Following their hard-to-watch home loss to the Braves last night, the Yankees make a quick turnaround, flying into Cleveland for a four-game set. The Bombers managed only four runs across the two-game series with Atlanta, and have failed to score more than four runs in a contest since April 11th. Now they roll in to face a Cleveland pitching staff that limits runs with the best of them — not exactly a panacea for an offense that has failed to launch so far this season.
Domingo Germán was called up from the alternate site earlier today to make his third start of the season (replacing reliever Brooks Kriske on the roster). The Yankees will hope he improved during the time he was optioned, as his performance so far this season is untenable for a member of the starting rotation. He has allowed seven earned runs in seven innings including four home runs. Too often, Germán has left pitches over the middle of the plate, and when those cookies are a mediocre four-seamer and changeup, they tend to get hit a long way.
Gio Urshela, who exited yesterday’s game with lower back tightness, was listed as day-to-day and is absent from the lineup tonight. Fingers crossed that it’s a minor issue and he won’t miss significant time, as he has been the Yankees’ best hitter over the last five games. Rougned Odor gets the start at second, moving DJ LeMahieu to third. Kyle Higashioka spells Gary Sánchez at catcher. Giancarlo Stanton also gets the night off, with Clint Frazier sliding over to right field, Brett Gardner in left, and Aaron Judge at DH.
Aaron Civale takes the mound for the home team. He has quietly been Cleveland’s second-best starter in the early going, carrying a 2.18 ERA in 20.2 innings. His 4.30 FIP is indicative of his lack of strikeouts, but he limits walks and hard contact with a diverse repertoire. He throws five different pitches at least ten percent of the time, and carries a sub-.300 wOBA on four of them.
The Yankees pitching staff faces a Cleveland offense which is equally struggling to put up runs. That said, Jordan Luplow has been on a tear, clubbing three home runs over the last four games. José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes are always scary bats to face, so Germán will need to be cautious navigating the top of the Cleveland lineup.
How to watch
Location: Progressive Field - Cleveland, OH
First pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Great Lakes, MLB Network (out-of-market)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv