It’s difficult to imagine things getting worse for the Yankees on the field, but the way things are going, anything’s possible.
The Yanks, losers of seven straight, are coming off a doubleheader sweep by the cross-town rival Mets Friday and had the peculiar embarrassment of being walked off in their own ballpark in the nightcap. In both games, the offense put up early runs only to sputter down the stretch; and in both games, the bullpen coughed up leads late.
On the bright side, DJ LeMahieu is back in the lineup after an IL stint for a sprained thumb. He’ll play third and lead off for the Bombers, who will turn to J.A. Happ to stem the tide. The 37-year-old lefty is 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 12.2 innings this season. He last pitched 13 days ago, a win over the Boston Red Sox in which he surrendered just one run in 5.2 innings. The sparse game time appears to have irked Happ, who hinted this week that the Yankees were purposely limiting his innings to prevent his 2021 option from vesting.
The Mets will send right-hander Robert Gsellman to the mound. The 27-year-old has pitched predominantly out of the bullpen over the last three years, but manager Luis Rojas inserted him into the team’s injury-ravaged starting rotation earlier this month. He’s struggled this season, posting a 7.71 ERA and 2.14 WHIP in just 4.2 innings spread across three outings as he builds up arm strength.
In other team news, the Yankees remain without Aaron Judge (calf) and Gleyber Torres (hamstring/quadriceps) for extended periods (three to six weeks for Judge, up to six weeks for Torres). Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), Zack Britton (hamstring), James Paxton (forearm strain) continue to be sidelined. Gio Urshela sat out both games Friday with a bone spur in his right elbow and has been classified as day-to-day.
To make room for LeMahieu, the Yankees optioned Miguel Andújar to the alternate site in Scranton. And Estevan Florial, who was called up as the 29th man for the double dip and made his major league debut in the first game, was also sent back to the alternate site.
Oh, and there’s rain in the forecast.
Here’s the lineup the Yankees will trot out:
And here’s who the Mets will feature:
Mets lineup vs. Yankees today:— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) August 29, 2020
LF Brandon Nimmo
3B J.D. Davis
RF Michael Conforto
DH Pete Alonso
2B Robinson Cano
C Wilson Ramos
1B Dominic Smith
SS Amed Rosario
CF Billy Hamilton
RHP Robert Gsellman
Game time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
TV broadcast: YES, SNY
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WCBS 880/92.7 FM
Online Stream: MLB.tv