Are we OK with calling this the beginning of the Oswald Peraza Era? I don’t think putting excessive pressure on the rookie is a good idea, but also I’m focused on turning the page from an awful August by the Yankees. I guess we’ll just need another name for it. How about September? (Thank you, blessed Gregorian calendar.)
Alas, the Yankees are apparently not actually believers the Oswald Peraza Era because the Top-100 prospect isn’t even starting tonight. Neither is fellow rookie Oswaldo Cabrera, who hasn’t started since Tuesday. We are in the middle of a very stupid time to be a Yankees fan.
Matt and Andrés have already set the table for how important this series now is for the Yankees, so I’d encourage you to read their previews (maybe Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone missed the memo). The SparkNotes version is that the 15-game lead that New York held over Tampa back on August 2nd has shrunk to just six, and with a bad series at Tropicana Field — which, let’s face it, has happened a lot to this team over the past decade — could cut it down to three. It’s time to push back after an awful month and affirm that this can be a team that not only wins the division but goes on a long playoff run, too.
Domingo Germán takes the hill after the longest and one of the most successful starts of his five-year career. Although the Yankees’ offense inexplicably floundered in Oakland, the right-hander did his part with 7.2 innings of three-hit shutout ball. The A’s are not a good team, so take that with a grain of salt, but Germán has also recently turned in commendable efforts against a couple future NL playoff teams in the Mets and Cardinals.
The Rays did better at Yankee Stadium on August 17th though, when Germán didn’t make it out of the fifth, surrendering three runs on five hits and a walk. Overall, he’s exceeded expectations, but he’ll need to do better than that since there won’t be a Josh Donaldson walk-off slam to bail him out this time.
If it feels like the Yankees have seen an oddly high amount of Jeffrey Springs starts this season, you wouldn’t be wrong. This will mark his third start against them out of 19 on the year. Springs has fared well since entering the rotation full-time in mid-May. In 15 starts between May 15th and August 22nd, he pitched to a 2.54 ERA, 3.37 FIP, and over a strikeout per inning. Springs may be tiring though, as the former reliever is now over 100 innings for the first time since 2017, when he was a 24-year-old in High-A, and he got crushed by the Red Sox during his last time out.
Solo homers from Gleyber Torres and Matt Carpenter doomed an otherwise-good start from Springs against New York on May 27th, but he got a solid enough revenge on August 16th with five innings of two-hit, one-run ball at Yankee Stadium. Who will win Round 3?
As previously noted, Peraza and Cabrera aren’t starting tonight because the Yankees hate you. Instead we get all of the Struggle City Crew: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres, and Josh Donaldson. Anthony Rizzo had an epidural to address his back injury and will not play until Tuesday, and DJ LeMahieu (battling through injury) is playing first. Andrew Benintendi bats third and he’s not bad or anything, but man do I feel uninspired.
Whatever. I just want to see some Aaron Judge dingers at this point. So let’s get on with it.
How to watch
Location: Tropicana Field — St. Petersburg, FL
First pitch: 7:10 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Sun, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380, SN590
Online stream: MLB.tv