It’s a somber day of remembrance in the City and across the country. One of the most enduring memories of those horrific events was the role that baseball played in helping people come together and heal. I will never forget the President throwing out the first pitch at the Old Stadium, or Mike Piazza’s home run at Shea, which is why I feel it is fitting that the crosstown rival Yankees and Mets should face off on this 20th anniversary.
Corey Kluber gets the ball for his third start back from injury. He had a rough first two outings off the IL, giving up seven runs in 7.2 innings while topping out at 78 pitches. In many ways, they resembled his first few appearances on the season. He clearly still has wipeout stuff that can strike anyone out, but looked completely gassed and lost command at the end of those outings. He is a notorious slow starter, so the hope is that the recent struggles are all part of his normal build up to full stamina. In 12 starts, Kluber is 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA, 4.06 FIP, and 66 strikeouts in 61 innings.
Taijuan Walker had one of the best first halves of any pitcher in baseball. He ranked 10th in MLB in FIP (3.05) and 12th in ERA (2.66) and fWAR (2.6). The second half hasn’t been nearly as kind to the big righty. In nine starts since the All-Star break, he sports a 7.36 ERA, 7.05 FIP, and a measly 7.8 percent K-BB% while giving up almost three home runs per nine. This is to be expected from someone who only pitched in 15 games since the start of 2018, due to Tommy John surgery and the abbreviated 2020 season. As he makes his 27th appearance (26th start), Walker is 7-9 with a 4.15 ERA, 4.32 FIP, and 129 strikeouts in 138.2 innings.
Can the Yankees bounce back from the mistake-ridden blowout last night? Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres made two back-breaking defensive mistakes that each changed the course of the game. Sánchez is benched for Kyle Higashioka while Torres inexplicably remains in the lineup. Otherwise, DJ LeMahieu reassumes his spot atop the batting order while Giancarlo Stanton comes in for Joey Gallo in left — despite the towering lefty’s then-go-ahead home run yesterday.
As for the Mets, they run out the exact same lineup that dropped 10 runs on the Yankees last night. Jonathan Villar, Michael Conforto, Javier Báez, and Jeff McNeil all had multi-hit nights while Francisco Lindor added a two-run homer. For a lineup that struggled to score runs for much of the season, they Yankees might be catching them at the worst possible time.
How to watch
Location: Citi Field — Flushing, Queens, NY
First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
TV broadcast: FOX
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: FOX Live