The New York Yankees seem hell-bent on finishing this decade the way they started it: by hoisting the Commissioner's Trophy amid a flowing river of cheap bubbly.
In between their last Series victory and this writing, New York has suffered through a rare stretch of playoff setbacks, including the Great Collapse of '04.
The Bronx Bombers enter tonight's game against the A's with their muscles securely in the flex position. No one has won more games this year than the Yankees (74). No other front-runner has placed more real estate between them and their closest pursuers than the 7.5 game lead currently enjoyed by the Pinstriped Ones. None have benefitted from home cooking more than Joe Girardi's ballclub, and few have more road victories.
While the A's have gone just 1-5 against the Yankees this season, they played them close to even on a recent trip to the Big Apple. Oakland, of course, is operating better all around of late, winning eight of 13. Leading the charges is Mark Ellis, who not only earned a hero's welcome at home plate after yesterday's walk-off, but swung his way to Player of the Week honors.
Brett Tomko works opposite A.J. Burnett this evening in the first of a three-game set at the Coliseum.
Below are the gentlemen they will be facing:
08/17/09 7:05 PM PDT
|New York Yankees||Oakland Athletics|
|Derek Jeter - DH||Adam Kennedy - 3B|
|Johnny Damon - LF||Rajai Davis - CF|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Alex Rodriguez - 3B||Scott Hairston - LF|
|Jorge Posada - C||Ryan Sweeney - RF|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Mark Ellis - 2B|
|Nick Swisher - RF||Jack Cust - DH|
|Melky Cabrera - CF||Bobby Crosby - 1B|
|Ramiro Pena - SS||Cliff Pennington - SS|