The Yankees needed a little luck and more than a little help from the Tigers defense to eke out a 4-2 win in last night’s series opener. Gerrit Cole couldn’t even make it out of the second inning while the bats did the absolute minimum to outscore a Javier Báez-less Detroit offense. Let’s hope for a more compelling display on both sides of the ball as the Bombers try to guarantee a series win tonight.
Luis Severino gets the ball for his third start of the season. If his last outing is any indication of what to expect — five scoreless innings against the Blue Jays, allowing four baserunners against six strikeouts — then we’re in for a real treat this evening. His fastball is operating in the high-90s, the slider looks sharp, his confidence in the changeup is growing, and he’s even added a cutter to the mix. Given the double-duty that Cole’s stinker forced the bullpen into yesterday, the Yankees could sure use a quality start from Severino tonight.
Eduardo Rodriguez will also make his third start of the year. He got shelled in his first two outings wearing the Olde English D, giving up 10 runs (5 earned) across 7.2 innings. The fastball velocity is down a tick, he hasn’t yet found the feel for the changeup (his best pitch), and has been giving up a ton of hard contact for a pitcher who routinely sits near the top of the quality of contact leaderboard. That said, the lefty has a track record of success pitching against the Yankees, sporting a 3.72 ERA and 111:47 strikeout to walk ratio in 23 starts with the Red Sox.
The Yankees return eight of the nine players from the series-opening lineup. Joey Gallo donned the golden sombrero last night, so it’s no surprise he sits tonight. Gleyber Torres plays second, moving DJ LeMahieu to third, Josh Donaldson to DH, and Giancarlo Stanton to the outfield. Aaron Hicks has been on a bit of a heater since getting plugged into the leadoff spot Saturday, going 4-for-9 with three walks and three runs scored, and he will look to continue to set the table for the Bombers tonight.
The Tigers make two changes to the lineup that ticketed Cole to a career-worst five walks last night. Victor Reyes replaces Akil Baddoo in centerfield while Harold Castro spells Willi Castro (no relation) at shortstop. With a single in last night’s contest, Miguel Cabrera is now four hits shy of becoming the 33rd member of the 3,000 hits club, which would see him join Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez (among many others). Having reached the 500 home run mark last season, the future Hall of Famer will become just the seventh player to collect 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, with Albert Pujols the most recent player to achieve the feat.
How to watch
Location: Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
First pitch: 6:40 pm EDT
TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Detroit
Radio broadcast: 660 AM/101.9 FM WFAN, 1280 AMWADO, WXYT FM (DET)
Online stream: MLB.tv