The Yankees narrowly avoided a sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, as Aaron Judge homered and scored on an Oswaldo Cabrera sacrifice fly to slip past their division rivals by a score of 2-1 yesterday in St. Petersburg, keeping them five up in the AL East. There’s no rest for the weary, however, as the Yankees return home to open a three-game set with the Twins with a Labor Day matinee. Old friends Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela will be making their returns to the Bronx after the spring trade that sent them to Minnesota.
Jameson Taillon (12-4, 3.97 ERA, 4.08 FIP) gets the ball for the Yankees. It truly has been a tale of two seasons for the right-hander, who had been a veritable ace through his first 10 starts of the season (6-1, 2.30 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 44:5 K:BB) and an absolute disaster since the middle of June (6-3, 4.96 ERA, 4.92 FIP, 70:18 K:BB). The turning point? A four-inning outing against the Twins on June 7th in which he gave up four runs on nine hits. Hopefully, today’s start will be another turning point, as the Yankees desperately need him to pitch like his April and May self down the stretch.
Additionally, Taillon will make his start just five days after suffering a wrist contusion that forced him from the ballgame after getting hit by a line drive against the Angels last week. Although he appears to be healthy, that is something to keep an eye on today.
For their part, the Twins will send out Chris Archer (2-7, 4.52 ERA, 4.29 FIP). Although Archer’s stat line may not be pretty, looks can be deceiving. The former Rays ace was absolutely electric against the Yankees earlier this season, limiting them to just one run on two hits in five innings of work. Considering that happened on June 8th — also known as the time when the Yankees lineup had a pulse — there’s reason to be cautiously pessimistic about a matchup that, at least on paper, looks like the perfect opportunity for the Yankees to get back to their hitting ways.
To attempt to get back on track for the 20th time in a row, manager Aaron Boone has constructed ... well, it’s a lineup, that’s what I can say. Aaron Judge returns to the two-hole, manning center field. Before that, things get dicey, with Gleyber Torres leading off for the third time this year. After that, things also get dicey, with the slumping Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson being followed by Jose Trevino, Oswaldo Cabrera, and a trio of batters who have combined for four extra-base hits since the start of August.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV Broadcast: YES, Bally Sports North, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv