The Yankees can close out their Wild Card Series with Cleveland straight away, with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound to start Game Two. New York announced their lineup supporting Tanaka in this potential close out game.
Last night’s starting nine brought some interesting quirks. Kyle Higashioka, essentially Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher at this point, got the start, and Aaron Boone went with lefty-swinging Brett Gardner against the right-handed Shane Bieber. Gary Sánchez will reenter the lineup to catch Tanaka and bat ninth, while Gardner remains in left field against another righty in Carlos Carrasco. Clint Frazier is again on the bench. Boone’s decision to go with Gardner paid off handsomely yesterday, but it’s still pretty wild that the Yankees can’t find a way to get Frazier and his 149 wRC+ into the lineup.
With Gardner starting, Sánchez in the nine-hole for Higashioka is the only change in the overall card:
With last night’s blowout, the Yankees enter this game with a lead and a rested bullpen. They have every chance to go for the kill and end this series before Cleveland can get off the mat. Let’s hope this is the lineup that does the job.