Friday’s Game of the Night is in New York City at the house that Brett Gardner built. The Toronto Blue Jays (69-64) will look to continue their success against the New York Yankees (84-50) in 2010. The Jays hold a 7-5 lead over the Yanks in the season series. Toronto is sending Brandon Morrow (10-6, 4.27 ERA) to the mound for the final start of his season, the 26 year old has really developed into his own this year after being thrusted into a reliever role last season in Seattle. Morrow never found his groove out of the bullpen and the player chosen before Tim Lincecum is finally getting to show the world it was not a mistake. Morrow in 143.1 innings has struck out 174 batters while walking 63, only giving up 11 home runs on the year. In 2008 and 2009 pitching out of the pen in 64 and 69 innings allowed 10 home runs in both seasons. Not only is the right hander showing great command with his pitches averaging over 10.93 strikeout per nine inning. You have to commend the Blue Jays for shutting down Morrow after tonights start, after watching Dustin McGowan throw until his arm fell off pitching meaningless September baseball. Morrow has already reached his innings limit for this year, there’s no reason to push it.
The Yankees will send 23 year old (Russian Cosmonaut) Ivan Nova (1-0, 1.93 ERA) to the hill for his third career start. The 6’4 right hander from the Dominican Republic has quiet the mound presence, looking closer to 6’7 then 6’4. Nova has a big sweeping curveball and a fastball the rides in the low to mid 90’s. Nova in his first official start against the Blue Jays on August 23 went 5.1 innings striking out three walking one with 2 earned runs. He fared much better in Chicago on Aug 29, pitching 5.2 innings with seven strike outs only walking one again on only 88 pitches.
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (.265/21/97 in 112 games) will not be in the line up tonight, as he remains on the DL with a calf injury. A-Rod may return on Sunday for the series finale. First baseman Mark Teixeria (.269/30/98) will have to continue carry the load, Tex is 9 for 13 with seven RBI’s in his last four games.
Of course you cannot for get the best reason to watch Blue Jay baseball in Jose Bautista (.269/43/103). Bautista is approaching McGwire/Sosa presence when he comes to plate in the fact that you do not want to miss a moment when he’s at the dish. The Jay’s right-fielder has a chance to do what no other Jay has ever done in hitting 50 home runs in a year. Pretty crazy when Bautista has 102 career home runs and .245 lifetime career batting average.