It’s time for some rubber match action in this season-opening series! The Yankees won on Opening Day in picture-perfect style before dropping game two in a somewhat more untidy fashion. That just sets the stage for some thrilling Sunday afternoon baseball.
Jhony Brito makes his MLB debut in just the third game of the 2023 season, in the decider of the very first series no less. It’s quite a meteoric rise for the 25-year-old righty, who only graduated to Triple-A last year. It’s certainly deserved, however, as Brito is the only member of the Yankees’ primary higher-level starting pitching prospects projected to have above-average command in the bigs, reaffirming this belief with 5.1 perfect innings against the Blue Jays this spring. As my colleague Alex detailed, Brito throws a fastball in the mid-90s, a plus changeup that is is main strikeout pitch, and an occasional curve. In 18 appearances (15 starts) in 2022, Brito was 6-2 with a 3.31 ERA, 4.03 FIP, and 53 strikeouts in 70.2 innings.
Ross Stripling makes his first start for the Giants after signing a two-year, $25 million contract in the offseason. The 33-year-old righty is plenty familiar with the Yankees from his latest stint with the Blue Jays, facing them six times with a 4.32 ERA, 3.68 FIP, and 25:8 strikeout to walk ratio in 25 innings. Last year, he made 32 appearances (24 starts) for the Blue Jays, going 10-4 with a 3.01 ERA (129 ERA+), 3.11 FIP, and 111 strikeouts in 134.1 innings.
The Yankees make their first changes to the lineup from the opening two games of the season. The headline of the day sees Isiah Kiner-Falefa step into center field. He may have taken some reps there in during the spring, but it’s a huge call for someone who has never played a single inning in the outfield in his major league career. It’s also quite an indictment against Aaron Hicks as well as of their depth after designating Estevan Florial for assignment yesterday. Elsewhere, Gleyber Torres starts at second and leads off after DH’ing the first two days, allowing Giancarlo Stanton to move to DH and Aaron Judge to right, giving DJ LeMahieu the day off. Jose Trevino also gets a rest with Kyle Higashioka making his season debut behind the plate.
The Giants meanwhile make just one change to their lineup from yesterday. Former Met J.D. Davis gets the start at first, pushing LaMonte Wade Jr. to left, Blake Sabol to catcher, and Roberto Pérez to the bench. Brandon Crawford did much of the heavy lifting yesterday, with a three-hit night that included a home run and three driven in.
How to watch
First Pitch: 1:35pm EST
Location: Yankee Stadium — The Bronx, NY
TV broadcast: YES
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv
Giants’ lineup at Yankees:— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) April 2, 2023
LaMonte Wade Jr. - LF
Michael Conforto - RF
J.D. Davis - 1B
Joc Pederson - DH
Mike Yastrzemski - CF
David Villar - 3B
Brandon Crawford - SS
Blake Sabol - C
Thairo Estrada - 2B
Ross Stripling - RHP