Alright. It’s back to the grind for the Yankees after a dismally disappointing first road series of the season against the Orioles. After a day off yesterday, the first of the young season, the supposed Bombers roll into Comerica Park to take on the Detroit Tigers.
Tonight, New York hands the ball to the ace, Gerrit Cole. Statistics are almost meaningless at this point in the season. That said, however, Cole’s are nowhere near what he, the club, and the fans expect. Through 9.2 innings, he has pitched to a 5.59 ERA and 6.20 ERA. But in a sign he might be the victim of some bad luck early, both his xERA and xFIP are considerably lower (4.62 and 3.87, respectively). Estevão found other interesting developments from his first two starts, as well.
Bad luck or not, it is imperative that Cole pitch well. It will be a tough early season slog if he is struggling, given the uncertainty behind him in the rotation as it pertains to eating quality innings. For what it is worth, Cole went 1-0 against Detroit in two starts last season, compiling 17 strikeouts in 12 innings, only allowing a single run. If that Gerrit Cole shows up tonight, then it could go a long way to facilitating Yankees success. Of course, pitching has overwhelmingly not been the problem in this young season.
For Detroit, Tyler Alexander is on the hill tonight. The 27-year-old southpaw pitched well for Detroit last season, to the tune of a 3.81 ERA in 106.1 frames. The Yankees should be able to put balls in play against Alexander, who for his career has a 7.7 K/9. He made one appearance against the Yankees last season, giving up one run in three innings in relief.
On the other side of the ball, the Yankees run out another version of musical batting orders. This one though might be the closest version to the “A” lineup in terms of who it features. Early-season revelation Aaron Hicks — he of the 163 wRC+ — leads it off, followed by the usual parade of boppers. With Hicks at the top of the order though, Josh Donaldson drops down to the 6-hole, followed by Joey Gallo. The slumping Gleyber Torres takes a seat on the bench. I have faith. The lineup is going to put some runs on the board.
The Orioles series is over and the off day has everyone rested. It’s time to focus in on a new opponent and try to get back on a winning track. Play the Tigers tonight. Beat the Tigers tonight.
How to watch
Location: Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
First pitch: 6:40 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Detroit
Radio broadcast: 660 AM/101.9 FM WFAN, 1280 AMWADO, WXYT FM (DET)
Online stream: MLB.tv