The Yankees limp home from a 3-3 road trip against the respective last-place teams in the AL West and NL Central. Just when it looked like their offense was about to break out with back-to-back double-digit efforts, it turns out that was more a function of facing abysmal Oakland pitching. They were held to 11 runs in three games by a mediocre Cardinals staff including one in the series finale and four in garbage time while trailing 11-0 in the opener. Baltimore will present a sterner test so hopefully the return home will invigorate the bats.
Domingo Germán makes his triumphant return to the Bronx a newly-crowned member of the most elite 24-man club in the sport. The stars aligned to give him pinpoint command against a historically bad A’s offense, allowing him to become the fourth Yankee to pitch a perfect game (plus a Maddux to boot). Pitching coach Matt Blake picked out Germán’s ability to make his curveball break away from both righties and lefties as the key factor in his achieving history so the sharpness of that pitch will be something to watch tonight. In 15 starts, Germán is 5-5 with a 4.54 ERA (91 ERA+), 4.87 FIP, and 78 strikeouts in 81.1 innings.
Tyler Wells finds himself in elite company as one of 14 starting pitchers with a K-BB% in excess of 20 percent. That said, he gives up by far the most home runs of anyone in that group (almost two per nine). His average fastball velocity is down two-and-a-half ticks from his debut season as he learns to conserve bullets as a full-time starter, though he’s diversified his arsenal to a legitimate five-pitch mix to compensate. The Yankees will look to continue their success against him, as in his previous two appearances he’s given up nine runs on 11 hits (including five home runs) in 11 innings. In 16 appearances (15 starts), Wells is 6-4 with a 3.21 ERA (129 ERA+), 4.58 FIP, and 95 strikeouts in 92.2 innings.
The Yankees make three changes to the lineup that was largely silenced by Jordan Montgomery and the Cardinals’ bullpen. Josh Donaldson DH’s, moving Giancarlo Stanton to right field, Isiah Kiner-Falefa to left, and Oswaldo Cabrera to the bench. Anthony Rizzo returns from a scheduled day off to play first while Kyle Higashioka takes over behind the plate, so both Jake Bauers and Jose Trevino sit.
Aaron Hicks faces his old team for the first time since his DFA seemingly a rejuvenated player. In his 26 games with the Orioles, he’s slashing .263/.379/.475 with four home runs, 12 RBI, and a 140 wRC+. At the top of the Baltimore lineup are the pair of future franchise cornerstones in Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman, owners of identical 121 wRC+’s through the first-half.
How to watch
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / MASN - BAL
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv