The middle game of Yankees vs. Red Sox got rained out last night, so we have a day-night doubleheader on our hands today. I’ve got you covered for the matinee make up of last night’s contest before Josh takes you home with coverage of the primetime series finale.
Clarke Schmidt has authored an admirable turnaround to his season after placing among the worst qualified starters through the first month-and-a-half. He’s got a 2.33 ERA across his last five starts, each lasting at least five innings, after running an ugly 6.30 ERA in his first nine starts. He’s managed to tame his hard contact woes after allowing some of the highest average exit velocities and hard-hit rates of any pitcher and has slowed down his all-out chase for strikeouts, exchanging some for batted ball outs in early counts. In 14 starts, Schmidt is 2-6 with a 4.70 ERA (89 ERA+), 4.30 FIP, and 70 strikeouts in 67 innings.
The Red Sox are dealing with depletions to their rotation which means Kaleb Ort makes his first MLB start after pitching exclusively out of the bullpen his first three seasons in the bigs. He made six relief appearances against the Yankees last season, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks against seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings. It’s no secret how Ort attacks hitters, throwing his 96 mph, high spin, high rise four seamer three-quarters of the time, supplemented by a mid-80s slider with extreme horizontal movement as his put-away pitch. In 40 career relief appearances, Ort has a 6.14 ERA (73 ERA+), 5.05 FIP, and 43 strikeouts in 44 innings.
The Yankees make three changes to the lineup from the series opener. DJ LeMahieu replaces Josh Donaldson at third, Isiah Kiner-Falefa spells Billy McKinney in center, and Jose Trevino takes over for Kyle Higashioka behind the plate. The likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, and LeMahieu have to produce if the Yankees are to have any chance of treading water in Aaron Judge’s continued absence.
The Red Sox dropped 15 runs on the Yankees last time out and understandably make only two changes to that lineup. Jarren Duran comes in to play left field, moving Masataka Yoshida to DH, Justin Turner to first, and Triston Casas to the bench, while Kiké Hernández replaces Pablo Reyes at short. Schmidt has a stern test ahead of him against the likes of Turner, Devers, and Yoshida, all of whom have crushed Bombers pitching in the handful of matchups so far this year.
How to watch
Location: Fenway Park — Boston, MA
First pitch: 1:35 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES — NYY / NESN — BOS
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv