Game 55: Will the Real Tanaka Please Stand Up?

The biggest rivalry in baseball comes to the Bronx as the New York Yankees welcome the Boston Red Sox for a three-game midweek set.

The Yankees, coming off an “O.K. road trip” in the words of skipper Joe Girardi, look to create more distance between themselves and their American League East rivals. The Red Sox recently jumped over the Baltimore Orioles into second place in the division, and now look up at the Yankees. Boston comes into the series winning their last two games, but an even 6-4 in their last 10.

The man in charge of stopping that potent Red Sox lineup is right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. The 28-year-old looks to shake off his inconsistency against the same team that he threw a complete game shutout against on April 27. The month of May was not friendly to him, as he gave up at least four runs in every start except for one. Tanaka looks to pitch just like he did on May 26 when he allowed just one run in 7⅓ innings against Oakland.

On the flip-side, the Yankees face off against left-hander Drew Pomeranz. Acquired during the 2016 All-Star break, Pomeranz sports an inflated 4.42 ERA in his Boston career through 23 starts. The 28-year-old did not face the Yankees when the two teams met earlier this season at Fenway Park. He got the win against the Chicago White Sox on May 31 behind seven innings of one-run pitching. Pomeranz had a 3.38 ERA in his starts against the Yankees last season.

Both players that the Yankees need to get going or replace are in the lineup tonight, as Chase Headley and Chris Carter occupy the No. 8 and 9 slots, respectively. It’s worth noting that Gary Sánchez will be behind the plate tonight, after Girardi experimented with Austin Romine as Tanaka’s personal catcher. The Sox are without veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on May 30 after spraining his left wrist against the Detroit Tigers. Deven Marrero gets the start at second base tonight.

Starting Lineups

Boston Red Sox
  1. Mookie Betts – RF
  2. Andrew Benintendi – LF
  3. Xander Bogaerts – SS
  4. Mitch Moreland – 1B
  5. Hanley Ramírez – DH
  6. Jackie Bradley Jr. – CF
  7. Christian Vázquez – C
  8. Pablo Sandoval – 3B
  9. Deven Marrero – 2B
New York Yankees
  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Gary Sánchez – C
  3. Aaron Judge – RF
  4. Matt Holliday – DH
  5. Starlin Castro – 2B
  6. Aaron Hicks – CF
  7. Didi Gregorius – SS
  8. Chase Headley – 3B
  9. Chris Carter – 1B

 

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