Yankees Series Preview: A look back on the last time the Yanks were in town

Al Bello

The Brewers/Yankees 3-game series in 2005 was something of a turning point for the franchise. And, yes, there are previews of the pitching matchups.

The last time the New York Yankees visited Miller Park was a 3-game series in 2005. In the opener, Doug Davis beat Randy Johnson 4-3. Ned Yost sent out Matt Wise to hold the lead and he threw 2 scoreless innings to set up Derrick Turnbow, who got the save. Jeff Cirillo and Junior Spivey each hit home runs for the Brewers.

On June 7th, 2005, the squads played game 2. Ben Sheets was the winner, giving up only 2 hits in 7 innings before Turnbow got another save. Shortstop Bill Hall got the Brewers all they needed with a 2-run homer. The Brewers were finally inching closer towards contention, within 2 games of .500, for a fan base who desperately did not want another losing season. There was another reason for a fan to be optimistic on that day, because that Tuesday was also the first day of the June amateur player draft. In the afternoon the Brewers announced that with the fifth selection they had chosen third baseman Ryan Braun out of the University of Miami.

On Wednesday the 8th, The Brewers were unable to complete the sweep as Chris Capuano got beat up in game 3 and the Brewers lost 12-4. They came out of the series sitting at 28-31. Looking for a shakeup, the team used an off day to make a roster change. The finale against the Yankees was the final game played as a Brewer by the second baseman Spivey, who had come over from the Diamondbacks in the Richie Sexson trade. Spivey was sent to the Nationals for starter Tomo Ohka, who was inserted into the starting rotation. To take over everyday duties at second base, the Brewers called up top prospect Rickie Weeks, who on June 11th went 2-4 against the Phillies in his debut. Two days later he was joined on the active roster by first baseman Prince Fielder, who made his Major League debut as Milwaukee's designated hitter in an interleague series against the Rays.

Masahiro Tanaka (4-0) vs. Yovani Gallardo (2-1), 7:10 PM CT, Miller Park

It's hard to overstate just how good Tanaka has been since coming over from Japan this offseason. His strikeout to walk ratio is currently 8.5. That rate would put him at 10th all time for a single season, displacing Pedro Martinez's age-27 season from that spot. I suppose that if there's any good news for this one it is that the free-swinging Brewers don't walk much against good starters regardless. It is, however, difficult to imagine the Brewers scoring many runs in this one so Gallardo is going to have to be on top of his game.

Also, according to sources*, the Badger men's basketball team will be in the house for the game and recognized on the field, so that might be fun if you're going to the game and care about such things.

CC Sabathia (3-4) vs. Kyle Lohse (4-1), 6:10 PM CT, Miler Park

CC is back! There were rumors he would be getting moved back after a pretty bad start against Tampa Bay in which he went 3 2/3 innings and gave up 5 runs. He's slimmed down a bit this year but has also lost a bit of velocity (I say also because I'm not convinced the two are related). Anyways, despite the New York Narrative that he sucks now, his peripherals are fine and it's very likely he is going to start pitching well again (check out his first half of 2008, with Cleveland, if you want some relief, Yankees fans).

Anyways, if you're in the park this Saturday night, give this man a loud standing ovation when he is introduced and takes the mound. He deserves it. Then go back to hoping he gets absolutely rocked by the Brewers.

To Be Announced (0-0) vs. Matt Garza (2-3), 1:10 CT, Miller Park

It has to be time for Matt Garza to go on a run here soon, doesn't it? The guy has looked so frustrated on the mound in the past few weeks as he's the highest-paid member of the staff and has talked a big game about how important it is to be on a competing team by trashing the Cubs, but he has been the worst Brewer starter on this remarkable early season hot streak. Even his best start, that potential no-hitter in the third game of the year against Atlanta, was a loss. I have seen basically nothing so far to suggest that he isn't going to turn it around, so let's make this the one, eh Matt?

For the Yankees, To Be Announced will make the start. He keeps a low profile, because I can't seem to find him on baseball-reference anywhere.

*Source: Matt Lepay and Rock telling us this about 43 times on the broadcasts in the past two weeks

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