Just as it seemed the Yankees were truly firing on all cylinders, they’ve stumbled into their latest bump in the road. They’ve lost two straight, with both contests turning noncompetitive by the middle innings. The offense has looked lethargic the last two nights, with four of the six runs scored coming in the ninth innings of games already out of reach. On the other side of the ball, the pitching has gotten knocked around for 21 runs, 11 of which were credited to the starters through the first three innings of their respective outings. Not good.
The Bombers need to turn it around, as these upcoming games still hold a lot of weight. The Yankees need to prioritize grabbing home field advantage for the wild card round, as they and their prospective opponents, the Twins, own two of the best home records in baseball this season. The Yankees also do not want to carry negative momentum into the playoffs. They want to establish good habits as the regular season wraps up, and that all starts with a win tonight.
Gerrit Cole is exactly the man for that task. The staff ace has looked stellar since being paired with Kyle Higashioka, allowing two earned runs while striking out 27 across those three outings. Higgy and Cole are once again partnered for this game, adding to the belief that Higashioka will be Cole’s personal catcher going forward. On the year, the flame-throwing righty is 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 0.985 WHIP, and 87 strikeouts across 66 innings.
Cole will face the same opposite number as in his last outing. Tanner Roark is just the guy the Yankees’ offense wants to see. The floodgates were opened early against the veteran righty in their last meeting, as he allowed six runs in four innings in the Yankees’ 13-2 victory. That performance ballooned his season numbers, and he currently sits at 2-2 with a 6.41 ERA, 7.71 FIP, and 1.754 WHIP in 39.1 innings.
Giancarlo Stanton gets the night off while Aaron Judge slots into the DH spot. Clint Frazier returns to the lineup in center field while Kyle Higashioka continues to deputize as Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher.
Alejandro Kirk terrorized the Yankees last night, going 4-for-4 with a home run, and finds himself handed catching duties for the second night in a row. Toronto makes two changes to the lineup from last night, with Joe Panik and Travis Shaw coming in for Jonathan Villar and Jonathan Davis.
How to watch:
Location: Sahlen Field, Buffalo, NY.
First pitch: 6:37 p.m. EDT
TV broadcast: YES Network
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go