After splitting the first two games of their first series after the All-Star break against the Red Sox, the Yankees find themselves 1-8 against their rivals and eight games back of the AL East lead. With the benefit of Gerrit Cole on the bump and the luxury of avoiding the usage of their own hamstrung bullpen in the rain-shortened six-inning win, the Yankees were able to squeak away with a 3-1 victory. Now, the Yankees have a chance to re-enter the playoff hunt with a win today, and a series win in exactly a week.
With seven of their first nine games after the break coming against the Red Sox, the Yankees are in the midst of a massive opportunity at the worst possible time — suddenly missing a couple of their most potent bats in an already-sluggish lineup, Aaron Judge and Luke Voit. They’ll also be without Tim Locastro, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL and replaced by Ryan LaMarre (starting tonight in left field).
Cole passes the baton to Taillon today, who’s looking to stretch his streak of Quality Starts to three in a row, and four of his last five. His bad luck 4.90 ERA looks a bit better under the light of advanced analytics considering his 4.03 xERA. Still, he’s by no means an elite arm, so the Yankees offense ought to prepare for a bit more than was necessary to take home a dub in a Cole-start.
However, the Yankees will get a reprieve from a run of sharp starting pitching in getting to face the left-handed Martín Peréz. In the inverse of Taillon, his 4.04 ERA is suggestive of a similarly qualified starter, but his advanced numbers tell another story entirely. His xERA of 5.36 is only the fourth-worst mark of his career, and his 4.51 FIP matches his career average exactly. Peréz’s slow lefty cutter has worked just well enough to allow for a decade in the big leagues, but not for production far better than that of replacement level.
Although the Yankees have proven capable of getting shut out by just about anyone, the righty-dominant lineup should be particularly equipped to shell a left-hander as underpowering as Peréz.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:08 pm ET
TV broadcast: ESPN
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Sunday Night Baseball in the Bronx. #SquadUp pic.twitter.com/Ik9eMwasUY— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 18, 2021
Wrapping up the weekend. pic.twitter.com/iulXcNPKjA— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 18, 2021