The Yankees’ schedule over the coming month is a gauntlet. Given the chance, a series win against the first-place Orioles is a pretty critical first step of gaining ground during a stretch that also has them seeing Tampa Bay, Houston, Atlanta, and Boston before August 20th. One game is one game, but there’s a fair amount on the line as Luis Severino takes the ball on Sunday Night Baseball trying to make it three consecutive solid starts. The Yankees can pick up a game on the Blue Jays, who fell to the Angels 3-2 in extras earlier today and are now three up on them and two on the Red Sox in the Wild Card standings.
Severino completely bottomed out the last time he saw this Orioles lineup, when they lit him up for 7 runs on 10 hits in just 2.2 innings on July 6th, the second-straight time he had been tagged for that many runs. He’s since steadied his ship with six one-run innings in Anaheim coming out of the All-Star break, and last week came one strike away from finishing with the exact same line against Kansas City before Michael Massey beat him on a high heater for a two-run homer to end his day. More importantly, he didn’t issue a walk for the first time all season, and his five punchouts were his most since June 18th. He’ll again need to have his good feel for the zone against a lineup that’s a lot tougher to navigate than what KC puts out there.
Conversely, things went very well for Dean Kremer the last time he saw the Yankees, reaching double digits in strikeouts for the first time in his career over seven two-run (one earned) innings. He’s coming off another 7 IP/1 ERA performance, striking out just three in this one but holding the Phillies to just three hits last Monday. It’s worth noting that he’s just 10 frames away from his career high of 125.1, set last year, and his fastball velocity dropped to a season-low 94 mph on average in Philadelphia. If Kremer shows any signs of running out of gas, the Yankees offense needs to avoid any Sunday night anemia and take advantage.
In other non-lineup news, Aaron Judge isn’t the only Yankee on the mend, as Jonathan Loáisiga began a rehab assignment with Low-A Tampa today. He hasn’t pitched since April 5th, and will probably require a subtraction from the bullpen when he’s ready, assuming little else changes before then. Ron Marinaccio and Nick Ramirez both have options remaining — as does Ian Hamilton, but he’s not going anywhere — and could be candidates to spend some time in Triple-A upon Loáisiga’s return.
On the lineup side, even though Judge is 3-for-6 with a homer and three walks since returning to action — and has three bombs and a single in 10 plate appearances against Kremer — he’ll be getting the night off, his first since coming off the IL. That being the case, Jake Bauers gets slotted into the leadoff spot, and we’re back to the arrangement we were getting before Judge’s return, with the only real difference being Greg Allen’s first start since June 2nd. Here’s how Aaron Boone and Brandon Hyde are sending them out there, with the latter’s lineup once again being a little more interesting:
How to watch
Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards — Baltimore, MD
First pitch: 7:10 pm ET
TV broadcast: ESPN
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 (NYY)/98 Rock FM/HD2 97.9, WBAL NewsRadio AM/FM (BAL)
Online stream: MLB.tv