Yankees-Brewers Series Preview: New York Goes to Bat Against Familiar Faces

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Yankees-Brewers Series Preview: New York Goes to Bat Against Familiar Faces
Al Bello/Getty Images

While the Red Sox and Phillies duke it out this week, the Yankees have an opportunity to widen their lead in the American League East as they face the Brewers.

Milwaukee, which leads the National League Central by three games over St. Louis, has a strong rotation, but its three members who are slated to pitch against the Bombers do not have a good track record vs. New York.

Let's take a look at the pitching match-ups:

 

Tuesday, June 28 - Freddy Garcia (6-6, 3.30) vs. Zack Greinke (7-2, 4.77)

Garcia has turned in three straight quality starts, allowing just two unearned runs over seven innings in a 4-2 win at Cincinnati his last time out.

The right-hander has pitched very well during Interleague Play, racking up a 2.14 ERA and a microscopic 0.90 WHIP through three outings this season. But that's nothing new for Garcia, who is 22-10 with a 2.86 ERA over his career versus the NL.

He has faced the Brewers twice, losing both starts despite a 3.38 ERA in those games. Garcia has dominated both Mark Kotsay (5-for-22, .227) and Yuniesky Betancourt (1-for-14, .071).

After missing the first month of the season because of an injury, Greinke struggled out of the gate, but he has pitched very well in five of his last six starts. The righty's 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings are the most in baseball among hurlers with at least 60 innings pitched.

Greinke is 11-6 with a 4.25 ERA in 25 Interleague games (19 starts), but really struggled against the Yankees when he was with the Royals, going 2-3 with a 5.27 in 10 outings. He is 0-2 with an 8.82 mark in the Bronx.

That's mostly thanks to Mark Teixeira (5-for-11, .455), Nick Swisher (6-for-15, .400) and Alex Rodriguez (7-for-20, .350), who have all homered off Greinke.

 

Wednesday, June 29 - A.J. Burnett (7-6, 4.15) vs. Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.95)

In a match-up between two former Blue Jays teammates, Burnett enters coming off a shaky start against the Rockies, in which he allowed four runs over 6 1/3 innings. Control was once again a problem for the man who ranks fourth in the AL in walks, as he issued five free passes.

Burnett is 17-11 with a 3.74 ERA over 36 Interleague starts, but he is 1-2 with a 6.39 in five outings against the Brewers.

Kotsay is 4-for-11 (.364) with two doubles off the right-hander, but Betancourt is just 4-for-19 (.211).

Marcum has been limited to only four total innings over his last two outings due to a hip injury, but he should be at full strength for Wednesday's start. That's good news for Milwaukee because the right-hander ranks 12th in the NL in ERA and 13th with 86 strikeouts.

Marcum is 6-1 with a 3.71 ERA in Interleague play, but he has not had success against the Bombers, sporting a 1-4 record and a 6.55 mark in 11 games (nine starts). In his only start at the new Yankee Stadium, he allowed five runs in six innings.

Jorge Posada is 7-for-18 (.389) with an insane four homers against Marcum, but Swisher is just 2-for-12 (.167) with four strikeouts.

 

Thursday, June 30 - CC Sabathia (10-4, 3.25) vs. Randy Wolf (6-4, 3.20)

The sun has been shining on Sabathia and the Yankees this year. Not only is New York's 22-4 record during day games the best in baseball, but its ace is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four day starts, including his last outing when he held the Rockies to just one run over eight innings in an 8-3 win on Saturday.

Thursday's game is a matinee and it's an Interleague contest, in which Sabathia is 19-7 with a 3.54 ERA over his career. He is 0-1 with a 4.85 in two lifetime starts against his former team, the Brewers.

Betancourt (0-for-15) and Josh Wilson (2-for-17, .118, 4 K) may want to sit this one out.

Wolf has lasted at least 6 2/3 innings and yielded three or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. He is 11-12 with a 3.97 ERA in Interleague play, but 0-1 with a 7.20 in two career starts against the Yankees. The only time he ever pitched in the Bronx was in 2008, when he allowed seven runs (five earned) in four innings.

Andruw Jones will probably get the start against the lefty, but he shouldn't because he's 11-for-55 (.200) with 11 strikeouts against Wolf. The rest of the Yankees' roster has just 19 at-bats versus the southpaw.

Follow me on Twitter at @  JordanHarrison.

Jordan is one of Bleacher Report's New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. 

He can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

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