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New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Jameson Taillon vs. Kevin Gausman

Which Jamo will turn up tonight? And will the offense actually do anything? Let’s find out together.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Last night’s series opener against the Blue Jays did not do much to dispel the notion that the Yankees are sinking like a ship in August (now 4-12 in the month). As Sam warned earlier today, the fun of the walk-off grand slam game could be rendered a mere fluke if the team doesn’t do anything to keep that energy up, and for as much as Frankie Montas struggled yesterday, the offense was pretty dismal against José Berríos, who has slumped for most of 2022.

The nice thing is that for as bad as the Yankees looked on Thursday, they could still be on a mini-“two out of three” run if they win tonight. Is noting the mere possibility of a good three-game stretch quite a depressing follow-up for a team that once looked like it could threaten the all-time wins record? You bet. But it’s the lot we’re dealt with at the moment.

Anyway, Jameson Taillon will obviously need to turn in a better effort than Montas, but it’s been quite a strange road for the former Pirate in 2022. He was brilliant and pitching like an All-Star through the start of June (a span of 10 starts), even carrying a perfecto into the eighth against the Angels on June 2nd. Then came a horrific stretch where he got lit up a ton to the tune of a 6.81 ERA in seven outings. Taillon has changed course again since then and has a modest 3.78 ERA in six starts, albeit with a 4.68 FIP and still too many walks — something he avoided almost entirely over the first couple months.

Taillon has actually faced Toronto four times this season already and he’s honestly turned in solid performances on each occasion. The most recent start was June 18th, when he pitched 5.2 shutout innings in a 4-0 win. Given his up-and-down play this summer though, it’s anyone’s guess for which Jamo will show up tonight, especially against such a potent lineup.

Meanwhile, the Yankees might have their hands full with Kevin Gausman, who signed Toronto this past offseason after an All-Star campaign in 2021 with the Giants. Like Taillon, he was poised to make the Midsummer Classic with his numbers through early June (2.67 ERA, 1.73 FIP in 12 starts), but a blow-up start against the Orioles and a poorly-timed line drive off the ankle likely played a role in his snub from the team.

Gausman hasn’t been quite as regularly dominant as he was for the first few months, but make no mistake: he can still shove. Yes, the Cardinals and Guardians both got to him for five runs on at least eight hits in 4.2 innings on July 27th and August 14th (his last time out), respectively. However, Gausman also pitched eight shutout innings of 1-hit, 10-K ball against the Rays on August 2nd, and he blanked the Twins for six on August 7th. That might be a little feast-or-famine, but anyone who has watched the Yankees’ offense over the past month knows which way they’re probably going to lean. At least if Gausman steamrolls them, it will be less annoying than the Berríos nonsense.

Aaron Judge is back in center field tonight with both Estevan Florial and Aaron Hicks on the bench. Oswaldo Cabrera gets his first career start in right field (and just his fourth professionally) as Isiah Kiner-Falefa returns to shortstop. Since there’s a day game tomorrow and the Yankees seem likely to want to keep Jose Trevino’s rhythm going with Gerrit Cole, Kyle Higashioka will handle the night game with Taillon today.

As a reminder, this game will be on Apple TV+, so that will be the only way you can watch, though it avoids typical MLB blackouts. It should still be available on the free subscription.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium - Bronx, NY

First pitch: 7:05 pm ET

TV broadcast: None (Apple TV+ exclusive)

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380, SN590

Online stream: Apple TV+

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