At this moment, there is no pitcher in the American League that's been more successful since the starts of the July than Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda showed the Angels his greatness last night, firing off eight shutout innings, giving up just three hits, in an effort that lead to his fifth scoreless outing in his last nine starts.
Curtis Granderson was also a big factor in the Yankees 2-1 win last night over the Angels, as Granderson launched his third homerun of the season, taking a fastball right down the middle from Angels starter Garrett Richards, that ended up in the second deck in right field.
The Yankees win last night gave them consecutive wins for the first time since July 10th-11th against the Kansas City Royals, and now they'll go for their first three-game winning streak for the first time since July 10th-12th, when Yankees beat the Royals twice, then took the series opener against the Twins.
Tonight's Lineup, 7:05 EST @ Yankee Stadium:
It's a simple fact, the New York Yankees can not win if CC Sabathia is not pitching well. Obviously, that's been the case for the Yankees lately, as Sabathia has struggled mightily, giving up 30 runs in his last five outings.
The best of those outing was just last week when Sabathia tossed 7 1/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox, permitting just three runs on five hits, and hit didn't walk a single batter. A lthough the solid effort, the Yanks went on to lose the game after Mariano Rivera blew the first of three straight saves in the 9th.
"Obviously, we want to win the game," Sabathia said after the loss to the White Sox. "It's a tough situation, but, you know, hopefully this will help me out."
Sabathia will take the mound against the Angels tonight for the second time this season, the last coming June, when CC held the Angels to two runs on five hits in eight solid innings.
Taking the mound for the Angels is left-hander Jason Vargas, who hasn't pitched since mid-June, when a blood clot was discovered in his armpit area and surgery was required. The Angels are happy to have him back.
"It's a big piece to get back, but you need more than just Jason," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You need the opportunity to win games and have your starters give you a chance to win games on a daily basis. That's the depth that we need. Jason is one piece of that. Hopefully, he can pick up where he left off."
When Vargas left, he was sporting a 6-4 record with a 3.65 ERA. Along with, Vargas had fired off six quality starts in his last seven outings, and the Angels are 7-2 in his last nine starts.