On July 30th, the Yankees embarked on a 13-game stretch which many fans and prognosticators felt would go a long way toward determining if they’d earn a postseason spot in 2021. Thirteen games against Miami, Baltimore, Seattle, and Kansas City sure seemed like an opportunity to make an upward move in the standings.
So far so good, as the Yankees are 7-1 since July 30th and have certainly made a move. Currently, they are only one game behind Oakland in the loss column for the second Wild Card spot, and two in the loss column behind Boston for the first Wild Card spot. For those of you who don’t find the prospect of a coin flip postseason game appealing, the Yankees are also – somewhat amazingly for many fans – only five games behind Tampa Bay in the loss column for first place in the AL East. (Of course, given the manner in which 2021 has progressed, no one would blame those fans if they feel like Charlie Brown getting ready to kick a ball that Lucy is holding.)
The Yankees will send Andrew Heaney to the mound today, looking to keep the team’s momentum going. Heaney will be making his second start as a Yankee and there’s no way to sugarcoat his first one, as it was not particularly good. Today he’ll be facing a Seattle team that ranks second-to-last in the AL in both OBP and SLG, so if you’re part of the glass-half-full crowd, today is a great opportunity for Heaney to make thousands of new friends in the Bronx.
Taking the mound for Seattle will be former Met Chris Flexen, who has had a pretty good season for the Mariners in 2021. Flexen ranks in the 91st percentile in BB%, so Yankee batters aren’t going to have to look for him when they get in the batter’s box today. He likes to throw his cutter inside to lefties (away from righties) and changeup away from lefties (inside to righties) but his four-seam fastball may be something on which to keep an eye on today. As you can see from the picture below, his four-seam fastball, which he throws 36 percent of the time, tends to end up in a location that may be undesirous when there’s a right-field wall only a 9-iron away from home plate.
Of note for the Yankees today, Tyler Wade gets the start at shortstop while Giancarlo Stanton will be making the manning right field with Aaron Judge getting the nod at DH.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
First pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV broadcast: YES, MLBN (out-of-market), ROOT SPORTS NW
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280, 710 ESPN Seattle
Online stream: MLB.tv