The Yankees enter Fenway under circumstances they haven’t encountered in months. Thanks to the off-day yesterday paired with an Astros win, New York is no longer the owner of the best record in the AL. It’s the ignominious result of a 15-20 stretch since the start of July that concluded with the team losing seven of their last eight contests. They’ll have to turn around their fortunes fast as they face a daunting 12-game stretch against the Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, and Mets, starting tonight in Boston.
The team appeared to signal their confidence in Domingo Germán as the fifth starter in the rotation when they traded Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader on deadline day. He’s rewarded that faith with three straight outings allowing two or fewer runs, though he’s averaged under five innings per start. He seems to have the most success when limiting his fastball usage, instead leaning on the curveball and changeup in a manner not unlike Montgomery. In four starts, Germán has a 5.09 ERA (77 ERA+), 5.78 FIP, and 13 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
Nathan Eovaldi has seriously regressed after placing third on the MLB pitching fWAR leaderboard last season. The walk rate is still pristine, but the fastball is a mph slower, batters are hitting the ball two mph harder, and he finds himself in the fifth percentile in hard hit rate and sixth percentile in barrel rate. He has an extensive history pitching against the Yankees as a member of the Red Sox, and the result is usually feast or famine — he’s given up at least seven runs in two appearances against New York, but also has three starts of 7.2 or more innings allowing two or fewer runs. In 17 starts, Eovaldi is 5-3 with a 4.23 ERA (101 ERA+), 4.45 FIP, and 93 strikeouts in 93.2 innings.
The Yankees return a mostly unchanged lineup to the group that lost, 4-3, to the Mariners. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge remain the ever-steady producers atop the batting order. Anthony Rizzo bats third appearing in a second-straight game after missing five contests with back spasms. Josh Donaldson looks rejuvenated in August and bats cleanup. Andrew Benintendi — recently showing signs of finding his footing after a rough first week in pinstripes — mercifully replaces Miguel Andújar in left while Jose Trevino spells Kyle Higashioka behind the plate.
New York gets its first taste of this new-look post-deadline Red Sox lineup. Tommy Pham, acquired from the Reds for cash considerations or a PTBNL, has hit three home runs in nine games for Boston and bats leadoff. Against all expectations, the Red Sox held onto Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, while below them in the batting order we find Eric Hosmer, whose salary the Padres finally manage to dump in a deal that sent Jay Groome to San Diego. Catcher Christian Vázquez was dealt to the Astros, though we won’t see his replacement — Reese McGuire, himself acquired from the White Sox for Jake Diekman — as Kevin Plawecki starts behind the plate.
How to watch
Location: Fenway Park — Boston, MA
First pitch: 7:10 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, NESN, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380
Online stream: MLB.tv