After managing to take the road series from the Oakland A's, our well-rested Jays come back home to take on the division-rival New York Yankees in a two-game set tonight and Wednesday night to start their homestand. Tonight's matchup will feature Roy Halladay dealing for the Jays and Andy Pettitte on the mound for the Yankees. Tomorrow night, Marc Rzepczynski will be on the hill against Sergio Mitre, a man whose name combines both the pizzeria with 4-dollar pies from my youth (technically, Sergino's) and the manufacturer of my soccer cleats. The Yankees have reeled a bit since getting extremely hot, so hopefully the Jays can take advantage of two of their weaker pitchers.
Andy Pettitte (8-6, 4.51, 1.441 WHIP)
As this is a short series, and I have already previewed Andy Pettitte here, this will be a short post. While I am not a fan of Pettitte's work this season (or at least I wouldn't be if I rooted for the Yankees), he is coming off a good start in which he struck out eight and did not walk any over 6 1/3 innings. Let's hope that the Jays offence comes up big after the off-day and gets Doc his 12th win this season. He'll be hard-pressed to reach 20 -- thanks to just one win in six starts since returning from the DL, in spite of posting a 3.00 ERA, striking out 41 and walking just eight -- but, if the bats come alive and he has a strong finish, it's still possible.
Sergio Mitre (1-0, 7.90, 1.976 WHIP)
Sergio Mitre has been victimized by bad luck so far (7.90 ERA vs. 4.14 FIP), but it does not help when 25% of batted balls are line drives. In his three starts so far, he's struck out six (3.5 K/9) over 13 2/3 innings, but he has walked just three (1.7 BB/9), which is a good rate. He has been an absolute ground-ball machine his entire career and this season is no different (56.4% grounder-rate), but he will need to miss some more bats if he wants to stay up in the big leagues. At 28 years old, he's running out of time. He was pretty effecting in AAA this season, striking out 43 and walking just nine over 56 2/3 innings, but AAA batters are not major league batters and he hasn't been able to carry that dominance over to the American League.
In the minors, Mitre has been far more effective against righthanded batters (70 K, 12 BB over 93 2/3 career innings) than lefties (32 K, 15 BB over 47 2/3 career innings) and that relative success against righties has carried over to the majors where he's been fine against righties (.288 / .343 / .418; 2.78 K/BB) but has been pounded by lefties (.320 / .388 / .460; 1.02 K/BB).
Mitre throws a two-seam fastball in the low-90's. He uses both a slurvey curve (mostly against righties) and a change (mostly against lefties) to keep hitters off-balance.