After last night’s managerial mishaps, it became clear that Aaron Boone’s next few decisions would draw close scrutiny. The first of those opportunities came this afternoon as Boone tapped the players who will take the field in the must-win Game Four. The Yankees announced their lineup for tonight’s game against the Red Sox, and it’s certainly a surprising one.
First, Aaron Hicks returns after missing two games with a tight hamstring. He’s leading off and playing center field. Brett Gardner, who roamed center in Hicks’ absence, moves over to left, while Andrew McCutchen figures to be available off the bench. In another interesting move, Neil Walker starts at third base over Miguel Andujar.
Here’s the full lineup:
Yankees vs. Red Sox tonight at 8:07pm on TBS and WFAN pic.twitter.com/IYIhxDU1lW— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) October 9, 2018
While questionable at first, these moves have some logic behind them. Gardner, for example, is a lifetime .293/.349/.483 batter against Rick Porcello. That includes two home runs. CC Sabathia is also a groundball pitcher, and Andujar’s defense has been suspect all year long. Walker isn’t exactly a great third baseman, but his 1.2 UZR at the hot corner in 2018 is a noticeable upgrade over Andujar’s -16.
What do you think of the lineup changes? Are you a fan, or do you think this hurts the club’s chances? Let us know in the comment section below!