Thanks to impressive performances from Aaron Judge and Nestor Cortes, the Yankees were able to salvage a series victory over the Orioles with their 6-0 win Sunday afternoon. They had an off-day to recuperate from the oppressive heatwave sweeping the nation before traveling crosstown to face the Mets in the first Subway Series installment of the year. It’s the first time the teams will face each other while leading their respective divisions in god knows how long, so expect fireworks in this two game blitz.
Tuesday: Jordan Montgomery vs. Taijuan Walker, 7:10 P.M. EDT
Jordan Montgomery goes in the first game coming off one of his best starts in quite some time — 6.1 innings surrendering two runs on seven hits against eight strikeouts to give his team every chance of winning against the Astros. Montgomery has quietly been one of the better starters on the team at limiting crooked numbers, with only two outings in which he gave up more than three runs. He’s done this thanks to stellar command of multiple plus pitches, leading him to place in the top quartile in walk, chase, and whiff rates. In 19 starts, Montgomery is 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA (117 ERA+), 3.80 FIP, and 88 strikeouts in 108.1 innings.
On the opposite side of the diamond, Taijuan Walker is in the midst of easily the best season of his career. He sits in the top-ten of starting pitchers in ERA thanks to allowing the joint-fewest home runs per nine of any starter with at least 90 IP alongside Cy Young frontrunner Sandy Alcantara. His splitter grades out as tied for the best in the game next to Tony Gonsolin by Statcast’s Run Value metric (-13 runs), and is one of a six-pitch mix that keeps hitters guessing. In 16 starts, Walker is 7-2 with a 2.55 ERA (155 ERA+), 2.97 FIP, and 73 strikeouts in 91.2 innings.
Wednesday: Domingo Germán vs. TBD, 7:10 P.M. EDT
Domingo Germán makes his second start of the year after a disastrous outing against the Astros when he gave up five runs on six hits in three innings including back-to-back bombs by Yordan Álvarez and Alex Bregman in the first inning. Facing the Astros and then the Mets for his first two appearances of the year is a tall task. He will have to iron out his command on the fly, because he grooved far too many flat fastballs against the potent Astros lineup. If he does the same against the Mets, he can expect a similar result. I’d like to see him work at the bottom of the zone with sinkers and changeups and let the above-average horizontal movement do the work.
The Mets have yet to announce a starter for the second game of the subway series. This would be David Peterson’s spot in the rotation, however he did pitch an inning of relief Sunday night. The six-foot-six lefty has taken a huge step in his development this year, more than earning his spot as a regular in the rotation. He’s all but ditched a sinker that was getting hammered last year while seeing the velocity on his entire repertoire jump almost a mph. As a result, Peterson finds himself in the top quartile of pitchers in strikeout and whiff rates. In 16 appearances (13 starts), Peterson is 5-2 with a 3.31 ERA (121 ERA+), 3.86 FIP, and 85 strikeouts in 73.1 innings.
There’s also the possibility that Max Scherzer could pitch Wednesday night, with the off-day giving the Mets the opportunity to reset the rotation. Mad Max has been typically brilliant in his first season for the Mets, looking perhaps as dominant as we’ve seen him since coming off the IL with an oblique injury that cost him two months. In his four starts since returning, Scherzer has allowed five runs while striking out 39 in 25.1 innings, and passed Bob Gibson and Curt Schilling in his most recent start for 15th on the career strikeout charts with 3,118. In 12 starts, Scherzer is 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA (174 ERA+), 2.48 FIP, and 98 strikeouts in 75 innings.