In classic 2021 Yankees fashion, the Bombers sleepwalked their way to a 3-2 loss yesterday, continuing the trend of lethargic performances in day games following night games. To be fair, it’s hard to be critical of the team’s play in recent weeks, as they’ve turned their season around and put themselves in pole position in the AL Wild Card race as well as back in the hunt for a division crown. Though yesterday’s loss snapped their 13-game winning streak, they have an opportunity to start a whole new winning streak tonight, with a series win over the Athletics still on the table.
Jordan Montgomery will be tasked with getting the team back on the winning path. The southpaw has put together one of THE underrated seasons by a starter in MLB this season, sitting in the top-30 in the league in ERA, FIP, and fWAR among starters with at least 120 innings pitched. He has allowed three runs or fewer in his last two months worth of starts and allowed only one run in 5.1 innings last time he faced the A’s. In 23 starts, Montgomery is 5-5 with a 3.69 ERA, 3.69 FIP, and 123 strikeouts in 124.1 innings.
Paul Blackburn was recently called up to the big league squad after playing most of the season in Triple-A. He throws a sinker, cutter, changeup and curveball, and won’t blow you away with velocity or movement. He rarely induces a chase or whiff, and gives up more than his fair share of hard contact, yet has somehow done a decent job at run prevention in limited big league innings this year. In two starts, Blackburn is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA, 3.71 FIP, and eight strikeouts in 11 innings.
The Yankees switch things up a bit from yesterday’s loss. Brett Gardner plays center, moving Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo to the corners. Giancarlo Stanton gets half the day off at DH. Normally this might’ve been bad news for Luke Voit, but his hot streak and Anthony Rizzo’s slump means Voit plays first and Rizzo gets the night off. Gio Urshela starts at third and Tyler Wade at short, so Andrew Velazquez and Rougned Odor go to the bench.
The A’s make two changes to their lineup. Jed Lowrie replaces Sean Murphy at DH. Elvis Andrus returns to shortstop, pushing Josh Harrison to second and Tony Kemp — who’s gone 4-for-6 in the last two games — to the bench.
How to watch
Location: RingCentral Coliseum — Oakland, CA
First pitch: 7:08 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: ESPN, MLBN (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv