Lately, many Yankee fans in the tristate area have been sapped of their usual agreeable and patient personalities, and have become atypically irascible. Being smack in the middle of a three-day stretch with heat indices over 100 degrees for most of the area has a tendency to do that to otherwise pleasant people.
What also may be a factor in our collectively grouchy demeanor is that our favorite team has lost four games in a row, is in fourth place in the five-team AL East, have a 12.5% chance of making the postseason and a 0.3% chance of winning the World Series, according to Baseball Reference. So you’re saying there’s a chance, Baseball Reference…
The Bombers will be sending Jameson Taillon to the mound tonight to see if he can help stop the skid. It’s no secret that “Jamo” has taken his lumps this season. Among 55 AL pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched, Taillon is 47th in ERA+, 39th in FIP, and 41st in opponents’ OPS+. That said, he is coming off what may have been his best start of the season against Kansas City last Thursday, as his 6.1 innings with only five hits and one run allowed led the Yankees to an easy 8-1 win.
Tonight Taillon will try to continue that stinginess against an Angels lineup that apparently has broken out of a recent slump. After a five-game stretch in which they scored only 12 runs total, the Halos put up six against Tampa Bay in a 6-4 win on Sunday, then put five runs on the Yankees in last night’s win. Of course, everyone’s eyes are on Shohei Ohtani in the Angels’ lineup, but Taillon needs to tread lightly against slugger Jared Walsh as well. Walsh is not only fourth in the AL in extra-base hits, sixth in SLG, and tied for sixth in home runs, but he’s been particularly rude against right-handed pitchers. His gaudy .342/.415/.668 slash line against righties this season is something with which Taillon must concern himself. Taillon, in case you were wondering, has been very courteous to left-handed batters this season, yielding a .280/.356/.517 slash line.
The Angels will send former Marlins first-round draft pick Andrew Heaney to the mound to face the Yankees tonight. The 30-year-old left-hander is potentially a good matchup for the Yankees as his most obvious strength is his ability to get batters to chase, currently ranking in the 95th percentile in MLB in chase rate. The Yankees as a team, however, have the third-lowest chase rate in the AL, so opportunities to for hitters’ counts should be there tonight for the Bombers.
The Yankees as a team have seemingly regressed to their early season form on offense of late. After a stretch in which they appeared to have righted the ship, they’ve scored only a combined 10 runs over their last four games. The reasons behind the season-long offensive struggles aren’t secrets: They haven’t hit with much power, they’ve been awful on the bases, they’ve grounded into an extraordinary number of double plays and they’ve been dreadful with two outs and runners in scoring position. All told, we’re approximately 48 hours away from the season’s mid-point and the Yankees are 14th in the AL in runs per game.
Here’s hoping tonight’s the start of the turnaround. If you’ve checked out the lineup and you think you’re seeing things, you are not - the Yankees are going with the same lineup as the one last night.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, NY.
First pitch: 7:05 pm, EDT.
TV Broadcast: YES, MLB Network (out of market)
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online Stream: MLB.tv