Chicago Cubs (4-8) at New York Yankees (7-6)
Wednesday, April 16 - 7:05 PM EST
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
New York right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is thriving amid the hoopla surrounding the start of his major league career but faces a different challenge - a start pushed back because of a rainout - when the Yankees host the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Two of the most storied franchises in baseball get together for a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium after Tuesday's game was postponed as the Japanese superstar tries to record a third quality start in three outings. "He's adjusted really well so far, for me," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters. "He's handled the situation pretty well. I'm sure I'll learn more as time goes on ..."
Jason Hammel won his first two starts in a Cubs uniform and will oppose Tanaka, and didn't hide his enthusiasm about where he will pitch, telling reporters: "It's one of those bucket list-type places. Yankee Stadium, it's an eye opener and so much fun to be there." New York swept Chicago in the 1938 World Series and the teams didn't meet again until 2003 after the advent of interleague play, with the Yankees winning six of the nine encounters since. The Cubs' Travis Wood and the Yankees' Michael Pineda, both off to strong starts in 2014, square off in the nightcap.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLBN, WGN (Chicago), My9 (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Travis Wood (0-1, 2.92 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Michael Pineda (1-1, 1.50)
Wood matched a career high with nine strikeouts over six innings and left with a 4-0 lead against Pittsburgh in a 5-4 loss April 10. The 27-year-old Little Rock, Ark., native, who lost in his only start against New York in 2011, has lowered his ERA and WHIP each of the last three years while continuing to show he's a key piece to the Cubs' rebuilding process. The Yankees' Carlos Beltran (6-for-20, home run, two doubles) has the most experience against Wood from his National League days.
When last seen, Pineda had a foreign substance on his hand which clearly was picked up on television, but since the opponent - Boston - didn't protest, it was never questioned by the umpires. The 25-year-old Dominican held the Red Sox to one run and four hits while striking out seven in six strong innings of a 4-1 victory Thursday, his second quality start to begin 2014 after last pitching in the majors in 2011 because of arm problems. Pineda never has faced the Cubs.
1. The Yankees placed Francisco Cervelli (hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list while C Brian McCann is day-to-day after injuring his right hand Sunday. New York recalled C John Ryan Murphy and INF Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with SS Derek Jeter (quadriceps) and 2B Brian Roberts (back) also ailing.
2. The Cubs' Emilio Bonifacio was 19 for his first 38 before going 1-for-13 in the St. Louis series.
3. New York starters have issued only 15 walks against 73 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings, with Tanaka and Pineda combining for three in 26 frames.
PREDICTION: Yankees 3, Cubs 2