(SportsNetwork.com) – If the New York Yankees have any hopes of contending
this season they are going to need Michael Pineda to stay healthy.
He gets the call on Wednesday when the Yankees eye their first win of the
season in the middle test of a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at
Pineda came to New York in a trade with Seattle in 2012, but has only started
13 games. He went 5-5 in those starts last season and pitched to a 1.89 ERA
over 76 1/3 innings.
The 26-year-old right-hander was brilliant this spring, as he notched a 1.42
ERA with 23 strikeouts to just one walk over 19 innings.
Pineda has faced the Blue Jays more than any other team in the majors. He is
1-2 with a 4.22 ERA in five starts against them, which includes an 0-2 record
with a 2.25 ERA in 2014.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with former National League Cy Young Award
winner R.A. Dickey, who won 14 games for the second straight season a year ago
for the Blue Jays and lowered his ERA by a half run to 3.71.
The 40-year-old knuckleballer could be in some trouble on Wednesday, as the
forecast is calling for cold conditions in the Bronx that are not suitable for
his grip on his trademark pitch.
Dickey has faced the Yankees 16 times (10 starts) and is 6-3 against them with
a 2.64 ERA.
Toronto got the best of Masahiro Tanaka on Monday, as Drew Hutchison’s six
strong innings and a five-run third inning carried the Blue Jays to a 6-1 win.
Hutchison (1-0) held the Yankees to three hits, one a solo homer to Brett
Gardner, in an impressive first career Opening Day start. The young righty was
backed by a big third inning, highlighted by a two-run single from prized
offseason pickup Russell Martin and capped by Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run
Devon Travis added a solo homer, the rookie second baseman’s first major
league hit, later on for Toronto.
Alex Rodriguez, back from a league-imposed suspension for the three-time AL
MVP’s his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal, finished 1-for-2 with a
walk while serving as New York’s designated hitter.
Tanaka (0-1) struck out six over four innings of work and breezed through the
first two, but yielded a leadoff single to Kevin Pillar and walked Travis to
set the stage for Toronto’s eruption in the third.
The Yankees won 11 of their 19 matchups with the Blue Jays last season.