The Yankees go for their first series victory in over a month, but they face a pitching matchup not in their favor at all: Andy Pettitte vs. Justin Verlander. Here's the lineup they'll send out against the 2011 MVP and Cy Young Award winner:
#Yankees lineup vs DET: Gardner CF, Ichiro RF, Cano 2B, Rodriguez 3B, Overbay 1B, Soriano LF, Granderson DH, Nunez SS, Stewart C, Pettitte P— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 11, 2013
The Yankees throw three lefties in a row at first, beginning with Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, and Robinson Cano, then alternate back and forth between righties and lefties with Alex Rodriguez, Lyle Overbay, Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, and Eduardo Nunez. We get the delight of seeing Chris Stewart back behind the dish as well even though yesterday was only a day game, so Austin Romine could have started today. Alas.
It is also a little weird to see Overbay batting ahead of Granderson against a righty since Granderson is easily the better hitter. Hell, Soriano and A-Rod batting ahead of Granderson is strange too since the righty Verlander is more likely to feast on them than Soriano, but whatever. Batting order is batting order.
In "finally" news, the Yankees recalled righty reliever Dellin Betances from Triple-A Scranton and sent down infielder David Adams, who wasn't hitting and wasn't getting much playing time anyway with the return of A-Rod to the lineup. This is probably the first time we've been legitimately excited to see the former three-time Baseball America Top 100 Prospect in the majors because he has reinvented himself from a terribly wild starter to a shutdown reliever for the RailRiders. Tanya detailed Dellin's resurgence the other day:
Since his move to the RailRiders' bullpen, Betances has pitched to a 1.48 ERA in 48.2 innings. Opponents have been limited to a .169 batting average against Betances, who has managed to strike out 63 batters since his move to the bullpen. Betances had a 1.47 ERA in June and didn't give up a single earned run in 16.1 July innings. His walks issued are still a little on the high side with 21 free passes being issued since he was removed from the rotation. Betances had walked 16 batters in half as many innings before being converted to a reliever.
Due to short starts from the likes of the elderly Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and even CC Sabathia, the Yankees' bullpen has been overused in August. Since Pettitte's on the mound again and facing a powerful Tigers offense, it was a smart move to call for some help. Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne, and Adam Warren don't need to be run into the ground. Betances was impressive in Scranton anyway, so he deserved a look. By sending Adams down, the Yankees can ensure that he gets more playing time as well. It.