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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/8/21

Domingo Germán scratched from start after root canal operation; King in more aggressive mindset out of ‘pen; Voit believes in playoff hopes; Ohtani breaks Matsui’s record.

Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

NY Post | Zach Braziller: The Yankees had to shuffle their starting pitching plans around a bit before Wednesday night’s win against the Mariners. Domingo Germán was a late scratch after needing to undergo an emergency root canal earlier in the afternoon. It was only a minor delay for Germán, who wound up entering the game in relief anyway and throwing three innings, but that put the onus on Nick Nelson to come up with a spot start — and that didn’t go well. Nelson couldn’t make it out of the first inning, though luckily Luis Cessa was able to bail him out and provide some length in the 5-4 win. | Betelhem Ashame: Michael King has had some clear variance in his results this season. As a starter, King has been having a rough go of things — through six starts, he’s pitching to a 5.47 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 12 walks in only 24.2 innings. As a reliever, however, King has been lights out — a sparkling 1.90 ERA and 27 strikeouts versus nine walks in 23.2 innings spread out across eight appearances.

King has been asked to go deep into several games when he comes out of the ‘pen in what have been essentially pseudo-starts, so what’s causing the difference? King, who made it clear at the beginning of the year that his goal was to get to 100 innings pitched regardless of how the team wanted to deploy them, believes that he’s more amped and aggressive entering the game in relief. King also believes that he is a starting pitcher at the end of the day, so being asked to pitch out of the ‘pen has lit a fire under him whenever he goes out there. | Randy Miller: Luke Voit has had a frustrating year, struggling to stay on the field, but when he’s been around he’s been effective. Look no further than this current road trip, where Voit’s bat has been ignited and is slashing hits left and right out in Seattle. Voit has been resilient to get back to this form, and he believes that the guys in the locker room are resilient about getting this season back on track too. The road will be tough for them to get a playoff spot, but a statement ending before the All-Star break couldn’t hurt.

ESPN: Shohei Ohtani has been having a ridiculous season, and he recently added another accolade to his historic year. Ohtani swatted his 32nd homer of the season on Wednesday, breaking a tie with former Yankee Hideki Matsui for the most in a single season by a Japanese player. Ohtani tipped his cap to Matsui after the game, mentioning that he watched Matsui growing up and that it was an honor to do something he had done in the majors. Matsui acknowledged Ohtani as well, issuing a statement that said, among other things, “He exceeds what is considered conventional for a major league player, and there is no one else like him.”

Finally, in the latest bit of roster news, it seems that Darren O’Day will be out for quite a bit of time. Manager Aaron Boone gave an update on O’Day before Wednesday’s game, mentioning that O’Day crumpled during his pregame warmups, that the injury was to his previously-surgically repaired hamstring, and that the injury looked significant. Not what you want to hear, so hopefully O’Day’s recovery will be straightforward regardless of how long it takes.