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Game 107: Jays' young southpaw is Yanks' last hurdle before Sox

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Mark Rzepczynski (1-2, 3.25) is the last pitcher I want to face with a paltry 1.5 leg up in the AL East, and in the last game before the Yankees have to face their seemingly insurmountable rival.

The Blue Jays' 23-year-old rookie is good. And worse, he's the kind of pitcher that can neutralize the biggest weapons in our offensive arsenal. Not with a gyroball. Or 100 mph fastball. No elusive knuckleball, fatal curve, or screaming cutter. But the lefty is keeping his pitches down, making him a rare hybrid of strikeout pitcher and sinkerballer. His changeup is oddly effective--his FB hovers around high 80s--and the long-ball is a foreign concept to him. Even the lasers being roped in for extra bases as of late off the bats of Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira, may see more vertical carry than horizonal pull.

But if the Yanks keep from lunging at pitches in overeager frustrationg, then they can exploit this guy's shaky control and put men on. Now would be a good game to check out what this whole stolen base thing is the Yanks have been hearing so much about from every other team.

Sergio Mitre (1-0, 7.90), once again, needs to just not implode. No one's asking a lot from him. Just don't make it any harder on the rest of the team. If the Yanks want to head back home loaded with some morale souveneirs, then they need to keep their defense tight tonight. Because their offensive confidence could very well take a (figurative) hit.