After a hard-fought series in Minneapolis, things don’t get any easier for the Yankees. They now head to Boston, where the Red Sox await. A loss to the Rays on Wednesday took them back into third place. They briefly overtook Tampa Bay earlier in the week.
Even though the Yankees will still be in first when it ends, this could still be a crucial series for both teams. The Bombers could make it awfully hard for the Red Sox to have any division title hopes, while Boston could make this a close three-team race. As these series always are, this will probably be a long, tense affair. Before things kick off, let’s check out the matchups.
Thursday: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Rick Porcello
Hey look, it’s a rematch of the first game of the London Series. I presume these two will last longer than one combined inning this time around.
Last he pitched, Tanaka was cruising until he allowed a five-run sixth inning that he barely got through. That’s been the story of his July so far. He’s thrown 18.1 innings across three starts, but has also allowed 11 runs. These struggles started with that London game, so hopefully things will come full circle in this matchup.
Things have gone similarly for Porcello since June 29th, only worse. He’s allowed six, four, and six runs in his last three starts. That four-run outing was his lowest in that category in over a month.
Friday: James Paxton vs. Andrew Cashner
Paxton was seemingly getting back on track until he mightily struggled against Colorado on Sunday. No matter your opinion of him as a player or the cause of his struggles, the Yankees need Paxton to get better. Boston won’t be the easiest team to rebound against, but there should be some hope that he can. Paxton also slumped a bit to start the season, and then seemed to turn it around in a start against the Red Sox on April 16. He was dominant that day, striking out 12 while allowing just two hits in eight innings.
It might take a little while for Cashner to get the Orioles out of his system. In his Red Sox debut, he allowed six runs. In the second he allowed four to his former team, who nearly no-hit Boston with ESPN’s NBA insider. Also, nobody tell Gleyber Torres that Cashner’s no longer on the Orioles.
Saturday: CC Sabathia vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Sabathia is yet another Yankees pitcher going through some struggles. After his seven run, four inning outing on Monday, his ERA is at his 2019 season peak. In his only meeting against Boston this season, he allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.
Rodriguez has traditionally pitched better than his career averages against the Yankees, however they chased after 5.1 innings in the second London game. Since then, Rodriguez has been pretty solid allowing just four combined runs in four starts.
Sunday: Domingo German vs. Chris Sale
Tuesday’s game against the Twins was German’s worst start of the season by many measures. The eight runs he allowed were a season high, while his nine hits and 3.2 innings are both tied for his 2019 worst. He put up a game score of 12, which is far and away his lowest of the year. It was his first bad start since returning from the injured list, so we’ll see how he bounces back.
Since his terrible April, Chris Sale has mostly gone back to looking like Chris Sale. He has a 3.27 ERA in 15 starts since the calendar turned to May. The Yankees haven’t faced him in a couple months, but they have gotten to him in both meetings this year. The eight runs the Yankees have scored off him in 2019 is barely lower than what they managed in the two previous years combined.