Series Preview: Royals (77-61) at Yankees (72-66)

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Kansas City heads east to the Bronx and Detroit on the heels of a 5-4 homestand which includes a suspended game. This series against New York is equally as imported with the Tigers one game behind the Royals and Yankees in the thick of the wildcard chase.

The Royals visit Derek Jeter at Yankee Stadium one last time this weekend. Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

To find out more about the pinstripes we enlisted the help of Billy Brost of Yankees Go Yard.

Kings of Kauffman – It’s Derek Jeter weekend in the Bronx, do you think that’ll have any effect on New York?
Yankees Go Yard – In terms of it being Derek Jeter weekend, there have been reports that the Yankees are denying on planning to retire Jeter’s number this weekend. Who wants to have a player day on the opening Sunday of the NFL Season? It would be a moronic move by the Yankees, so I suppose it could still happen. How it affects the team, I don’t think it does. They’ve been so inconsistent with their hitting and defense, nobody ever knows from one day to the next which team will show up.

KOK – What’s the source of the Yankees erratic play?
YGY – Again, with their erratic play, it’s a lack of focus, not having a sense of urgency, and that starts in the dugout with the manager. Joe Girardi is arguably one of the most polarizing managers in all of baseball. More binders than gut instinct, and from I see, no desire to motivate his team to take things to another level.

KOK – How do you feel about the postseason chances?
YGY – In the spring, I did my bold predictions piece, and while it wasn’t going out on a limb, but I picked the Yankees to finish third, and out of the playoff hunt. I still feel that way. Brian Cashman, new contract coming and all, didn’t do enough to make this team a contender. It started with bungling up the Robinson Cano situation, and it’s snowballed from there. People give him credit for trading for Brandon McCarthy and Martin Prado, but it was too little too late. Big mistake to extend him at this point.

KOK – Who’s pitching this weekend and what do Royals fans need to know?
YGY – In terms of pitching, the Yankees have three solid arms going this weekend in Michael Pineda, Brandon McCarthy, and Shane Greene. Greene got knocked around early and didn’t make it out of the third inning in his last outing. Pineda appears to be getting stronger with each start, after spending most of the season on the DL with shoulder issues after being suspended for using pine tar, and McCarthy has been the staff savior. Once he began using his cut fastball again, after being told in Arizona by former Yankees bullpen coach and current D-backs pitching coach, Mike Harkey to stop using it. He’s pitched like a legitimate ace and up to his potential. There is now talk that both sides want this pairing to continue beyond this season.

KOK – Series Predictions
YGY – I don’t want to sound like a homer, but the Yankees knocked Shields around the last time they faced him, so I’m giving the edge on that to Pineda. McCarthy gets his win as well, and only Greene will struggle. Yankees 2 out of 3–only if they can hit. If the bats go ice cold again, who knows? The Royals just could as easily sweep. Seems to be the theme of the 2014 Yankees. Win a series, then lay down and get whipped on.

Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Friday, 6:05 pm – James Shields/RHP (12-7, 3.38) v. Michael Pineda/RHP (3-3, 2.09)
Saturday, 3:05 pm – Danny Duffy/LHP (8-11, 2.42) v. Brandon McCarthy/RHP (5-4, 2.80)
Sunday, 12:05 pm – Yordano Ventura/RHP (11-9, 3.38) v. Shane Greene/RHP (4-2, 3.88)

Comments on Pitching Match-ups – Game one we get a rematch of the make-up game last Monday at Kauffman Stadium won by Pinada. Game two will see Duffy v. McCarthy which will be an interesting match-up with how each have pitched of late. Game three will have two pitchers that are two games over .500 with Ventura and Greene.

Series Predictions – This trip is important and I think that while Kansas City has played well lately including winning three straight they’re in a location they struggled in. No matter which yard named Yankee Stadium it’s caused the Royals trouble which is why I feel this series goes against our boys in blue. Prediction: Yankees take two of three

2014 Meetings:
After the game last week these teams have split four meetings so far so this weekend will determine a winner. Last time out New York won 8-1 in front of a big crowd at the K and as mentioned Pineda getting the best of Shields.

Franchise History:
All-time New York leads 270-185 while holding a 151-79 record in the Big Apple, at this Yankee Stadium they’re 10-7.

TV/Radio Coverage:
Friday and Sunday on FSKC with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler while Joel Goldberg and Jeff Montgomery host Royals Live before and after from Yankee Stadium

Saturday the game is on FOX Sports 1 while Sunday’s game is also available on TBS with Ernie Johnson and Ron Darling on the call.

All three games are available on the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC) with Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews calling the action along with Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart live from the Bronx.

AL Central Standings (September 5):
Kansas City Royals (77-61, – GB)
Detroit Tigers (77-63, 1 GB)
Cleveland Indians (71-67, 6 GB)
Chicago White Sox (63-76, 14.5 GB)
Minnesota Twins (61-79, 17 GB)

2014 Series Schedule/Results v. Yankees (Series Tied 2-2)
June 6-9, Kauffman Stadium – L 4-2, W 8-4, W 2-1, PPD
August 25, Kauffman Stadium – L 8-1
September 5-7, Yankee Stadium

Game Notes:
New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals

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