Nobody likes a day off following a loss. A whole day to stew over everything that went wrong. The feeling must be be exaggerated after a sweep, which is just what the Astros handed the Yankees. Thankfully the Bombers can get right back on track, as the Chicago White Sox visit the Bronx for a three-game set.
Game one: J.A. Happ vs. Lucas Giolito
When the Yankees signed Happ to a two-year deal in December, they likely envisioned a continuation of the performance they received down the stretch. A rough spring training followed instead, and that shakiness carried over into the regular season. The 36-year-old has allowed six runs in 8.1 innings. Most troubling, he has given up three home runs in that span. There’s a lot of small sample size noise here, so hopefully that starts to correct itself.
Remember when Giolito was a top prospect? The Yankees reportedly had no interest in a Giolito trade for Andrew Miller back in 2016. That appears prescient, now, as the 24-year-old has struggled greatly in the big leagues. That continues to be the case in 2019, as Giolito sports a 5.73 ERA (3.47 FIP) over 11 innings. His main pitch is a low-to-mid-90s fastball. A changeup and slider serve as his go-to secondary offerings.
Game two: CC Sabathia vs. Ivan Nova
Sabathia makes his 2019 debut on Saturday afternoon. He missed the first few weeks of the season thanks to a five-game suspension and a trip to the injured list. The 38-year-old underwent offseason knee surgery and had an angioplasty. The Yankees decided to take their time with him. At this point, the book is out on Sabathia. He uses a cutter to generate weak contact at a prodigious rate. The left-hander may not be overpowering any more, but he is effective.
His opponent, it turns out, will be an old friend. Nova returns to Yankee Stadium, bringing his 7.71 ERA (2.46 FIP) with him. The Yankees know the right-hander better than anyone. He’s essentially the same fastball-curveball pitcher that pitched in their rotation. Maybe he’ll give up a few home runs for old time’s sake.
Game three: Domingo German vs. Carlos Rodon
Through the early goings, German has stepped up as the Yankees’ second-best pitcher. He recently took a no-hitter through five innings against the Orioles. Before that, he tossed five shutout innings against the Tigers. The 26-year-old gets another chance to impress, and possibly audition for a long-term spot in the team’s rotation.
Rodon, 26, was selected third overall in the 2014 draft. While he never turned into a frontline starter, he’s had a solid career to date. So far this season he owns a 3.38 ERA (1.60 FIP) over 16 innings. The left-hander is essentially a two-pitch pitcher, with a fastball and slider to his name.