Royals-Yankees Series Preview
After taking two of three from Baltimore, the Yankees' 10-game home stand continues with a four-game set against Kansas City. Here is a series preview:
The Royals started out well and then slumped badly and most of it had to do with offense. Enter George Brett, the 3,000-hit Hall of Famer and Royals legend, who decided to join the team as a hitting instructor. The team has bounced back nicely at the plate at times but is still a few games under .500 because of inconsistent starting pitching, an unstable bullpen and the back and forth nature of baseball.
Player to watch: Mariano Rivera. Rivera blew the save and Hiroki Kuroda's gem on Sunday against the Orioles. Adam Jones' two-run blast in the 9th inning was just the sixth go-ahead home run off Rivera at Yankee Stadium in the 9th inning or later with the visiting team trailing. How will Rivera respond? Like he always does, most likely, by taking the ball again in a save situation. He is one of the strongest players mentally the game has ever seen.
Pitching match-ups: Monday: Phil Hughes (4-7, 4.55) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (7-6, 4.29). Tuesday: CC Sabathia (9-6, 4.06) vs. James Shields (3-6, 3.23). Wednesday: Ivan Nova (3-2, 4.09) vs. Wade Davis (4-7, 5.42). Thursday: Andy Pettitte (6-6, 4.37) vs. Ervin Santana (5-5, 2.84).
Prediction: Yankees win three of four. The key to the series is which team gets more timely hits. The Yanks have a long way to go, but had a better week in this department leading up to the series with Kansas City.
By: Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/MikeLSports.