Timely hits and strong outings on the mound from Jordan Montgomery, Luis Gil, and the bullpen propelled the New York Yankees to not only a doubleheader sweep over the Boston Red Sox yesterday, but past them in the Wild Card standings. Yep, that’s right — were the season to end today, the Yankees would have one of the two coveted Wild Card spots, just a mere month after they were treading at .500 and looked to be dead in the water. But taking a job is one thing; keeping it is something else, and that task begins today.
Andrew Heaney (7-8, 5.78 ERA, 4.77 FIP) will get the ball for the Yankees. To say that he has been terrible as a member of the Yankees would be an understatement: In 15 innings in pinstripes, he has given up 15 runs on 15 hits, 8 of which went over the wall. On top of that, he’s walked six batters. That’s ... not a good stat line. Thank the baseball gods the Yankees have already clinched the series, because the offense is likely going to need to put up big numbers to win this game.
Is that possible? That depends on which version of Nick Pivetta (9-5, 4.20 ERA, 4.18 FIP) shows up for the Red Sox tonight. Now in his fifth season, the 28-year-old has been the model of inconsistency this year, equally capable of dominating opposing offenses — he has kept opposing offenses to one run or fewer in six starts, but has also allowed four runs or more in eight — which, to be fair, is an improvement over his previous career norm, which was consistently bad. This will be his first career start against the Yankees; his lone appearance against them came in two innings of work last year as a member of the Phillies, in which he gave up two runs on two hits in two innings while striking out a pair.
Aroldis Chapman is back in the Yankees’ bullpen tonight, while Anthony Rizzo returns to the lineup, batting second and playing first base. Rizzo’s inclusion pushes everyone down a spot, putting Aaron Judge third, Joey Gallo fourth, and Giancarlo Stanton fifth. Unfortunately, the Yankees have not decided to go all-in on the Outfield of Defensive Linemen, as Stanton remains as the designated hitter, pushing Luke Voit to the bench. Hopefully we start to see that lineup a bit more often, as Voit has been posting a .280/.357/.520 slash with two home runs over the past seven games.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, ESPN
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Wednesday Night Rivalry. #SquadUp pic.twitter.com/ElhIeWSC03— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 18, 2021
Here's how we line up for the series finale: pic.twitter.com/ya6feMfhMQ— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 18, 2021