Oh, great. It is Derek Jeter’s final series against the Angels. This matters to very few people, but we are going to hear about it a lot because DEREK JETER. HE’S THE CAPTAIN!
The thing is we are going to get it from both ends. The media fawning over Jeter (who stinks this year, by the way) and from certain groups of Angels fans who will lose their mind and rip Moreno, Carpino and Dipoto if at any point this series they so much as acknowledge the fact that Jeter ever existed. So, yeah, this’ll be fun.
Just last week we reviewed the history between these teams. It isn’t a fun history for the Halos. It wasn’t fun when they played last week and blew the series, so maybe things will turn for the better this time around now that the Angels are back on home ground.
MONDAY, 5/5: Jered Weaver vs. David Phelps
Weaver missed the Yankees last time, which is too bad because his history is good. Strangely, the guys he has faced the least have hit him the hardest. Both Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano have touched Jered up for two homers each, both in just six plate appearances a piece. Most everyone else has had a hard time doing much of substance, though Weaver has only really shutdown Roberts and Gardner.
Not much of a history for Phelps, but the Angels middle infielders has gotten to him. He’s hardly dominated anyone though as he only manager four strikeouts in 30 plate appearances. Whatever, the Angels should just be glad they don’t have to face Tanaka this time around.
TUESDAY, 5/6: C.J. Wilson vs. Hiroki Kuroda
Wilson was effective but inefficient last time against the Yankees. He continues to own Ichiro and remains plagued by Beltran and Soriano. Really, anyone who hits left-handed has had no luck against C.J., which bodes well for him once again.
Being able to platoon Ian Stewart is going to come in handy with this one. He has good history against Hiroki and was a big part of the Angels smacking Kuroda around in their last meeting. Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar should be licking their chops as well. What will be interesting is to see if Ibanez gets to play, given his poor track record against Kuroda.
WEDNESDAY, 5/7: Hector Santiago vs. Vidal Nuno
It was ugly last time for Santiago and it could be ugly again. The current Yankees are slugging a collective .736 against Hector in 580 plate appearances. Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter have done a lion’s share of the damage. Jacoby Ellsbury is really the only Yankee against whom he has had any real success against.
Nuno has been lousy in three starts this year, one of which came against the Angels. Now that the Halos actually have more right-handed hitting options, things might only get worse.
Honestly, the pitching match-ups are just so strongly in the favor of the Angels that I can’t help but predict a sweep. The offense isn’t firing on all cylinders, but they have enough parts now to platoon this thing through until everyone gets healthy.
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
Hector Santiago will turn a quality start and strikeout 9+.