Baltimore ranks ninth or worse in the American League in every major pitching and hitting statistical category, including last-place marks in steals (six), batting average against (.281) and OPS against (.807).
Let's take a look at the pitching matchups for this series.
Monday, May 3—C.C. Sabathia (3-1, 3.12) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (0-3, 4.70)
This is a rematch of last Wednesday's 8-3 victory by the Yankees. In that game, Sabathia got knocked around for 11 hits, but only allowed three runs in 7.2 innings, improving to a stellar 10-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 15 career starts against the Orioles.
Miguel Tejada is 12-for-35 (.343) with five extra-base hits versus the big lefty. Nolan Reimold (5-for-11, .455) and Garrett Atkins (5-for-8, .625) have also had success in limited action.
Nick Markakis, however, is just 5-for-21 (.238) and Cesar Izturis is 4-for-19 (.211).
Guthrie surrendered seven runs (six earned) in 4.2 innings against the Yankees last week, falling to 3-7 with a 5.21 ERA in his life facing the Bronx Bombers. He went 0-2 with a 7.11 mark at the new Stadium last year.
And don't expect the right-hander to get much support from his lineup. The Orioles have put up just 2.6 runs per game in his starts.
Nick Swisher is 10-for-21 (.476) with two homers and eight RBI against Guthrie, while Derek Jeter is 12-for-38 (.316).
Alex Rodriguez may want to rest his leg one more day because he's just 5-for-23 (.217) with four strikeouts versus the 31-year-old. Mark Teixeira is even worse at 1-for-14 (.071).
Tuesday, May 4—A.J. Burnett (3-0, 2.43) vs. Brian Matusz (2-1, 4.40)
And this is a rematch of Thursday's 4-0 win by the Yanks, during which Burnett shut out the Orioles on three hits and a walk over eight innings. The right-hander is now 10-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 14 starts against Baltimore.
The only guys on the roster currently hitting better than .300 versus Burnett have done so in relatively limited duty. Reimold is 3-for-7 (.429) and Luke Scott is 6-for-18 (.333) with two homers.
On the other hand, Ty Wigginton and Adam Jones are each 6-for-26 (.231) off Burnett with 14 total strikeouts, while Izturis is 3-for-18 (.167).
Last Thursday, Matusz yielded three runs on nine hits and no walks in six frames against the Bombers. The young southpaw is now 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against them.
His lone appearance at Yankee Stadium came last year, when he gave up just one run in seven innings to earn the victory.
Expect Marcus Thames (4-for-6, two doubles) to get the start.
Wednesday, May 5—Andy Pettitte (3-0, 2.12) vs. David Hernandez (0-3, 4.55)
Pettitte is coming off his worst start of the season, allowing four runs in six innings against the White Sox on Friday, but the Yankees still won the game and improved to 5-0 in the veteran's starts.
The left-hander is an astounding 26-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 40 games (38 starts) against the Orioles, but Markakis (11-for-32, .344) and Jones (5-for-15, .333) have had success facing him.
Not so much for Tejada (5-for-25, .200) or Wigginton (2-for-21, .095).
Hernandez's last two starts have been no-decisions against the Red Sox. He hasn't escaped the sixth in either of them, but he's limited the damage and put the O's in a position to win, which they did both times.
The right-hander also has a pair of no-decisions in two career starts versus New York to go along with a 4.91 ERA.
In his only game at Yankee Stadium in 2009, Hernandez yielded just one run in six innings.
A-Rod, Jeter, Nick Johnson and Swisher are a combined 0-for-15 off him, but Robinson Cano is 2-for-5 with a homer and Jorge Posada is 2-for-2 with two blasts.
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Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report's New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.
Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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