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New York Yankees @ Seattle Mariners: Clarke Schmidt vs. George Kirby

The Yankees try to sweep Seattle before heading to Los Angeles this weekend.

New York Yankees v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After taking the first two games of this three-game set in Seattle, both in convincing fashion, New York goes for the trifecta tonight. A win moves the Bronx Bombers to a season-high 12 games above .500 and sends them to the Thursday offday riding high, before going to LA this weekend to face the Dodgers (where all of Giancarlo Stanton, JOsh Donaldson, and Tommy Kahnle seem ready to join them).

Clarke Schmidt takes the ball for the Yankees tonight. Thus far in 2023, Schmidt has not made a convincing case to remain in the starting rotation once it’s back to full strength. That said, he has been better recently. In three of his last four starts, he has gone at least five innings and allowed two or fewer runs. So perhaps there is a glimmer of hope that he can bring the back of his baseball card to respectability.

Getting left-handers out is Schmidt’s Gordian Knot. If he can start doing that consistently, it will go a long way. The splits are startling. He has held righty bats to a .252/.293/.411 batting line. But lefties are shelling him, hitting .354/.425/.616, with a .441 wOBA. For reference, Aaron Judge has a .452 wOBA this season. Yikes. Seattle, unsurprisingly, is sending four pure lefties and a switch-hitter at Schmidt tonight.

On the other side of the matchup, 25-year-old George Kirby gets the ball amidst a strong sophomore season. Kirby is averaging over six innings per start for Seattle, and so far in 2023, he has made opposing batters earn their way on base. His BB% sites in the 99th percentile in baseball, with only six free passes over 63 innings. Tonight marks the first time he has faced the Yankees. For what it’s worth, he’s been less successful at home than on the road in his young career, with a higher ERA (3.70 to 3.09) and more frequent home runs surrendered (14 in 99.2 IP versus 6 in 93.1).

No Anthony Rizzo again tonight, but there are some hot bats in the lineup worth keeping an eye on. Leadoff man Gleyber Torres is hitting .308 over his last 15 games, Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the five-hole has a 1.034 OPS (!!!) in his last 15 contests, and the MVP has hit three dingers (and stolen another) in the first two games of this set. Judge seems to like Seattle, with 10 home runs in 18 career games in the Pacific Northwest, a career slash line of .318/.441/.849, and 155 tOPS+, that last meaning T-Mobile Park Aaron Judge is 55-percent better than Usual Aaron Judge. That’s ridiculous.

Let’s show some killer instinct tonight. Jump on Kirby early, win this one, and go into the off-day on a high note.

How to watch

Location: T-Mobile Park — Seattle, WA

First pitch: 9:40 pm ET

TV broadcast: YES – NYY / ROOTNW – SEA

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 / KIRO 710

Online stream:

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