Our 2022 regular season journey is almost at end. The Yankees will wrap up their AL East-winning campaign with four games in three days in Texas. Today will be the last somewhat-normal day of the season because tomorrow will involve some doubleheader madness and Wednesday will be the finale, which always carries its own baggage (if not only because we move from regional to national broadcasts).
But let’s get the somewhat-normal contest out of the way first, shall we? Aaron Judge is still sitting on 61 homers, and while it would have been storybook to get No. 62 at home, it wasn’t meant to be. So maybe a lazy night in Texas (with an open roof) will do the trick. Interim Rangers skipper has already said that the long-since-eliminated team has no plans to intentionally walk Judge, so that’s a good start. On the other hand:
The Rangers have also issued the 2nd most walks in the AL this year, so they might not be able to help it https://t.co/N6WSmpZWcQ— Dan Kelly (@Dan_KellyPSA) October 3, 2022
Touche, Dan. Touche. (PS: We miss you.)
Luis Severino gets the ball for the Yankees in what will be his final tune-up before a likely road start in ALDS Game 3. This is his third outing since coming off the 60-day injured list in mid-September, and his pitch count seems likely to jump to the eighties or nineties after chucking 76 in Toronto on September 26th. The bat-missing stuff was there, but the command (three walks in four innings) left a little to be desired. That will have to be priority No. 1 tonight.
On the other side, Martín Pérez will make the start of what turned out to be a pretty cool comeback season. A homegrown Ranger with plenty of potential who received downballot Rookie of the Year votes in 2013 saw the trajectory of his career change when he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014. Although he was solid for a couple seasons when Texas last won division titles in 2015-16, he wasn’t as impressive. An awful 2018 began a few years in the wilderness, mostly with the Twins and Red Sox, and at 31, he returned to Texas on a one-year, $4 million deal for 2022. Most of the Rangers’ campaign has been a disappointment, but Pérez has turned in 190.1 innings of 2.93 ERA, 3.21 FIP ball, earning his first career All-Star appearance.
The Yankees’ original lineup had Gleyber Torres batting third tonight, but per Aaron Boone, he is “under the weather.” So up the middle will be Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop and Oswald Peraza at second. DJ LeMahieu takes first for the resting Anthony Rizzo, and Marwin Gonzalez will cover left field and Aaron Hicks will be in center with both Oswaldo Cabrera and Harrison Bader getting the night off.
Let’s go Yankees, and let’s go Judge.
How to watch
Location: Globe Life Field - Arlington, TX
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, Bally Sports Southwest, MLB Network (out-of-market, only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380, SN590
Online stream: MLB.tv (out-of-market only)