If you swore off Yankee baseball for awhile after Sunday afternoon’s debacle against the Mets, few residents of Yankee-land would have blamed you. Whether your sabbatical was by choice or partly by necessity (West Coast night games force baseball breaks upon us sometimes) either way, I’ve got good news: The Yankees have won three in a row and are 1.5 games closer to first place than they were early Sunday evening. They’ll be on the field today at 4:10 pm EDT in Seattle aiming for their fourth win in a row and a series sweep of the Mariners.
The Yankees will look to Jordan Montgomery today to keep the momentum going as he’ll be making his 17th start of the season, and his first career outing against Seattle (the only AL opponent he’s never faced other than the Angels). Monty has been solid for the Yankees this season, averaging better than five innings a start with a slightly better than league average ERA+ of 103. His last two starts haven’t been particularly sharp, however. In a combined 10.1 innings, he’s allowed 14 hits and issued 5 free passes over those last two outings.
Montgomery will be looking to bounce back against a Seattle lineup that’s been on the cool side lately, not having exceeded four runs in any of their last four games (three of them losses). Actually, they’ve been on the cool side since April, ranking dead last in the AL in runs per game, OBP, and SLG. An interesting aspect of the matchup may be who — as Yankees announcer David Cone has said — the “BABIP Gods” favor. Montgomery is well above average in generating weak contact, with a hard-hit percentage ranking in the 78th percentile in MLB, while the Mariners have the second-worst hard-hit percentage in the AL A lot of soft contact wouldn’t be a surprise today – where batted balls land may go a long way to toward determining Monty’s success against Seattle. Furthermore, if I may be overly officious for a moment: Hey Jordan, if you’re reading this - no free passes today.
The Mariners send their 2018 first-round pick, 24-year-old rookie Logan Gilbert to the mound today to square off with the Yankees. The 6’ 6” righty will be making his 10th start of 2021, and his first career appearance against New York. After a bumpy start, Gilbert has pitched better of late, allowing only 23 hits and 10 earned runs over his last 30.2 innings. Gilbert has thrown a four-seam fastball in more than 60 percent of his pitches and he throws it with better than league average velocity. Combine that with an extremely low walk rate, and the Yankees’ batters know that they’re not going to have to look for Logan’s pitches when they get in the box – they’ll be there.
Speaking of the Yankees’ batters, they’ve been swinging the lumber well lately, averaging 6.9 runs per game over their last 7 games. Certainly not coincidentally, both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been stringing together very good at-bats over that stretch. Stanton has posted a .310/.429/.552 slash line over his last 35 plate appearances, while Judge has posted a .333/.400/.722 slash line over his last 40 plate appearances. The two have also hit a combined six home runs over the team’s last eight games, and they traveled a total distance that would have traversed the state of Pennsylvania.
From the department of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” the Yankees will go with the same lineup today as last night’s.
How to watch:
Location: T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA
First pitch: 4:10 pm, EDT.
TV Broadcast: YES, MLB Network (out of market)
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280, 710 ESPN Seattle
Online Stream: MLB.tv
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Going for the Sweep in Seattle. #SquadUp pic.twitter.com/iFx6Aksu0b— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 8, 2021
Series finale on deck. pic.twitter.com/8U6JSaNE9P— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 8, 2021