The Yankees (45-27) square off against former manager Joe Torre for the first time since he left the team after the 2007 season, as New York travels to face the Dodgers in Los Angeles for a three-game series this weekend.

Torre led the Bombers to four World Series titles between 1996-2000, but lost his touch and overworked the bullpen over his final three years in New York, during which the Yanks failed to advance past the American League Division Series.

Now, Torre manages the Dodgers (39-33), a team that stands in third place in the National League West, three games back of first-place San Diego. Los Angeles is a solid offensive team, ranking eighth in baseball with a .267 average, but it has a mediocre pitching staff. The Dodgers strike out the second most batters, but rank 17th with a 4.14 ERA.

Let’s take a look at the pitching matchups. 

Friday, June 25 – CC Sabathia (8-3, 3.68) vs. Vicente Padilla (1-1, 6.67)

Sabathia starts the opener after the Yankees chose to skip Phil Hughes’ turn in the rotation. Despite the right-hander’s excellent first three months, I don’t have a big problem with this because he is already within four innings of his career high for a season and the organization wants him to be healthy enough to pitch down the stretch.

We all knew this would happen and I’d rather the team do it this way because of an off-day on Thursday, rather than limit him to a certain number of innings or pitches in August or September starts like they did when they destroyed Joba Chamberlain’s career last year. I guess they’re learning.

As for Sabathia, he’s returned to form after a rough May. The big lefty is 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA in June and allowed just four hits over eight shutout innings against the Mets his last time out.

The former Brewer has made one start in his career against Los Angeles, earning a no-decision while surrendering just one run on five hits with 10 strikeouts in seven innings at Dodger Stadium.

Padilla has yielded at least four runs in four of his five starts this season, including his first outing since returning from the disabled list – a four-run, 5 1/3-inning performance at Fenway Park last Saturday.

The ex-Ranger is 1-2 with a 7.65 ERA in four starts against the Yankees. Robinson Cano (4-for-11, .364, HR) and Derek Jeter (4-for-10, .400) have had success versus the right-hander. Nick Swisher (1-for-15, .067, 5 K’s) and Alex Rodriguez (2-for-12, .167) have not.


Saturday, June 26 – A.J. Burnett (6-6, 4.83) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 3.06)

Burnett is scheduled to make his next start after leaving the team on Wednesday to be with his ailing grandfather. Who knows if that has been weighing on his mind this month because he is 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA in June.

The former Marlin is 3-2 with a 2.45 in seven starts against the Dodgers, including a 1-2 record and 2.55 ERA in three appearances in Los Angeles.

Rafael Furcal is 9-for-29 (.310) off him, and Garret Anderson is 5-for-14 (.357), but Jamey Carroll is 3-for-13 (.231) with five strikeouts.

Kuroda has been stellar over his past three starts, sporting a 0.95 ERA but just a 1-1 record thanks to very little run support in two of those appearances.

The right-hander has never faced the Yankees, but he has seen Mark Teixeira five times, allowing him two hits and a walk in five at-bats.


Sunday, June 27 – Andy Pettitte (9-2, 2.48) vs. Clayton Kershaw (7-4, 3.24)

It makes sense that the best pitching matchup of the series will be featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Pettitte continued his incredible season last outing by giving up two runs or fewer in at least seven innings for the sixth straight time.

He is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA on the road this year and 2-0 with a 4.05 in three career starts at Dodger Stadium. Overall, he is 2-0 with a 3.33 against L.A.

But the Dodgers’ roster hits .338 off the southpaw, led by Anderson (33-for-82, .402) and old friend Manny Ramirez (32-for-77, .416, 8 2B, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 7 BB).

However, Carroll is just 2-for-15 (.133), Furcal is 1-for-12 (.083), Reed Johnson is 1-for-11 (.091) and Casey Blake is 1-for-7 (.143).

Kershaw had his second-worst outing of the season last time out, surrendering five runs in 6 2/3 innings at the Angels. That was only the second time in 15 starts that he had allowed more than four earned runs. Kershaw doesn’t pitch to contact; his 103 strikeouts are fifth in the National League and his 48 walks lead the NL.

The left-hander has never pitched against the Yankes and the only Bomber he’s faced is Nick Swisher, who he retired in one at-bat.


Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison .

Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report’s New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at,, and

Jordan can be reached at


Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison .

Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report’s New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at,, and

Jordan can be reached at

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