Freddy Garcia has, perhaps, been the underrated man in the Yankees rotation this season. At an 11-7 record, his ERA is just a little over 3.00, and he'll have a chance to decrease it even more when he starts against the Orioles on Labor Day afternoon. The Yankees will face Baltimore's Brian Matusz (1-7, 9.07) who, like his team, has struggled significantly this season.
Discussion of the Day: If you were managing, what game would you start Bartolo Colon in the postseason?
Behind Enemy Lines: Jeff Zrebiec notes that Baltimore pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is on a pace to be historically bad, a long way to fall from a pitcher who has before been considered the ace of the Orioles staff.
1) Rob Parker argues that Robinson Cano is stepping up for the Yankees.
With Alex Rodriguez having missed significant time this season due to injury, the Yankees have needed their other hitters to step up, and Cano has again shown himself to be one of the most valuable second basemen in the league. Cano's numbers might not be as good as they were last season, but that is more of a testament to how good he was in 2010 than any failure on his part in 2011. He has turned into one of the most important bats for the Yankees -- a far cry from a subpar 2008 that had more than a few fans clamoring for a trade.
2) George Willis writes that the Yankees won’t be hampered by injuries in their quest for a 28th title.
While the Yankees may not have been as impacted by injuries as some other teams; that they still have a realistic shot at 100 wins despite losing Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Derek Jeter is a testament to the strength of the roster to be able to overcome the injuries. It is a fine line between being able to overcome injuries and not -- the 2008 Yankees could not do without Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui, among others -- but the Yankees have a much better constructed roster to avoid such a problem this season.
3) Johnette Howard argues that CC Sabathia, and not Curtis Granderson should be the Yankees' MVP this season.
While it may be hard to argue that any one pitcher is more valuable to the team than an outfielder who plays every day, the praise of Sabathia is certainly warranted. Sabathia's success as a Yankee is nothing new, but has been that much more valuable this season given questions concerning the rest of the rotation. While he may fall behind in the Cy Young debate compared to Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander, it's unlikely -- if not outright impossible -- that the Yankees would be as well positioned for the postseason without Sabathia's ability to both shoulder a heavy workload and excel while doing so.
Dellin Betances allowed five runs on six hits in five innings of work in the first game. He walked two and struck out seven.
Andrew Brackman pitched two innings in the first game, allowing one hit while not walking a batter or recording a strike out.
Double-A Trenton lost to New Britain, 12-9.
Short Season Staten Island lost to Brooklyn, 7-4.