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New York Yankees vs. Miami Marlins: Clarke Schmidt vs. José Ureña

The Yankees’ top pitching prospect gets the ball as Yankees make their final stand for fifth seed.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Well, we made it. Somehow, in some way, here we are, at Game 60, a full (shortened) season in the books. That, everybody, is more than a small miracle in itself, considering all that has happened this year.

With that said, there’s still one more game of baseball to be played, and boy, aside from the fact that every single playoff team in the American League has been decided, the league could not have drawn it up any better than it has: depending on how today’s games play out, the Yankees have a chance to play the Tampa Bay Rays, the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox, or the Cleveland Indians in the Wild Card round.

Getting the ball for the Yankees today will be Clarke Schmidt (three runs in 2.1 innings this year, striking out and walking three apiece), making the first start of his big league career. In two appearances so far this season, both in relief, he has been inconsistent but shown signs of why he’s so highly thought of despite only making three starts at the Double-A level in 2019. He is expected to go about 70-80 pitches.

Opposing him will be Miami starter José Ureña, who did not make his first start of the season until September 7, as he was one of the Marlins players who contracted COVID-19 early in the season and was not cleared to return to practice until August 18. Since then, he has made four starts, posting a 6.00 ERA in 21 innings, with a 1.18 K/BB ratio.

Here’s the lineup that the Yankees will be sending out against him:

Luke Voit finally gets a half-day off for the first time since September 6, serving as the designated hitter today as he battles through unnamed “foot stuff.” DJ LeMahieu gets the start at first base, his first start at the position all season, although he has slotted in as a defensive replacement in 10 games. Giancarlo Stanton and Clint Frazier have a full day off.

And for Don Mattingly’s Marlins:

First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 EDT. You can catch the game on the YES Network, the last broadcasted game on the network for 2020, or listen along at either WFAN 660/101.9 FM or WADO 1280.

For those looking to scoreboard watch, here are the possibilities, with the caveat that this year’s tiebreakers are more convoluted than usual, especially with multiple teams involved

1. If the Yankees lose and the Blue Jays win, the Yankees will be the 8th seed, and face the Tampa Bay Rays.

2. If the Yankees win OR the Blue Jays lose, the Yankees will be the fifth seed. In this case, they will face:

2a. the Minnesota Twins, if the Twins lose and the White Sox win.

2b. the Cleveland Indians, if the Twins and Indians win, and the White Sox lose.

2c. the Chicago White Sox, if the Twins and White Sox win, and the Indians lose.

2d. the Chicago White Sox, if the Twins, White Sox, and Indians all win.