The New York Yankees find themselves exactly one-third of the way through their 2022 schedule. And what a 54-game stretch it was. The Bronx Bombers sit alone atop the American League East with the best record in baseball. Now, as the club advances deeper into the marathon of a full season, they find themselves in Minnesota to play the Twins, a frequent Yankee punching bag and 2021 off-season trade partner. Josh Donaldson makes his return to Minnesota, and the Yankees get their first look at former teammates Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez since the offseason deal that jettisoned them from New York.
Jameson Taillon is tasked with continuing the superlative stretch of starting pitching the Yankees have put together over the last week-plus. And based on his recent track record, Taillon may do just that. Over his last three starts, Jamo has thrown 23 innings, allowed only 2 runs, and has struck out 17 opposing batters versus 1 free pass. For the season, Taillon is averaging just under six innings per start (58.2 IP in 10 GS) with an outstanding 2.2 percent walk rate and a 2.30 ERA.
For the Twins, 24-year old rookie Cole Sands faces the Yankees for the first time after being recalled from Triple-A St. Paul today. In three MLB appearances (one start), the righthander has thrown a total of eight innings to the tune of a 7.88 ERA. He took the loss in his most recent outing, his first start in the big leagues, as he allowed four runs in four innings against the Detroit Tigers.
Sands features a low-90s fastball, along with a curveball, slider, and changeup. In an extremely small sample size this season, he has relied on the heater, throwing it 58 percent of the time. Sands’ bête noire to this point has been the free pass, with a 10.8-percent walk rate through his first three appearances.
With the recent returns of Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankee lineup is back to a long and formidable one, albeit one that would greatly benefit from Aaron Hicks and/or Joey Gallo consistently swinging the bat. Tonight features DJ LeMahieu leading off, Aaron Judge hitting second and roaming the expanse of center field, and Gleyber Torres as the winner of eeny-meeny-miny-you-get-the-day-off. Jose Trevino catches Taillon and Gallo hits ninth.
It’s a great day to win a ballgame in Minnesota. Here’s hoping Jamo continues his brilliance and that the bats give him some run support. Let’s go Yankees.
How to watch
Location: Target Field — Minneapolis, MN
First pitch: 7:40 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / Bally Sports North – MIN
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 / TIBN, twinsbeisbol.com
Online stream: MLB.tv