After taking five of seven at home, the Yankees are back on the road this week, making their first trip to Canada since the first weekend of June.
That was back when Toronto was still one of the surprisingly good teams in baseball. Alex Rodriguez was hurt on that trip, Chad Gaudin allowed a walk-off single and the Yankees lost two of three.
At this point, the Blue Jays have fallen off, but their pitching can still cause problems. The Yankees have to face Brett Cecil and Brandon Morrow on this trip. Those two combined for 15 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB and 13 K the last time the Yankees were in Toronto.
Some things to keep in mind.
• The Yankees beat up on Morrow the past two times they faced him in New York, but they got only one win out of it.
• Cecil has pitched very well against the Yankees twice this year, but this team has gotten much better against lefties. Austin Kearns is making a big difference, and when Cecil last pitched at Yankee Stadium, it was while Marcus Thames was on the disabled list.
• Ivan Nova could give the Yankees some rotation options for the final month of the season, and he might give them something to think about for next year. When I’ve seen him, Nova’s been at his best when he’s keeping the ball on the ground. That would certainly be true against a home run hitting team like the Blue Jays.
• Just a guess, but there’s a chance you’ll see both Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez in the same lineup this series. Might be good to give Derek Jeter at least a DH day on that turf.
Associated Press photo of Nick Swisher