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New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners: Jameson Taillon vs. Justus Sheffield

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The Yankees start their first West Coast swing of the season against a familiar face.

Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The All-Star break is on the horizon and it cannot come soon enough. The Good Ship Yankees is limping into port. The mast is broken, the hull has been breached, and everyone watching is wondering whether the club can bail enough water to avoid sinking before they reach shore.

OK, no more nautical references, I promise. Sadly, the 2021 Seattle Mariners do not present easy pickings as New York tries to right the ship. At 45-40, they’re actually two games ahead of the Bronx Bombers, and are one of too many teams that the Yankees trail in the wild-card standings.

Jameson Taillon takes the hill tonight for New York, coming off one of his many not-so-great starts so far this season. Taillon surrendered 5 earned runs in 5.1 innings versus the Angels last time out. On the positive side, he is only one start removed from holding the Royals to 1 run in 6.1 innings. More of that Jamo, please and thank you. For the season, Taillon comes into tonight with a 5.43 ERA and a tendency to surrender the gopher ball – 1.81 HR/9. Let’s hope Taillon can keep the ball in the park tonight.

Former Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield — acquired in the Andrew Miller deal and dealt away for James Paxton — is the chosen hurler for the bad guys tonight. He is coming off four straight starts wherein he has allowed at least 3 earned runs in each without ever recording an out in the fifth inning. He too has made a habit of giving up dingers in 2021 – to the tune of 1.63HR/9. With the plethora of right-handed power hitters the Yankees have, it would be nice for the stars to align and feature a game with #TooManyHomeRuns.

One of those bats, 2021 All-Star Aaron Judge, has been swinging a big stick lately. Over his last 15 games, Judge is slashing .293/.379/.552. I for one would be more than happy to see everyone’s favorite right fielder club another massive moonshot à la the one he clobbered in his 2017 rookie season in Seattle. Ryan Ruocco’s call of that home run is one of my favorite expressions of awe and disbelief of all-time.

Also of note: Gleyber Torres is not in the lineup, as in the pregame, Aaron Boone said that his hamstring had cramped during the second game of the doubleheader on Sunday. The bullpen will have a slight change too, as Darren O’Day hit the IL with a hamstring strain and Nick Nelson was activated. Ideally, the latter is not seen, but we have been warned.

Let’s Go Yankees! Please beat the Mariners. Going into the All-Star break with some momentum would be great, not least for my emotional well-being.

How to watch:

Location: T-Mobile Park - Seattle, WA

First pitch: 10:10 pm ET

TV Broadcast: YES Network, ROOT NW, ESPN (out-of-market only)

Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280

Online Stream: MLB.tv

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