Now that the Yankees (and Yankee fans) have had almost 48 hours to try to forget Thursday night’s soul-crushing defeat, baseball resumes for the Bombers tonight in Chicago against the White Sox. Although the current deficit depends on the outcome of this afternoon’s game in Boston, the Yankees began the day 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, making tonight’s game a crucial one. Of course, given that the Yankees are still closer to fourth place than to a playoff spot despite winning 22 out of their last 33 games, it’s safe to say that they’re all crucial from here on out.
The Yankees will gladly send Jameson Taillon to the mound tonight in Chicago. Even the most skeptical of Yankee fans would find it difficult to find something about Taillon’s season to not be happy about. He’s on pace to make 32 starts and throw 160 innings this season, which any fan (and surely the Yankees’ front office) would have signed on for in a heartbeat when he was acquired in January. The fact that he’s doing it with an above-league average ERA+ has turned his season into one of the Yankees’ bright spots in 2021. It’s also been no secret that he’s been on a five-week-long tear, registering game scores of better than 60 in each of his last seven starts.
More from the department of no secrets: Taillon will have his work cut out for him today. The White Sox are fourth in the AL in runs per game, but despite what we saw Thursday night, generally aren’t going to bludgeon anyone to death, as they currently rank with 11th in homers and 6th in slugging percentage in the AL. Their success thus far in 2021 has been largely due to their ability to get many runners on base, as they currently rank second in the AL in both OBP and BB%. The key for Taillon tonight might be as simple as minimizing free passes.
The White Sox will send 25-year-old righty Dylan Cease to the mound tonight, who’s had a good 2021 season for the White Sox. There aren’t many mysteries with Cease: He’s going to throw his four-seam fastball almost half the time, usually up in the zone, with very high velocity. When he doesn’t throw a fastball, there’s a better-than-average chance that it’s going to be a slider down and away to a righty (down and in to a lefty.) Like Taillon, Cease has also pitched well of late, having pitched five innings or more with three earned runs or fewer in each of his last six starts.
Despite season-long struggles with run-scoring, the Yankees have scored five or more runs in seven of their last ten games. Looking to keep that momentum moving in the right direction, Aaron Boone is going with the same lineup as the one that put up eight runs on Thursday in Iowa.
How to watch:
Location: Guaranteed Rate Field — Chicago, IL
First pitch: 7:10 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, NBCS-CHI
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv