Normally these threads feature a quick breakdown of the starting pitching, but that’s become such a secondary concern for the Yankees as of late that I’m not sure how much value there is in it. Gerrit Cole spun yet another gem last night, and it didn’t matter since the offense laid a goose egg. I don’t feel great about Clarke Schmidt on the hill tonight, but lately it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s Schmidt, Cole, or prime Bob Gibson; if the lineup can’t score the pitching is sort of moot.
Schmidt will have his work cut out for him, as the top three in the Orioles order will go right after the right-hander. His 4.33 ERA and 4.31 FIP indicates that he has actually pitched to this talent level, with a below-average strikeout rate and inability to avoid hard contact that’s contributed significantly to his disappointing season.
However, as stated above, if the Yankees can’t solve Orioles starter Tyler Wells, it doesn’t really matter what Schmidt does. Wells has graduated from a swingman role to a rotation mainstay this year, with a 3.65 ERA and WHIP below one. He’s coming off a couple of clunkers against the Dodgers and Rays, throwing 6.1 innings combined and allowing eight runs, a possible sign of fatigue as he’s already eclipsed his career high in innings pitched.
If that’s the case, maybe Wells is just what the Yankees need to try and get their lineup back on track. Then again, given their prolonged troubles against struggling starters — one that continued last night against Grayson Rodriguez — who really knows? They will have Aaron Judge in the lineup again and back to playing right field, but he could only do so much last night with Baltimore walking him three times.
How to watch
Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards — Baltimore, MD
First pitch: 7:15 pm ET
TV broadcast: FOX
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 (NYY)/98 Rock FM/HD2 97.9, WBAL NewsRadio AM/FM (BAL)
Online stream: MLB.tv