Series Preview: Reunion with the Parrot

The Blue Jays are heading into the Bronx ready to visit an old friend. Edwin Encarnacion will be taking on his former team for the first-time as a Yankee. The last time the Blue Jays saw Encarnacion, he was still a member of the Indians. Weirdly enough, Encarnacion hasn’t walked his parrot against the Blue Jays since July 21, 2017.

What’s also strange, is that the Blue Jays are coming into this series off of a series-win against the Red Sox. The Blue Jays are seeking to win back-to-back series for the first time since late-April. However, the Yankees are the healthiest they’ve been in months. Which likely means the Blue Jays will have a very hard time keeping the Yankees off the scoreboard in this series.

Monday at 7:05 ET

Aaron Sanchez was ineffective once again in his latest start against the Angels. The most-frustrating player on this team surrendered nine hits, seven runs, two home runs and a pair of walks in just three and 2/3 innings of work. This season has been so awful for Sanchez he now leads the AL in losses.

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If possible, this start against the Yankees could go even worse than Sanchez’s previous start. This Yankees’ lineup has already recorded the most-runs in the AL this month, and now they also have Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back healthy as well. Sanchez will be lucky to escape this game without giving up multiple home runs in just the first inning.

CC Sabathia hasn’t been all that effective through his 12 starts this season. However, the future hall-of-famer is coming off his best-start of the season. Last time out against the Rays, Sabathia went six innings and held their lineup to just one run on three hits.

What was most-impressive about this start, was that it was the first time since April 19 that Sabathia hadn’t given up a home run. Surrendering home runs has been a problem for Sabathia this season. As he’s allowed at least one home run in nine of his 12 starts this season.

Tuesday at 7:05 ET

Clayton Richard will be making just his second start at Yankee Stadium in this game. The 35-year-old was able to pitch a little more effectively in his latest start compared to his previous five starts this season. Richard went five innings against the Angels and surrendered four runs on six hits and two walks.

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However, home runs have continued to be an issue for Richard this season. He has given up a home run in five of his last six starts. The Yankees have homered in 26 straight games coming into this series. Which means this could be an extremely short outing for Richard if he’s unable to keep the ball from leaving the yard too many times.

The Yankees haven’t officially announced what they’re going to do in the middle game of this series. But, they will likely decide to go with a bullpen day. Chad Green will likely open this game, followed by Nestor Cortes Jr. for the bulk part of the game.

This will be the fifth-time that Cortes Jr. has been utilized during bullpen days this season. During those four previous outings, the 24-year-old has surrendered no more than three runs in either of those appearances.

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Wednesday at 1:05 ET

Trent Thornton will be seeking for better results in his second start against the Yankees this season. Last time out against the Yankees, Thornton gave up four runs on five hits along with a trio of walks in his five innings of work. Those three walks combined with the 37 pitches thrown out of the zone, led to the unsuccessful start for Thornton.

Although, Thornton achieved something in his last start that he hasn’t done since May 19. In Thornton’s latest start, he allowed just one walk for the first time since his start against the White Sox last month. The Yankees currently own the 4th-best OBP in the AL up to this point in the season. So Thornton will need to limit the walks once again in this start, if he’s going to be successful in this game.

The “Big Maple” has looked like his former-self over his last two starts. James Paxton has held his opponents to a combined three runs and four walks over his last eleven innings of work. The Canadian-born pitcher has also created an eye-popping 14 strikeouts over that same time frame as well.

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While this version of Paxton isn’t exactly the same as the one who recorded a no-hitter against the Blue Jays last season. But, Paxton is definitely pitching much more effectively since his start against the Blue Jays earlier this month. Where Paxton gave up four hits, four runs, a home run, and three walks in just four and 2/3 innings.