Well, that was much-needed. Thanks to an August that has made “Beyond the Wall” look like a tropical resort (yes, now that A House of Dragon has premiered, Game of Thrones references are back on), the New York Yankees were in danger of seeing their AL East lead, which had peaked at 15.5 games in early July, be trimmed all the way to six. Fortunately, thanks to an ace-like performance from Nestor Cortes and a two-run home run from Andrew Benintendi, they were able to salvage the four-game series against the Blue Jays and avoid the sweep.
Unfortunately, one win does not turn around a cold streak (as the follow-up to Wednesday’s dramatics demonstrated), and the road isn’t getting any easier, as the Yankees welcome the crosstown rival Mets to town for a quick two-game set.
Domingo Germán (1-2, 4.45 ERA, 4.50 FIP) gets the ball for the Yankees in the opener, making his seventh start of the season. After a disastrous first start against the Astros on July 21st in which he gave up five runs in three innings, the right-hander has actually been fairly serviceable, allowing just 9 runs and 25 hits in 25.1 innings across five starts, striking out 21 and walking 8. While he’s not exactly a starter I would normally trust in a big game, he has been far from the team’s biggest problem. Tonight will be his second start against the Mets this season; although he could not get through the fifth, Germán limited their cross-town rivals to just two runs on five hits, striking out seven.
For the second time this season, Germán has had the misfortune of being lined up with one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Max Scherzer (9-2, 2.15 ERA, 2.42 FIP). Seeking his 200th career win, the future Hall of Famer faces a lineup that the stat line would suggest he manhandled in their last matchup: no runs on five hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking two. But look into the Statcast data, and you’ll find that the Yankees actually managed to hit the ball hard against him, recording 10 hard-hit balls (including six that had an exit velocity greater than 100 mph); unfortunately, the vast majority of them found gloves.
Andrew Benintendi returns to the leadoff spot for the second straight game and third time in less than a week, while typical leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu makes his fourth start of the season batting cleanup. After sitting with a stomach bug the last two days, Josh Donaldson returns to the lineup, playing third and batting fifth. Oswaldo Cabrera makes his first Major League start at second base, with Gleyber Torres joining Aaron Hicks, Estevan Florial, and Kyle Higashioka on the bench tonight.
Note that Scott Effross will not be with the bullpen tonight, as he hit the IL with a shoulder strain. Clarke Schmidt was called up to take his roster spot, and he could potentially tag-team with Germán since he’s stretched out.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV Broadcast: YES, WPIX, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Subway Series Matchup. #RepBX— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 22, 2022
Presented by @Hilton pic.twitter.com/acnEUzEcKI
Subway Series, Pt. 2. #LGM— New York Mets (@Mets) August 22, 2022
: New York (AL)
: Yankee Stadium
: 7:05 p.m.
: WPIX, @MLBNetwork (out-of-market only)
: https://t.co/ABRBjxT66t pic.twitter.com/vN2j6jwLi7