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New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros: Luis Severino vs. Hunter Brown

Coming off a win last night, the Yankees look to grab any momentum they can in a season going downhill fast.

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MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a trying week for Yankees fans. Of course, most frustrating was the shocking revelation that the training staff allowed Anthony Rizzo to play with a concussion for over two months. Medical malpractice is a strong word, but it fits here. Clearing a player with a concussion for game action, medical experts agree, is not acceptable. Furthermore, misdiagnosing a neurocognitive impairment injury as a neck muscle injury is stunningly incompetent for a professional medical staff.

Okay, lab coat and stethoscope off, back to baseball, and back to a heated rivalry series in the Bronx. Last night, the team somehow managed to shake it off and post a strong 4-3 win against the rival Astros. Clarke Schmidt battled through five innings and the bullpen picked up the slack and bridged to Clay Holmes, who successfully closed it out. The organizational off-the-field circus aside, this team is within a stone’s throw of a playoff spot. After yesterday’s action, the Yankees are now 2.5 games back of the last Wild Card position.

There isn’t a lot of peripheral cause for optimism about the next 63 games. The Yankees have far and away the worst run differential among teams fighting for the Wild Card at a meager +8 and are actually outperforming their expected record of 55-54. That record feels about right for this team.

Luis Severino takes the mound with his stock at an all-time low. He’s looked about as competent as the medical staff in this disastrous, odd season so far. With Nestor Cortes almost back, his rotation spot would’ve been in obvious jeopardy had Domingo Germán not been placed on the restricted list. Sevy will be tasked with stymying one of the most electric lineups in baseball.

Steady rookie Hunter Brown goes for the visitors, coming off a six-inning quality start against the strong Rays offense. Brown was one of the Astros’ top prospects and this year has mostly looked the part. He won’t have to contend with Aaron Judge tonight either as the Yankees continue to play it safe with his toe injury after playing him four days in a row. Isiah Kiner-Falefa will lead off and man right field in his stead.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 7:05 pm ET

TV broadcast: Apple TV+

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 (NYY)/KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3 / KLAT 1010 (HOU)

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