Hopefully the Yankees come out of the All-Star break refreshed and rejuvenated because they’ve got some heavy lifting in the second half if they want to achieve their advertised goals. That starts with a concerted effort tonight facing the NL West-worst Rockies, against whom anything less than a sweep would have to be seen as a failure given the stage of the season we are entering.
Carlos Rodón makes his second start hoping to build off the positives of his debut in pinstripes — two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings against the Cubs. His fastball velocity was encouraging, touching 97 out of the gate and averaging 95.5 mph, though he mentioned after the start that he was unsatisfied with the command and movement of the slider, likely a factor in the low number of whiffs and strikeouts. Two of the best starts of his career came against the Rockies last season as a member of the Giants — 12 strikeouts in six innings in May and six scoreless allowing two hits against ten strikeouts in September — so hopefully he can lean on that experience tonight.
Austin Gomber has the worst FIP (5.88) and second-worst ERA (6.40) of any qualified starter so there’s no excuse for a flat performance from the Yankees bats tonight. That being said, they did get just get shutout by Jameson Taillon, who entered that contest with an ERA pushing seven, so I suppose anything is possible facing the New York offense. Gomber is a four-pitch pitcher, armed with a low-90s four-seamer followed by an offspeed mix of changeup, slider, and curveball, all of which he throws in roughly equal quantities. In 18 starts, Gomber is 7-7 with a 6.40 ERA (78 ERA+), 5.88 FIP, and 61 strikeouts in 90 innings.
We get our first look at the Sean Casey era Yankees lineup, though I wouldn’t expect any sweeping changes to approach this early on. Casey did mention he would like to see more grind-it-out at-bats from the offense, so working deeper counts is perhaps the one area where we might see some improvement. They’ve been dragged down by the lack of production from the quartet of mid-30s veterans in Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, and Josh Donaldson, and all four appear in the heart of the lineup tonight. Hopefully Anthony Volpe can stay hot out of the break, his 150 wRC+ after the famous chicken parm dinner easily pacing the team.
The Rockies offense has been a pretty miserable bunch, Ryan McMahon the only hitter with double-digit home runs — unthinkable for a team that plays its home games at Coors. We get another look at perhaps the unlikeliest All-Star Game MVP in history, with catcher Elías Díaz only making the team as the token member that each team gets to send before his two-run home run off Orioles closer Félix Bautista in the eighth gave the N.L. a 3-2 victory. We’re also irked we have to see Randal Grichuk again as he always seemed to have an inordinate amount of success against the Yankees in his time with the Blue Jays.
How to watch
Location: Coors Field — Denver, CO
First pitch: 8:40 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain - COL
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv