Turns out Gerrit Cole is mortal after all. The Yankees ace got shelled for five runs in as many innings in last night’s game, and it was apparent from the get-go that his command was AWOL. One almost assumes the Yankees will win when Cole is pitching, so after yesterday’s surprise loss, they will need top-notch performances from their other starters if they want to win the series. And that starts with the man on the bump tonight.
Jameson Taillon gets the ball for his eighth start of the year. Understanding that he is returning to being a full-time starter for the first time in three years, Taillon has nonetheless been one of the most frustrating members of the Yankees’ rotation.
Taillon clearly has high end raw stuff and control — he sits in the top-fifth of the league in strikeout and walk rates - and has been one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball. Despite that, he is still the worst rotation member at limiting runs and will continue to be hamstrung by his propensity to give up the long ball -- he has surrendered more than two home runs per nine — and hard contact in general. Overall, he is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA, 4.48 FIP, and 43 strikeouts in 33.1 innings
The Yankees’ lineup is ... certainly something. Rougned Odor returns from the IL just in time to face his old teammates. The five-through-nine in the batting order could be an adventure and not necessarily the one you want to go on. The Bombers will be relying on the first four to do the heavy lifting, which is a risky proposition given last night’s offensive stinker.
The Rangers counter with Mike Foltynewicz. Few pitchers have performed worse than Folty so far — he owns the third-worst FIP among qualified starters — and the underlying metrics do not suggest a quick turnaround. He gets hit as hard as just about anyone, which combined with his inability to get batters to whiff and chase, provides a perfect opportunity for Yankees hitters to score big. On the year, Folty is 1-3 in eight starts, with a 4.60 ERA, 5.51 FIP, and 39 strikeouts in 45 innings.
On the offensive side, the Rangers roll out largely the same lineup that dinged Cole for five runs yesterday. Andy Ibañez and Jonah Heim replace Charlie Culberson and Jose Trevino at third and catcher respectively. TTO-archetype Joey Gallo has seen his name floated in Yankees trade speculation with Aaron Hicks out indefinitely, while Adolis García is enjoying a breakout season after making the team as a spring NRI.
How to watch
Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Southwest, ESPN (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv, Fubo