The silver lining, albeit a very deflating one, is that the only way is up for this Yankees team that passed the normal struggles of a baseball season about a month or so ago. There’s no escaping the big letdown that this second half has been, but there is still enough time to regain form ahead of a postseason run.
This series at the Tropicana Field didn’t get off to a very promising start as the Yankees dropped the game last night by a score of 9-0. Despite allowing 12 hard-hit balls on the night, Domingo Germán managed to pitch a quality start, allowing a couple of earned runs on six hits, with two walks and one strikeout. However, the offense didn’t show up, and the bullpen imploded late, handing the home team an easy win and cutting the AL East lead to five.
Clarke Schmidt takes the ball looking to — and stop me if you heard this before — bounce back, following a subpar outing on the road against the A’s in which he allowed four runs on twice as many hits over four and a third. In his 33 MLB innings on the season before then, he had a 2.18 ERA and 3.88 FIP. Schmidt had a 3.23 ERA and 2.00 FIP in seven starts at Triple-A since beginning to stretch out in late June.
Corey Kluber will make his fourth start against the Yankees this season, and if his track record is any indicator, he should perform well. Kluber has a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings against the Yankees this season, and he has an MLB-best 3.2-percent walk rate. On the whole, his numbers are more middling, but the Yankees’ offense is in the dumps right now and Kluber could certainly take advantage.
Aside from Aaron Judge’s home run chase (and rare leadoff appearance), something to look forward to today will be Oswald Peraza’s first big league start. He’ll play shortstop and bat eighth this evening after striking out in a pinch-hit cameo last night, his MLB debut. Oswaldo Cabrera wasn’t supposed to play last night and only entered due to Andrew Benintendi’s injury, but this time, he’s starting in right field. It’s good to see the Yankees at least trying something different after another anemic effort on Friday, though Aaron Hicks remains in the lineup.
Speaking of Benintendi, his wrist inflammation has landed him on the injured list for an unknown amount of time. Frequent fill-in Estevan Florial has returned to take his spot on the roster. Anthony Banda is no longer in the bullpen either, as he has been designated for assignments after a couple ugly outings; Ryan Weber is up from Triple-A Scranton in his place. Read more about the transactions here.
How to watch
Location: Tropicana Field — St. Petersburg, FL
First pitch: 6:10 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES Network, Bally Sports Sun
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380, SN590
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Saturday Night Baseball. #RepBX— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 3, 2022
Presented by @Hilton pic.twitter.com/h2htyA5wGW
#Rays lineup vs. #Yankees, with Aranda at 2B: pic.twitter.com/EIXMAROutX— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) September 3, 2022