The Yankees dropped the first game of today’s twin bill 6-5, their second one-run loss in as many games. With a largely-untested rookie on the mound and a volatile offense without Aaron Judge, they’ll face an uphill battle in an attempt to salvage their series against the White Sox in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
After Lucas Giolito no-hit them through six and they pummeled Lance Lynn, it’s anyone’s guess how the Yankees will perform against yet another disappointing former ace now wearing the pale hose. Mike Clevinger actually has the second-best ERA in the White Sox’s rotation at 4.13, but that belies peripherals that peg his true talent as more in the high-4s to low-5s range. Some of those numbers can be attributed to a bout of wrist inflammation that kept him out for the last couple weeks of May; Clevinger blanked the Tigers over five innings in his return last week.
As for the Bombers’ pitching, their rotation will be without Nestor Cortes for the foreseeable future due to a shoulder strain, and as a result, their starting five could include Randy Vásquez going forward if the rookie impresses today. Vásquez, the Yankees’ 11th-ranked prospect according to FanGraphs, made his debut a couple of weeks ago when Domingo Germán was suspended and Jhony Brito was sent down too recently to be recalled. He fared decently in that outing, limiting the Padres to two runs in 4.2 innings with predictably high strikeout (six) and walk (three) totals given his track record, ultimately showing enough to definitely earn the nod over Brito this time around.
The highly-touted Padres offense has actually struggled this year, ranking 22nd in wRC+, but the White Sox have fared even worse, ranking 26th heading into today (though they still launched four dingers in the opener). Despite their general futility, the Sox have pummeled cutters, with the third-best run value against the pitch in the league; Vásquez primarily featured a cut-fastball in his debut, but he might turn more to his vaunted (70-grade per FanGraphs) curveball in this one. Luis Severino threw 10 cutters in the first game today; he generated just one called strike, one foul, and one ball in play (a 100-mph Tim Anderson single) against seven balls.
The cutter crushers will kick things off with former Yankee Clint Frazier, who’ll man left. They’ll also roll out a 3-4-5-6 of hitters who homered already today in Luis Robert Jr., Eloy Jiménez, Yoán Moncada, and Jake Burger. Burger will shift over from DH to first base, sending Andrew Vaughn, owner of the 11th-best run value against cutters this season (min. 50 cutters) to the bench. Maybe Vásquez can turn to the pitch after all.
The Yankees’ lineup looks much the same as the first game, with Willie Calhoun getting another leadoff nod to start things off after a solid performance. He’ll DH this time, giving Giancarlo Stanton the nightcap off. The slumping DJ LeMahieu gets the night off too after going 0-for-3 with a walk earlier today, yielding to Josh Donaldson at the hot corner. He will clean up after pinch-hitting with a walk earlier. In the outfield, Jake Bauers—who hit three balls over 100 mph this afternoon—will shift to right field in Calhoun’s stead, IKF will man center after sitting the first game, and Billy McKinney will slide from center to left. Jose Trevino will catch and Anthony Volpe will man short after both sat out this afternoon as well.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:35 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / NBC Sports Chicago - CWS
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv