Pitching: RHP Sergio Mitre (1-0, 7.50).
BLUE JAYS (53-57)
Pitching: LHP Marc Rzepczynski (1-3, 3.74).
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m. YES.
STATS OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won seven straight, 18 of 23 and 31 of 41. They have won 13 of 14 at Yankee Stadium and 18 of 21. They have a 6.5-game lead in the American League East and they also have the best record in baseball. So, the state of the ‘stripes is pretty good.
PITCHING PRIDE: The pitching staff has a 2.50 ERA in the winning streak, allowing 56 runs and 20 hits over 69 innings. The Yankees have thrown 62 percent of their pitches for strikes and held opponents to a .224 batting average.
CLASSIC TRAP GAME? Let’s see, the Yankees have won seven straight. They just finished an emotional four-game series against Boston played before the first sold-out crowds at the Stadium. They are 7-2 against Toronto this season and facing a pitcher they beat last Wednesday. Today is one of those true tests of professionalism type of games.
THE RIVERA REPORT: Mariano Rivera has not allowed a run since June 12, a stretch of 21.1 innings. His ERA has dropped to 1.88. However … Mo has allowed six hits and three walks in his last 5.1 innings. That’s an unheard-of (for him) 1.68 WHIP. The man is going to give up a run eventually and he’s showing signs of it, perhaps.
A-ROD MOVES UP THE LIST: Alex Rodriguez hit career home run No. 574 last night. That gave him sole possession of ninth place all-time. Next up: Mark McGwire, who hit 583 homers. Frank Robinson is in seventh place with 586 homers.
SURGING: The Yankees are 27 games over .500, their best record since the end of the 2006 season when they were 97-65.
CATCH ME NOW I’M FALLING: The Blue Jays were 27-14 and had a 3.5-game lead in the American League East on May 18. They are 26-43 (.376) since. The Yankees were in third place and 4.5 games out at that point. Let this be a lesson to those of you who fret about the standings in May.
ROSTER UPDATE: Cody Ransom cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Scranton.
OH, SERGIO: The Yankees have won three of the four games Mitre has started. But he has allowed 15 earned runs and 32 hits over 18 innings.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Go Amanda by Steve Earle.
AS FOR ME: I’m taking the Toronto series off like a lazy dog. Headed to Seattle on Wednesday to start yet another long road trip (10 games in 11 days) and it’s time to relax a little. Thanks to Ernie Palladino for calling in the lineup today. I’ll chip in with some updates from time to time.
Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 6:44 p.m.: Blue Jays unload Alex Rios and his contract on the White Sox via waiver claim. That’s $60 million off their books. Huge break for the Jays given that Rios is not worth that kind of money in the current baseball economy.