By sweeping the Royals over the weekend, the Yankees have compensated for their series loss in Baltimore the previous weekend going 4-2 in those two series combined (not counting the suspended game win in Baltimore). They're thus back on task having gone 18-7 (.720) since the All-Star break. Today they're in Toronto for a three game series that will complete the cupcake portion of their schedule.
The Yanks took three of four from the Blue Jays at the Stadium in mid-July. Since then the Yanks have gone 12-5 and the Blue Jays have gone 10-5, the latter putting together an eight-game winning streak at their home park in Toronto. Of course, the Jays are still just one game over .500, but just as they were in mid-July, Toronto remains the best team the Yankees have had to face during this easy part of their schedule.
The Jays' roster looks much the same as it did when these teams last met, with the notable exceptoin of the Toronto bench, which has seen as much turnover as the Yankee bench that has since added Jose Molina, Shelley Duncan, and Wilson Betemit. For their part, the Blue Jays released backup catcher Jason Phillips, replacing him with minor leaguer Curtis Thigpen, and designated infielders Royce Clayton and Howie "Ha!" Clark for assignment, replacing them with Hector Luna, who was claimed off waivers from the Indians, and switch-hitter Ray Olmedo.
The Yankees are making some moves of their own, having designated Mike Myers for assignment after yesterday's game and flying Jason Giambi to Toronto to join the team. No word yet on who will replace Myers in the pen or when exactly Giambi will be activated or at whose expense.
Today, the Yanks and Jays play an afternoon game on Simcoe Day with Andy Pettitte taking on former Devil Rays' bat boy Jesse Litsch. Litsch held the Rays scoreless through 6 2/3 in his last outing and has a 1.71 ERA over his last five starts. When he faced the Yankees six starts ago, however, he didn't make it out of the first inning, giving up five runs on four hits beginning with a leadoff home run by Johnny Damon, and two walks while retiring just two of the eight men he faced.