The reigning World Series champions are making their first visit to the new home of the top title-winning team in major league history, and currently the hottest one.
It makes for quite a start to Memorial Day weekend in the Bronx.
The best offenses in the majors open a three-game set at the new Yankee Stadium on Friday night when the Philadelphia Phillies try to prevent New York from winning a 10th consecutive game.
“Going into New York was always something special because the old Yankee Stadium had a real feel to it,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “I’m sure this one is going to have a good feel because of the way they built it. They are hitting a lot of home runs there. Hopefully we can tee off on some.”
Seventy-five homers have been hit there, easily the most at any venue this season and a big-league record for the first 20 games at a ballpark. So it’s not surprising New York leads the majors with 66 homers and ranks second with 5.66 runs per game behind Philadelphia, which averages 5.74 runs and tops the NL with 56 homers.
“It’s a new, expensive ballpark,” said Phillies second baseman Chase Utley(notes), who had a homer and four RBIs in Thursday’s 12-5 win over Cincinnati. “It’s a great place to hit, so I’m excited to get started there.”
Utley’s first game in the Bronx is Philadelphia’s first since losing two of three in July 2000. Later that year, the Yankees won their 26th World Series title, but they haven’t won one since.
The Phillies (22-17) earned their first championship since 1980 in October, and just the second in their history despite the franchise having been in existence since 1883 - 18 years before the Yankees. They last met in June 2006 when New York took two of three in Philadelphia.
The Yankees (24-17) have scored 59 runs during their nine-game winning streak while hitting 18 homers. It’s their longest win streak since 2007, but they haven’t had one reach double digits since a 10-game run from May 7-17, 2005.
Robinson Cano(notes) had three hits with a homer and three RBIs for the second straight game Thursday in a 7-4 win over Baltimore. Mark Teixeira(notes) had an RBI double and is batting .441 (15 for 34) with four homers and 15 RBIs during the streak.
Like Teixeira with New York, a newcomer has keyed Philadelphia’s recent success. Raul Ibanez(notes) homered for the fifth time in six games Thursday and is tied for the major league lead with 15. He’s batting .410 (16 for 39) with 17 RBIs in his last 10 games.
The Phillies are 6-1 on a 10-game road trip, and the majors’ best road team at 14-5.
Burnett (2-1, 5.02 ERA) hasn’t won in six straight starts overall, his longest winless streak since going 0-6 in his final seven appearances for Florida in 2005. However, he’s only 0-1 during this drought and pitched well Sunday, allowing two runs and striking out seven in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2, 10-inning win over Minnesota.
The right-hander won his lone start versus the Phillies last season, but is 5-7 with a 4.57 ERA lifetime against them.
Myers (3-2, 4.50), who won his only start against the Yankees in 2006, has the only winning record and lowest ERA among a Philadelphia rotation which has a major league-worst 6.31 ERA.
The right-hander is coming off two of his best outings of the season, allowing three runs and eight hits in 13 innings. He beat Washington on Saturday with a season-high eight strikeouts in seven innings of an 8-5 victory.