Game of the Night

Game three between the New York Yankees (88-57, tied for 1st in the AL East) versus the Tampa Bay Rays (87-57, tied for 1st in the AL East) at Tropicana Field is Wednesday’s Game of the Night (7:10 PM ET). The Yankees won Tuesday’s game 8-7 in extra innings when Jorge Posada’s leadoff pinch-hit homer in the 10th inning to come away with its second victory in nine games.  The Yanks and Rays have another five games in the next nine days, which should make some epic matches coming up.

New York has Phil Hughes (16-7, 4.26 ERA) on the mound, Hughes has already thrown the most innings in his young blossoming career 156.1 innings. The Yanks will have Hughes on tight leach and small pitch count to ensure their young ace is ready for another shot at the World Series. Hughes last appearance was on Sept 10 in a relief role, he tossed a flawless ninth inning against the Rangers. On the 24 year olds last official start on Sept 5 versus the Toronto Blue Jays, Hughes went six innings striking out five while allowing six earned runs on seven hits in a losing cause. In one start at Tropicana this year Hughes tossed six innings– struck-out six in a loss.

Tampa will have James “Big Game” Shields (13-12, 4.98 ERA) on the hill. Shields has been struggling of late giving up 32 home runs in 180.2 innings, ranking first in the American League and second in MLB this season. In Shields last start, a 9-8 loss to Toronto on Sept 10, the 28 year old pitch five innings — struck-out four allowing four earned runs on seven hits. However, in four starts versus the Yankees this season Shields holds a 2.77 ERA in 26 innings– striking-out 28 holding the Yanks to .206 batting average.

On a side note….. The Toronto Blue Jays have Kyle Drabek making his debut versus the Baltimore Orioles. Drabek has been called everything from a potential ace to a solid rotation guy to a set up guy in waiting. The 22 year old was the key to the Roy Halladay deal back in December. He was voted 2010 Eastern League pitcher of the year. 7:05 PM ET on Rogers Sportsnet.

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