Category: Pregame

Game 96: And, We’re Back!

The second half starts from Yankee Stadium as the Yanks welcome their New York neighbors to the Bronx for a three-game series.

Domingo Germán gets the ball to start the series, and carries just one quality start out of his last three into tonight’s ballgame. His last time out saw him give up six earned runs in four innings Friday against Cleveland. That quality start came July 8 in Toronto, where he allowed one run on just four hits over six innings in an eventual 2-to-1 Yankees win. He last faced the Mets on June 9, where he matched Steven Matz in throwing six innings and allowing three runs.

Countering for the Mets is flamethrower Noah Syndergaard. His finger injury caused him to miss the first edition of the Subway Series in June. Overall, he has a 5-1 record and 2.97 ERA on the season. His last time out, he held the Nationals to just one run on seven hits through five innings of work. He was on a 80-to-85 pitch count in that outing, and exited having thrown just 75 pitches. In one career start against the Yankees, he gave up five earned runs in six innings pitched. That game came on September 19, 2015, when the Mets would eventually go to the World Series.

Gary Sánchez is back off the disabled list, catching and hitting sixth. Rest of the order is straightforward, though Neil Walker starts at second base.

Pre-Game Notes:

  • Kyle Higashioka was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to clear Sánchez’s roster spot.
  • Brandon Drury was recalled by the Yankees pre-game to take the roster spot of Clint Frazier, who was optioned by the team Monday. The latter, unfortunately, has been put into concussion protocol after an attempting a diving catch Thursday in Columbus. Frazier was placed on the 7-day disabled list for the RailRiders today.
  • Gleyber Torres heads to Tampa to begin a rehab assignment with the High-A Tarpons tomorrow, and will join the Yankees on Wednesday for the series finale in Tampa Bay.

  • Mets Lineup:

    1. Brandon Nimmo – RF
      Yoenis Céspedes – DH
      Asdrúbal Cabrera – 2B
      Wilmer Flores – 1B
      Michael Conforto – LF
      José Bautista – 3B
      Devin Mesoraco – C
      Amed Rosario – SS
      Matt den Decker – CF

    Game 93: Domingo on Friday

    Not home, so no full preview tonight 😓



    1. Brett Gardner LF
    2. Aaron Judge DH
    3. Aaron Hicks CF
    4. Giancarlo Stanton RF
    5. Greg Bird 1B
    6. Miguel Andujar 3B
    7. Neil Walker 2B
    8. Kyle Higashioka C
    9. Tyler Wade SS


    1. Francisco Lindor SS
    2. Michael Brantley LF
    3. Jose Ramirez 3B
    4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
    5. Yonder Alonso 1B
    6. Jason Kipnis 2B
    7. Tyler Naquin RF
    8. Yan Gomes C
    9.  Greg Allen CF


    Game 92: Battle of the Aces

    The Yankees somehow manage to play better against higher-quality teams, and that will be put to the test tonight in Cleveland. Luis Severino meets his match as he takes on Corey Kluber.

    Sevy has been unreal this season. His 2.12 ERA on the season is good for third in all of Major League Baseball. He hasn’t lost since June 10, and in that span (five starts), he owns a 1.67 ERA and has struck out 34 batters compared to just eight walks. He is 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in four career starts against Cleveland.

    Facing Kluber does not feel as intimidating after watching Didi Gregorius take him deep twice in Game 5 of the 2017 American League Division Series. The stats, however, show he is still one of the most dominant pitchers in the league. He enters 12-4 with a 2.49 ERA. He pitched well his last time out July 7 against Oakland, but got the no-decision. He pitched seven innings allowing no runs on five hits. He has great career stats against the Yankees: 5-1, 1.80 ERA in seven starts.

    Same lineup as last night but swap Neil Walker in for Tyler Wade. Aaron Judge is back in right field, while Giancarlo Stanton is the designated hitter.

    Pre-Game Notes

    • Unless you live under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the swirling trade rumors connecting the Yankees and Orioles INF Manny Machado. The Yanks apparently have made a “strong” offer to the O’s that does not include OF Clint Frazier or LHP Justus Sheffield. The Orioles reportedly want close to MLB-ready talent, and either Frazier or Sheffield would represent that. The Yankees are vying with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers for Machado, and are also in on LHP Zach Britton, per sources.
    • Gleyber Torres was seen taking ground balls before the game, so he’s continuing to progress back from a hip strain. Gary Sánchez ran the bases  and is expected to be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment before the end of the four-game set in Cleveland.

    Cleveland Lineup

    1. Francisco Lindor – SS
    2. Michael Brantley – LF
    3. José Ramírez – 3B
    4. Edwin Encarnación – DH
    5. Yonder Alonso – 1B
    6. Jason Kipnis – 2B
    7. Tyler Naquin – RF
    8. Yan Gomes – C
    9. Greg Allen CF


    Game 91: Happy Flight

    The words are written in huge letters on the whiteboard in the visiting clubhouse in Baltimore:

    After last night’s incredibly frustrating walk-off loss to the Orioles, they aim to turn it around and split the series with a win today. Sonny Gray takes the mound tasked with pitching the Yankees to that victory, in what could be the most important outing of his pinstriped tenure. It’s no secret Gray has been awful, and a good start tonight could save him from being traded away as a salary dump before the July 31 deadline. Gray has a 9.00 ERA in his last five starts and needs a good outing against a bad team to make himself look better. In his career, Gray is 4-4 with a 4.64 ERA against the Orioles, and 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in five career starts at Camden Yards.

    On the other side of the pitching matchup is Orioles ace Dylan Bundy. The 25-year-old right-hander carries a 4.08 ERA in 17 starts heading into tonight. Despite all their matchups already this season, the Yankees have yet to face Bundy in 2018. In his career, Bundy is 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA in seven games (five starts) against the Yankees. He got roughed up his last time out July 6 against Minnesota, allowing six runs (five earned) in 3⅓ innings.

    Nothing super crazy being done with the Yankees lineup tonight. Didi Gregorius moves back into the No. 3 slot, while Aaron Hicks slides down to No. 5 in the order. Greg Bird, on the heels of a four-RBI night, gets back into the No. 6 slot. Miguel Andújar goes down to No. 7, while Tyler Wade gets the start at second base and bats ninth.

    Pre-Game Notes

    • Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres are continuing to progress in their respective rehab processes. The Yankees are sending head athletic trainer Steve Donohue to Washington with Torres during the All-Star break so he can keep his rehab regimen up.
    • Lots of trade rumors connecting the Yankees to Orioles INF Manny Machado, with Jon Morosi of reporting the Orioles would trade Machado to the Bronx if LHP Justus Sheffield is included in the deal. It’s unclear if Brian Cashman would move Sheffield exclusively for Machado, especially since the team has been linked to LHP Zach Britton as well.

    Baltimore Orioles Lineup

    1. Tim Beckham – 3B
    2. Adam Jones – CF
    3. Manny Machado – SS
    4. Mark Trumbo – DH
    5. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
    6. Chris Davis – 1B
    7. Danny Valencia – RF
    8. Joey Rickard – LF
    9. Caleb Joseph – C

    Game 90: Tanaka Time Once More

    A pivotal piece of the Yankees rotation is back.

    Wow, 90 games in already. The All-Star break is next week, and the trade rumors are going crazy. Outside of October, July might be my favorite baseball month.

    July gets better for the Yankees today as they welcome Masahiro Tanaka back from the disabled list. The righty will make his first start since straining both hamstrings June 8 scoring on a sacrifice fly against the Mets. Tanaka’s two June starts saw him give up five earned runs across 10⅓ innings pitched. He has definitely benefitted from the Yankees prodigious offense, as evidenced by his 10 wins and 4.58 ERA. Through his 13 starts this season, they score 6.71 runs on average behind him.

    Tanaka’s counterpart on the hill will be veteran righty Andrew Cashner. The 31-year-old has a very similar ERA (4.39) but has just two wins on his ledger. That’s because the Orioles average just 2.61 runs behind him on the season. His last outing July 5 was quite respectable, where he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits through six innings. The O’s only scored two that day, so Cashner was saddled with the loss. He’s 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season, and 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA against the Bombers overall.

    The starting lineup goes back to normal with yesterday’s doubleheader madness out of the way. Neil Walker gets a second consecutive start at second base, and will likely get most of the playing time there now that Brandon Drury has been optioned to Triple-A. Aaron Hicks bats third for the fifth time this season, where he’s hitting .308/.438/.538 coming into tonight’s game.

    Pre-game Notes:

    • Miguel Andújar is simply ignoring the swirling Manny Machado trade rumors, which are magnified given that the Yankees are playing in Baltimore currently. “Those are things I have no control of. To me it’s about doing what I can, worrying about what I need to do here,” Andújar said to Erik Boland. “I don’t pay attention to that stuff.”
    • Gary Sánchez ran the bases on the field at Oriole Park under the watchful eyes of first base coach Reggie Willits and strength and conditioning director Matthew Krause. If he doesn’t encounter any setbacks, he could go on a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend.
    • Aaron Boone told Boland that Tanaka would have a pitch count “in the range of 80 tonight”.
    • Gleyber Torres (right hip strain) was seen throwing on the field while Sánchez did his baserunning drills. MLB announced today that he would be replaced on the American League All-Star roster by Oakland Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie.
    • Prior to tonight’s game, right-hander David Hale, who was designated for assignment July 7, elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment to the minors. He did this in May as well, but wound up re-signing with the Yankees on a minor league contract four days later.

    Baltimore Orioles Lineup:

    1. Tim Beckham – 3B
    2. Adam Jones – CF
    3. Manny Machado – SS
    4. Mark Trumbo – DH
    5. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
    6. Chris Davis – 1B
    7. Trey Mancini – LF
    8. Joey Rickard – RF
    9. Caleb Joseph – C

    Game 89: How About We Don’t Lose to Baltimore?

    Well, it’s time to flush Game One out of our systems. Game Two is upon us.

    Luis Cessa makes his second spot start of the season. The righty got smacked around a bit June 27 by the Phillies, where allowed three earned runs on five hits. The three runs scored on a Rhys Hoskins first-row home run.

    Former Yankees farmhand Yefry Ramírez gets the ball for the O’s in the nightcap. He has pitched well thus far, allowing just four earned runs 14⅓ innings. He also faced the Phillies in his last start, going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on just one hit. However, he took the loss in that outing.

    • Brandon Drury was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Cessa tonight. Boone called it “one of those awful decisions,” and said Drury does not belong at Triple-A.

    Baltimore Orioles Lineup

    1. Tim Beckham – 3B
    2. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
    3. Manny Machado – SS
    4. Mark Trumbo – DH
    5. Chris Davis – 1B
    6. Danny Valencia – RF
    7. Jace Peterson – LF
    8. Joey Rickard – CF
    9. Chance Sisco – C

    Game 88: Let’s Play (and Win) Two!

    Well, these games had to be made up at some point. Might as well win two in one day.

    CC Sabathia gets the call in game one of today’s doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles. The veteran lefty continues to anchor the back of the Yankees’ rotation, pitching to a solid 3.02 ERA through 16 starts so far on the season. He has won each of his last two starts, pitching seven and six innings respectively against Boston and Atlanta. The Orioles roughed him up for three runs over four innings in a game the Yanks eventually lost in 14 innings.

    The O’s send righty Jimmy Yacabonis to the hill for his second career appearance as a starter. He started June 28 against Seattle, pitching into the fifth inning and allowing two earned runs. Yacabonis was recalled by the team as the “26th Man” for the doubleheader, so it’s likely that he’s headed back down to Norfolk tomorrow.

    This lineup embodies all of the craziness of a doubleheader. It seems there’s a B-team and an A-team, and the B-team is starting behind Sabathia. Clint Frazier is starting in left field. Neil Walker is back at first base, while Tyler Wade gets his first start at second since being recalled. That pushes Brandon Drury over to third base, where he makes his third consecutive start. Kyle Higashioka catches Sabathia.

    Giovanny Gallegos has been recalled as the Yankees’ “26th Man” for the doubleheader. It’s worth noting that Luis Cessa is still scheduled as the starter for Game 2, so expect a roster move to be made between games.

    Some injury updates:

    • Masahiro Tanaka will return from the disabled list to start tomorrow.
    • Jonathan Loáisiga (right shoulder inflammation) received a cortisone shot in that shoulder and will be shut down for a few weeks.
    • Gary Sánchez was seen participating in agility drills in the outfield today, and is scheduled for on-field batting practice tomorrow. Sánchez could be sent on a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, per Aaron Boone.

    Baltimore Orioles Lineup

    1. Tim Beckham – 3B
    2. Adam Jones – CF
    3. Manny Machado – SS
    4. Mark Trumbo – DH
    5. Jonathan Schoop – 2B
    6. Danny Valencia – RF
    7. Joey Rickard – LF
    8. Trey Mancini – 1B
    9. Caleb Joseph – C