Not that long ago, this run of three separate series in less than a month against the Tampa Bay Rays felt like a very good opportunity for the Yankees to firmly derail the season of a division rival who’s been a thorn in its side in recent memory.
However, the Yankees’ second-half performance has left disappointing territory about 10 losses ago, this collapse has now put in jeopardy a division title that felt like a mere formality in the middle part of the year.
If the Rays win today, then Tampa will have the chance to catch the Yankees on the losing column tomorrow. As of right now, the Rays have three fewer games than the Yankees, sitting in second place with a 78-58 record, while the Yanks are at 83-56 — under four games ahead for the first time since May 9th.
The Yankees will send out right-hander Jameson Taillon in search of a repeat performance of his May masterpiece in Tampa Bay. Taillon had what likely could be described as the best outing of his career tossing eight innings of scoreless ball, allowing only a pair of hits, no walks, and striking out five.
Old acquaintance Corey Kluber will make his fifth start of 2022 against his former team, and if history is any indicator, things are going to be rather dicey. The two-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed only 3 earned runs in 25 innings against the Yankees. New York went down meekly at Kluber’s hands just last week, when he threw seven shutout innings of two-hit ball with no walks in a 2-1 victory.
Josh Donaldson is back from the paternity list and in the Yankees’ lineup today, where Giancarlo Stanton also makes his first start since Monday. Donaldson’s return unfortunately means — in the Yankees’ eyes anyway — that Oswald Peraza must head to the bench with Isiah Kiner-Falefa back at shortstop. In better bench news, Aaron Hicks takes a seat as well, as they’ll roll out a starting outfield of Miguel Andújar, Aaron Judge, and Oswaldo Cabrera.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 1:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Sun, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380
Online stream: MLB.tv