Take a deep breath everyone. We’ve had a couple hours for the blood pressure to normalize, but chances are that we’ll have another thriller on our hands as the Yankees retake the field in the second game of today’s doubleheader against the Red Sox. The Yankees seem intent on keeping us on the edges of our seats, with Jonathan Loaisiga loading the bases in the seventh with the game on the line. However, he pulled a Houdini, locking down the save and the win, putting the home squad in prime position to secure a virtual tie in the AL Wild Card race should they sweep the doubleheader.
Luis Gil gets the nod for easily the biggest game of his baseball career. It is only his third big league start, so it speaks volumes that the Yankees trust him in such a pivotal game. And make no mistake, he has earned that trust with his meteoric rise over the last month. He has leapfrogged the pitching prospects ahead of him to become the next Yankees wunderkind to have graduated to the big league club. Not only did he make it to The Show, but he has excelled, having yet to surrender a run in two starts.
Look away Yankees fans: Nathan Eovaldi will start game two tonight. He has absolutely owned the Yankees in four starts this season. He carries a 27.5-percent strikeout rate when pitching against the Bombers to go along with a stingy 1.71 ERA. He doesn’t walk guys and has expanded his arsenal, giving him five legitimate strikeout pitches. Entering today, Eovaldi is 10-7 in 23 starts, with a 3.92 ERA, 2.77 FIP, and 134 strikeouts in 133 innings.
It seemed like the Yankees received meaningful contributions up and down the lineup in game one, from walks in big spots to clutch run-scoring hits and timely pinch-hits. They will make only two changes from the first game, with Kyla Higashioka replacing Gary Sánchez at catcher while Giancarlo Stanton plays the outfield, pushing Tyler Wade to short and Andrew Velazquez to the bench.
The Yankees pitchers did an admirable job keeping the dangerous Red Sox hitters mostly in check. That said, Boston represents Gil’s sternest test, as he will have to navigate a lethal middle of the order. Kevin Plawecki, Jarren Duran, and Travis Shaw replace Christian Vázquez, Hunter Renfroe, and Bobby Dalbec respectively.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: WPIX, NESN, MLBN (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Game 2 comin' right up. #SquadUp pic.twitter.com/mUUSO6VbsM— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 17, 2021
Game 2. pic.twitter.com/rnWGQnoMfx— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 17, 2021