A little over a month ago, the Yankees and Mariners met in Seattle, and it ended up being a fairly typical 2021 Yankees series. They ended up winning the series and taking two of three, but the loss was an absolutely brutal one-hit shutout when they had a chance to go for the sweep.
Now a month later, the Mariners are coming to New York for the second part of the season series with both teams semi-different looking. The Yankees of course made their big splash with Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo among others, but the Mariners were also busy.
After the hubbub surrounding their Kendall Graveman trade, Seattle ended up being buyers and adding pieces to try and supplement a run at a Wild Card. Considering the Yankees are one of the teams they’re potentially competing with, this series is important. Here (sorta) are the pitching matchups we’ll get over the next four days.
Thursday: Nestor Cortes vs. Tyler Anderson (7:05 pm ET)
Noted pinch runner Cortes is expected to get the ball Thursday in what will be a weird series rotation-wise for the Yankees. After a less than stellar outing against Boston, he was back to his 2021 solid self in his last appearances against the Rays. He allowed one run in five innings against the Rays last week.
Anderson was one of the deadline moves the Mariners made, picking up the pitcher for a pair of prospects. In general, both his career and 2021 season are right around major league average. He’s made one start as a Mariner so far, allowing three runs in 5.1 innings.
Friday: TBD vs. Marco Gonzales (7:05 pm ET)
This is where things get interesting for the Yankees rotation. With Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery on the COVID IL and Domingo Germán on the regular IL, it’s unclear who will be going in this one. Maybe you see some sort of bullpen game/opener situation, maybe one of Cole and Montgomery managed to get cleared by then, maybe it’s even Deivi García, who knows at this point.
After a couple good seasons, Gonzales has taken a bit of a step back this season. He’s been on a solid run lately, with a 3.22 ERA in his last four starts, but that only lowered his overall season total to 5.15. Over his career, he’s only faced the Yankees twice. In 2019, he held them to just one run in six innings. However the year before, the Yankees got him for six runs.
Saturday: Andrew Heaney vs. Chris Flexen (1:05 pm ET)
Heaney’s Yankees debut did not go great, as he allowed four solo home runs in just four innings. That being said, considering the unknown of Friday, he is at least a living, breathing human who can throw a baseball.
Flexen was middling for the first two months of the season, but since June he’s been very good. In his last 11 starts, he has a 3.33 ERA and has been holding hitters to a .680 OPS. The Yankees have never faced him before as his only other major league seasons came back with the Mets from 2017-19.
Sunday: Luis Gil vs. Yusei Kikuchi (1:05 pm ET)
After his very impressive debut, Luis Gil will be making his second career MLB start in this one. Despite the fact that he was sent down after the game, because he was a COVID IL replacement, he doesn’t have to wait the requisite 10 days and will be back up for Sunday. There was plenty to like about his first game as he held the Orioles to just four hits in six shutout innings on Tuesday.
Kikuchi was an All-Star this year, but the Yankees got to him back when they met on July 7th. They put up a combined five runs in the first two innings, with eight of the nine Yankees in the lineup reaching base at some point in that stretch. He settled down after that and ended up getting through five innings, but by that point the damage had already been done.