Vine Line Game Day Preview: Cubs vs. Yankees
Christina Kahrl, who writes for ESPN’s SweetSpot Blog and is a founding partner of Baseball Prospectus, contributed this overview of the New York Yankees for the Vine Line Game Day Edition program, available at Wrigley Field. Grab your official Wrigley Field scorecard for just $2 and catch Christina’s full look at the Cubs’ matchups every month.
The last time the Yankees played in Wrigley Field was in 2003, their first visit to the Cubs’ home turf since the still-controversial “Called Shot” World Series of 1932, when—depending on who you want to believe—Babe Ruth either did or did not call a home run off Cubs pitcher Charlie Root in Game 3 of New York’s sweep. In 2003 as in 1932, the Cubs were a postseason-bound ballclub, but the ‘03 edition won their interleague series with the Bronx Bombers by taking two of three. With the Yankees looking to build a lead over the Red Sox and Rays in yet another three-legged AL East race, can the Cubs call the shots by putting a dent in their playoff hopes?
HITTING: With Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson dueling for the overall lead in home runs and Robinson Cano in the race for the RBIs lead, the Bombers bring a ton of firepower to the plate against righties. But their overall record against them was just above .500 (through early June)—it’s lefties they’ve been killing, winning 14 of 22 against them.
PITCHING: It’s a bend-don’t-break rotation helped by a better-than-average defense, and setup man David Robertson headlines a middle-relief crew that rates third in the majors in stranding inherited baserunners. All the better to hand leads off to another pinstriped immortal, closer Mariano Rivera.