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It's time to find out what the 2012 edition of the Toronto Blue Jays is made of as they visit the Evil Empire for the first time this season.

Monday - RHP Henderson Alvarez (5-7, 4.36) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.33), 7:05 p.m. ET

The Yankees are 20-9 in series openers so far in 2012 and they look to the 26 year-old Hughes to keep that trend going.  The Jays have done alright against Hughes as he is 3-4 with a 4.57 ERA against them.  They beat Hughes at the Dome back on May 17 as part of a two-game sweep.  He has been pitching better lately as he has gone 8-3 with a 3.46 ERA over his last dozen starts, though he did lose to Boston in his last start during the Saturday doubleheader before the All-Star break. 

He throws a fastball around 92 miles per hour about two-thirds of the time.  He'll drop a curveball around 74-75 mph about 20 percent of the time, an 84 changeup nearly 10 percent of the time and the odd cutter around 86.  Hughes has walked just over two batters per nine innings to rank 6th in the American League. 

The Jays who have had success against Hughes are Yunel Escobar (2-for-4), Ben Francisco (1-for-2) and Edwin Encarnacion (3-for-11).  Jose Bautista is 4-for-15 with a home run and Adam Lind has gone deep against Hughes but is just 4-for-22.


Tuesday - LHP Brett Cecil (2-1, 6.75) vs. LHP C.C. Sabathia (9-3, 3.45), 7:05 p.m. ET

Sabathia is looking for an early birthday present as he turns 32 this Saturday.  This will be his first start since June 24 as he is coming off the disabled list after a strained groin.  He is 12-3 lifetime against the Jays and is undefeated against them in his last eight starts with a 7-0 record and a 2.73 ERA.  The lone no-decision was a Blue Jays win at the Dome on September 16 last season.  Elias Sports Bureau says Sabathia could join Scott MacGregor as the only pitchers to record a win against the Jays in nine consecutive seasons.  MacGregor's streak was from 1978-1986 while Sabathia started his in 2004.

His K/9 rate has increased the last three seasons with the Yankees, going from 7.5 in 2010 to 8.8 this season.  His groundout/flyout ratio has increased every year since joining the Bronx Bombers in 2009, going from 1.15 to 1.67.   Sabathia is throwing about 4 percent fewer fastballs and 6 percent more sliders this season compared to last.  His heater is around 92 and the slider checks in around 81.  He throws a changeup around 85-86 and with a curveball around 78.

Kelly Johnson is 4-for-10 against Sabathia and Lind is 3-for-8.  Bautista is just 1-for-19.


Wednesday - LHP Ricky Romero (8-5, 5.03) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.67), 1:05 p.m. ET

The 37 year-old Japanese hurler allowed seven runs over five innings against the Jays at the Dome May 16 in his lone career appearance.  Kuroda uses a fastball just over half of the time at 91 MPH and an 83-84 slider nearly 30 percent of the time.  He also throws a splitter around 86 and a curve around 76.  His strikeout rate is 6.9 per nine innings and is walking 2.5 batters per nine innings, not far off his rates of 7.1 and 2.1 with the Dodgers last year.  Kuroda has been prone to a few more gopher balls as he has surrendered 1.17 dingers every nine innings, an increase from 1.07 in 2011 when he allowed a career high 24 balls to go over the fence.  His home run per fly ball rate has also shot up nearly two percent to from 11.3 to 13.0.  To help offset that, Kuroda has increased his groundball rate by five percent from 43.2 to 48.4.

J.P. Arencibia is 3-for-3 with a homer and a double against Kuroda. Encarnacion is 2-for-3 with a dinger and Bautista is 1-for-2 with a tater.


Of Note...The Yankees took two of three from the Angels at home, losing the finale 10-8 Sunday...Second baseman Robinson Cano has an 18 game hitting streak after getting two more hits yesterday.  He's batting .403 during that span...The Bronx Bombers lead the majors with 142 home runs, Toronto is second with 130...RH reliever Joba Chamberlain pitched two scoreless innings against the GCL Blue Jays on Saturday.  Chamberlain is recovering from elbow, knee and ankle maladies...Rehabbing catcher Austin Romine also played the G-Jays Saturday, going 1-for-4 as the DH.  He's been out the entire season with a back injury...LH reliever Clay Rapada has not allowed an earned run over 10 innings covering 18 appearances...Russell Martin had the game winning hit against the Angels Saturday but the catcher from East York, Ontario is hitting just .178.

Advance Scout notes were culled from, and


New York Yankees - July 16-18 | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#260444) #
Of the ‪BlueJays‬ remaining 73 games, 35 (48%) are vs. the ‪Yankees‬, ‪RedSox‬, & ‪Rays‬. The season starts today.
85bluejay - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#260446) #

Blue Jays pitching VS Yankees offense - I wonder if they're going to have to invoke the mercy rule.

 was surprised with all the LH hitters on the Red Sox, the Jays didn't start Cecil Today, so he would pitch the 3rd game against Boston  & also to break up the 3 lefty in a row followed by 2 righty rotation

Anders - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#260447) #
Great stuff on Brett Lawrie and shift defense, and the Jays infield shift defense in general:

greenfrog - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#260448) #
The Jays are going to need more production from LF if they're going to compete with the big boys. Davis's 243/300/376 line isn't getting it done. The offense has been solid overall but you need every advantage you can muster against teams like the Yankees, especially when you're pitching-challenged.

Big series...go Jays!
PeteMoss - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#260450) #
Is that Sabathia vs Cecil game the less likely win on the schedule?
uglyone - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#260451) #
Big, big road swing this week.

I'm hoping for a 3-3 split.
greenfrog - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#260452) #
Judging by the first three innings tonight, the book on many of the Jays hitters seems to be: throw it off the plate, because they will chase. The book seems to be pretty accurate.
scottt - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#260453) #
Only one strike out in the first 3 innings. Only 4 in the first 7.

Compared to 7 Ks by the yanks.
greenfrog - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#260454) #
The Jays' season might just have ended on that swing.
krose - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#260455) #
Let the Travis Snider era begin.
finch - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#260456) #
The Blue Jays just became sellers rather than buyers with that one swing.
greenfrog - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#260457) #
If they wanted to be really bold, they could move Rasmus to right and promote Gose to play CF. Defense first.
sam - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#260458) #
f'in Arencibia. Johnson likely gets the out there on the force at second. Two outs man on first is a lot better looking than first and third one out. Catching the ball too, way too much movement. He rarely ever beats the ball to the spot, moving through the ball as he catches it and as a result makes a lot of good looking pitches bad.

I think the Jays have something in Loup. Pretty live arm and he can sweep a breaking ball too. The command wasn't that bad. He seemed pretty calm too.
sam - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#260460) #
Paul O'Neil on the Yankee broadcast was convinced that Bautista had broken his hamate bone in his left hand. According to O'Neil he's seen several hitters do that on the follow through, just have that bone snap. According to his broadcast partner, the recovery time for that injury is usually six to eight weeks and requires the removal of that bone.
greenfrog - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#260462) #
Tough break for Loup to be charged with a couple of earned runs, as he pitched well and was victimized by Arencibia's PB and the infield hit by Cano. Both he and Beck looked sharp tonight.
JB21 - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#260463) #
I don't ever recall seeing so many missed or dropped balls by a catcher before. It's frustrating to watch.

I was one of the posters who in the last couple days was hoping for Snider to get called up. Can I take that back now?
uglyone - Monday, July 16 2012 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#260467) #
Anthony Gose has just been removed from the 51s game in the 2nd inning.

Welcome to Toronto, kiddo.
Gerry - Tuesday, July 17 2012 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#260493) #
John Dewan has updated his defensive calculations for Brett Lawrie to account for the shift.  In summary, Lawrie is half as good as was previously reported but he is still the best defensive 3B in the majors.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 17 2012 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#260494) #
DRS is now probably understating Lawrie's defensive contribution a bit.  Lawrie probably deserves some of the credit for the team excellence when using the shift, as he covers more ground than the average third baseman employed in the middle of the diamond. 
ogator - Wednesday, July 18 2012 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#260632) #
Outpitched, outhit, outdefenced. Beaten, spanked, out classed and laughed at. Players hauled off the field and x-rayed. I'm not sure the Yankees could have devastated the Jays any more without using military weapons. There is no shame in losing but it was like watching a Major League team against some pick ups. Time to rethink the plan in a very serious way.
Hodgie - Wednesday, July 18 2012 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#260637) #
Well, if the plan is to completely over-react to losing three games against the best team in baseball when fielding a crippled roster then yes, please do re-think that plan.
bpoz - Wednesday, July 18 2012 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#260643) #
Ok!!! If I knew how to play poker well, then I would know if I should Hold Em OR Fold Em.
New York Yankees - July 16-18 | 22 comments | Create New Account
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