We hope you had a fun time watching the Yankees in Tampa during spring training, because they're back! Well, sort of.
After a nine game home stand that saw the Yankees go 6-3 during their first stay of the season at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees jumped on the plane last night after the second game of a doubeheader and came down to Florida, where they will open up a four game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night at Tropicana Field.
Because Tuesday's game was rained out, the Yankees and Cubs played a day-night doubleheader yesterday, and for 18 innings, it was all Yankees.
The Yankees won the first game, 3-0, behind the brilliant performance of Masahiro Tanaka, who struck out 10 in eight scoreless innings, giving up just two bunt singles. Michael Pineda got the call in the nightcap, and shut down the Cubs over six innings in the Yanks' 2-0 win.
Carlos Beltran homered in the 1st inning of the day game to continue his hot streak at the plate. He was named the AL Player of the Week on Monday, and hasn't slowed down since. He's hit three homeruns in the past five games, and now has four on the season, while batting .327.
Tonight's lineup against Tampa:
- Jacoby Ellsbury CF
- Derek Jeter SS
- Carlos Beltran RF
- Alfonso Soriano DH
- Brian McCann C
- Yangervis Solarte 3B
- Scott Sizemore 1B
- Brian Roberts 2B
- Ichiro Suzuki LF
Pitching matchup preview: CC Sabathia vs David Price
Sabathia and Price met once or twice before. Maybe nine times, actually. We're not sure how it continues to happen, but Price and Sabathia will be squaring off for the 10th time tonight.
The Rays have won eight of the nine previous contests, and Price in 6-1 in those games.
Sabathia is not a big fan of pitching at Tropicana Field in his career, either, a place where he's 3-8 with a 4.38 ERA and 17 homeruns given up 115 career innings.
Sabathia is still trying to get into a groove to start the season. He looked really good in the first five innings of his last start against the Boston Red Sox, but ran in trouble when he have up a pair of homeruns to put the Yankees down in the game, which they eventually lost.
"I just haven't been able to put a whole game together," Sabathia told reporters after the game. "I'm pitching well at times, but I need to be able to stay even-keeled and make pitches in big situations like that. I was just frustrated and kind of rushed through and left a pitch hanging."
Price is coming off a pretty good outing against the Cincinnati Reds, when Price was two outs away from recording the third shutout of his career until he surrendered a ninth-inning home run to Joey Votto.
Beat the Streak: Heck, why not Beltran?