After looking seemingly invincible for much of this season, the Yankees bullpen got an abrupt wake-up call last night when it coughed up a 4-3 Yankees lead and turned it into an 11-5 Rays advantage.
Much of the blame falls on the shoulders of Adam Warren and Cesar Cabral, who each struggled in their own unique ways. While Warren's pitches kept finding Tampa Bay bats, Cabral's pitches kept finding Tampa Bay batters. He hit 3 Rays in the 8th inning and was swiftly tossed from the game by home plate umpire Joe West -- and swiftly DFA'ed by the Yankees. The team called up right-handed reliever Matt Daley today to take Cabral's roster spot.
Tonight, the Yankees look to move on from that nightmare of a game as they send Ivan Nova to the hill to try and guarantee them of at least a split in the 4-game set that wraps up tomorrow on Easter Sunday. Carlos Beltran is back in the lineup, but Derek Jeter will not play tonight. No worries though, as he is healthy and just simply resting those 40-year-old legs.
Tonight's lineup against Tampa:
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- LF Brett Gardner
- DH Carlos Beltran
- C Brian McCann
- RF Alfonso Soriano
- 3B Yangervis Solarte
- 1B Kelly Johnson
- 2B Brian Roberts
- SS Dean Anna
Pitching matchup preview: Ivan Nova vs Chris Archer
Despite many believing Ivan Nova was set for a breakout 2014 season, so far he has looked pretty mediocre. Unable to rediscover what made him so effective last year, Nova has allowed 11 earned runs in 16.2 innings. He is coming off of a 2-run, 7.1 inning start against Boston last Sunday, but he really labored and did not look like himself.
The biggest thing I've noticed out of Nova is he has not had the strikeout pitch working for him through his first three starts (8 K in 16.2 IP). Putting last night's loss on the bullpen, Nova is facing a pretty bad Rays lineup, so this will be his best chance to rebound and re-establish himself as one of the better starters in the American League.
The Yanks will have the tall-task of facing 25-year-old Chris Archer. Archer owned the Yanks in his rookie season, most notably throwing a 2-hit shutout at Yankee Stadium last July. However, he is coming off of a rough outing against the Orioles (7 ER in 5 IP), and certainly is facing a tougher Bombers lineup this time around than he did last summer.
This game could either be an intense pitchers duel or a slugfest. Either way, it'll make for a fun Saturday night in Tampa.