Before it ever really got going, the Yankees' quick two-game series with the Chicago Cubs comes to a close today at Wrigley Field. The Yankees are looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Cubs this afternoon after losing last night's rain-soaked contest, by a score of 6-1.
Not even Masahiro Tanaka was enough for the Yankees to defeat the Cubs. Tanaka gave up four runs (three earned) in six innings, as he suffered his first loss of the season, snapping a regular season winning streak that lasted a span of 639 days. Pretty damn impressive.
The offense went pretty cold last night, collecting just five hits against starting pitcher Jason Hammel and the Cubs' bullpen.
This is the final time the Yankees will face-off with the Cubs this season after sweeping a doubleheader against them at Yankee Stadium back in April. After today, the Yanks will travel to the south side of Chicago for a four-game series with the White Sox at US Cellular Field.
Today's lineup at Chicago:
- Brett Gardner LF
- Derek Jeter SS
- Jacoby Ellsbury CF
- Mark Teixeira 1B
- Brian McCann C
- Yangervis Solarte 3B
- Ichiro Suzuki RF
- Brian Roberts 2B
- Chase Whitley SP
- Ichiro will get the start in right field today over Alfonso Soriano, who has been playing a lot of right field lately since Carlos Beltran went on the DL.
- Gardner will be leading off with Ellsbury batting third today -- a combination we've seen a lot of lately, with Gardner thriving in his role, and Ellsbury not so much. For more on that, you can read the blog post I just put up this morning.
Pitching matchup preview:
Chase Whitley makes his second career big league start today, facing the Cubs at Wrigley. Whitley made his Major League debut last week at Citi Field, holding the New York Mets to just two hits over 4.2 innings, getting the no-decision.
For those of you that don't know much about Whitley, he's a talented young right-hander that sits in the lower 90's with his fastball, and compliments that with a pretty good changeup that drops into the low 80's. He has a good slider as a third pitch to use.
Taking the mound for the Cubs today is right-hander Jeff Samardjia, who the Yankees could possibly target at the trade deadline this July with their starting rotation lacking any solid depth right now.
Samardjia has pitched pretty well this season, which would lead you to believe his trade value will be very high, but the Cubs haven't been doing much to reward his good pitching, as he's still looking for his first win of the season.