesar Cabral (left elbow stress fracture) - 60-day DL, no timetable for return
  • CF Curtis Granderson (fracture knuckle) - 15-day DL, possible late June
  • SS Derek Jeter (crack in left ankle) - 60-day DL, post All-Star break
  • SP Michael Pineda (right anterior labral tear) - 60-day DL, possible June
  • 3B Alex Rodriguez (right hip) - 60-day DL, post All-Star break
  • C Francisco Cervelli (fractured right hand) - 60-day DL, possible late June
  • SS Eduardo Nunez (strained left oblique) - no timetable for return

Since we met, Joba Chamberlain, Ivan Nova, Teixiera and Youkilis have all been activated. With them getting a bit healthier, two LGFT'ers, Ben Francisco and David Huff were designated for assignment. Pettitte recently missed a few starts with a bad trapezius, but was just activated for this series.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

1

3

250

8

32

073

2012

1

5

167

15

26

268

Last 5*

13

23

361

143

188

377

Last 10*

23

46

333

297

378

391

All-Time

871

1103

441

8369

9555

440

* Does not include 2013 stats

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