The first two series of the Yankees’ 2022 season are in the book, and the team’s gotten off to a bit of a middling start. After taking the first two games of the season, they immediately dropped back to .500 in the next two. However, while all games count the same in the standings, seven games is still too early to make any real judgements. There’s plenty of chances to rack up some wins, including a series starting tonight.
For the first time this season, the Yankees are hitting the road, heading to Baltimore to take on the Orioles in a three-game set.
Baltimore is coming off their third 100-loss season in the past four years, with the only exception coming in the shortened 2020, when they literally could not have lost that many. (Although their .417 winning percentage would’ve gotten them close over a full 162.) While the Orioles have some talent in their system, the team is not there yet, coming into this game with a 1-5 record. Yes, the Yankees have had some amount of trouble with bad Orioles’ teams in recent seasons, but they’ll still be hoping to pick up a series win in a new-ish look Camden Yards.
Before the action gets started tonight, let’s take a look at the pitching matchups we’ll see this weekend.
Friday: Jordan Montgomery vs. Jordan Lyles (7:05 PM ET)
Like the Yankees as a whole, Montgomery got off to a middling start to kick of his season. He was bounced after 3.1 innings, having allowed three runs, although the length of the outing was also cut short and in line with a lot of pitchers as teams ease them back in post-lockout. Besides that, he even got hit on the knee by a comebacker, but did stay in the game after that, and there were some good signs from Montgomery, despite his final line.
It will be a battle of Jordans as Baltimore sends Lyles to the mound for the opener. A free agent signing in the offseason, Lyles was hit around for five runs on seven hits in five innings against the Rays in his 2022 debut.
Saturday: Jameson Taillon vs. Tyler Wells (7:05 PM ET)
He took the loss due to some incompetence from the Yankee offense, but Taillon was pretty solid in his first start of the season. He a potent Toronto offense to just two runs in five innings, and most of that really came due to one man in George Springer. His six strikeouts and performance in general gave reasons to be optimistic about Taillon’s ‘22.
Wells is in his second season in the bigs, but his first in the rotation as all of his 57 innings came out of the bullpen in 2021. His first start didn’t go great, as the Rays got Wells for four runs in just 1.2 innings. It should be noted that he was solid against the Yankees as a reliever last year. The Yankees managed four runs in 7.2 innings on just five hits. Wells struck out 10 Yankees across his five games against them, although now we’ll see if his success against them will translate when he starts the game, and theoretically has to go through the lineup a second time.
Sunday: Nestor Cortes vs. Bruce Zimmermann (1:05 PM ET)
Nestor’s march to the 2022 AL Cy Young Award began in impressive fashion against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. His 4.1 shutout innings kicked off a good day for Yankee pitching in a shutout win over Toronto. Cortes has never had excellent “stuff” and there are valid worries about how that might translate to a new season, but it worked once again last time out.
A 27-year old in his third season, Zimmermann’s career so far hasn’t been extraordinary, with a 87 ERA+ and a WHIP nearing 1.5. Two of his 17 appearances have come against the Yankees, who have managed three home runs in 9.1 innings against him. His 2022 started pretty decently, however, as he held the Brewers scoreless for four innings on Monday.