The Rangers may have sustained a devastating blow when Jacob deGrom exited last night’s start with forearm tightness, but they still managed to secure a comfortable 5-2 victory over the Yankees. While the Yankees await news on Aaron Judge’s hip, we get our first look at Jake Bauers following his call-up earlier this afternoon. He’ll play left field and bat eighth as the Yankees look to level the series at a game apiece.
I reckon Jhony Brito is happy to see the backs of the Twins. They’ve punished him with 10 runs in 3.1 innings the two times they’ve met. In his other three starts, he’s held opponents to two runs in 14.1 innings so we’ll hope that trend continues tonight. Alex and Andrés have detailed on the site how the curveball is the X-factor in his effectiveness as a starter, as he’s struggled to put away batters after reaching two strikes. However, facing a lefty-heavy Rangers lineup, he may lean heavily on his favored changeup. In five starts, the Yankees rookie is 2-2 with a 6.11 ERA, 4.42 FIP, and 12 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
Brito will face old friend Nathan Eovaldi, whose 15 starts against the Yankees are the most by any pitcher since his release from the team in 2017. In those appearances, Eovaldi has a 3.75 ERA with 75 strikeouts and 16 walks in 84 innings. Despite his 5.20 ERA, he’s been one of the top 10 pitchers to start the season, striking out more and walking fewer batters than at any point of his career. He’s experienced particularly poor luck, the almost three-run difference between ERA and FIP by far the highest in baseball, to go along with a .413 BABIP and nearly 50 point discrepancy in wOBA and xwOBA. In five starts, Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 5.20 ERA, 2.23 FIP, and 31 strikeouts in 27.2 innings
The Yankees are hoping Bauers is just the shot in the arm their floundering lineup needs. He’s slashed .319/.460/.812 in 21 games with nine homers and a 211 wRC+ for the RailRiders and replaces Franchy Cordero, who was sent down after his bat (and glove) went ice cold following a charmed first week. Anthony Volpe returns to lead off after being given a rest yesterday, moving DJ LeMahieu to bat cleanup and Oswald Peraza to the bench. Isiah Kiner-Falefa replaces Aaron Hicks in center while Jose Trevino takes over for Kyle Higashioka behind the plate.
The Rangers make just one change to the lineup that barreled-up Clarke Schmidt for five runs on 10 hits. Bubba Thompson plays left replacing Leody Taveras, meaning Travis Jankowski slides over to center. Jonah Heim and Robbie Grossman did most of the damage last night as the Rangers receive production from the bottom-half of their lineup, a phenomenon which has eluded the Yankees thus far.
How to watch
Location: Globe Life Field — Arlington, TX
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / Bally Sports Southwest Extra - TEX
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 / 105.3 The Fan, KFLC 1270
Online stream: MLB.tv
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Saturday in the South #RepBX pic.twitter.com/G9MSgYykDN— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 29, 2023
Saturday squad. #StraightUpTX pic.twitter.com/z7xyy1iO0G— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) April 29, 2023