The Yankees were washed out last night, giving them a day off in the middle of 22 games in 23 days, and critically allowing them to rest a bullpen that’s been among the very best in the game. It’s typical, then, as the Yankees open their series with the White Sox, they’ll be starting a man who doesn’t usually need the bullpen to do much.
I said last Sunday that I’m lucky to get to keep covering Nestor Cortes starts, and here he is again. You all know the stats by now, a 1.35 ERA over 40 innings, a better K-BB% than Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer, and the most consistent pitcher the Yankees have had all year. Just last week he dominated these White Sox over eight innings, allowing a single run in his final frame of work, striking out seven and walking none.
How both Chicago and Cortes adjust in such a short turnaround will go a long way to determining the winner of today’s game. It’s a double edged sword to face Cortes twice within a week — the more familiarity with a pitcher, the better, but I think his particular ability to mix pitches, vary break on those pitches and vary his delivery make him harder to study than the average top-of-rotation starter.
Dallas Keuchel, longtime pain in the Yankees’ butt, counters for the White Sox. This will be his 11th regular season start against the Bronx Bombers, and he brings a 2.06 ERA in 65.2 innings to bear against the league’s best offense. That kind of matchup makes me think something’s gotta give, although Keuchel did just throw five shutout innings against the Yankees last week.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium, NY
First pitch: 1:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, NBCSCH
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv