The Blue Jays have had a tumultuous week. After getting blown out in four consecutive home games against Texas, they found themselves on the outside looking in of the AL playoff field. They responded by sweeping Boston over the weekend and enter play today solidly in the second Wild Card slot, a full game ahead of the Rangers and Mariners.
The Yankees, barring a religiously remarkable experience, will not make the playoffs, but they can play spoiler in the last two weeks of the season. A series win or even a sweep of the Jays can put a dent in their postseason aspirations, and New York can start doing that with a win in the Bronx tonight.
This is now the eighth Clarke Schmidt start I’ve covered this season. He’s trended up and to the right almost the entire year, and over the last month or so has pitched into the sixth and seventh inning pretty consistently. His run suppression isn’t what you’d want it to be, but he’s rapidly approaching league average status with a little more length, far from the five-and-fly guy he used to be.
Yusei Kikuchi, meanwhile, has a pretty compelling Comeback Player of the Year case. After being one of the worst pitchers in the game last year, he’s cut his walk rate by more than half and his 3.81 ERA will play in any rotation. I did see him in person last week get lit up by the Rangers, so while I’m happy he’s turned his career around this year, I wouldn’t mind if today was the continuation of a little cold streak.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05pm Eastern
TV Broadcast: YES — NYY, Sportsnet — TOR
Radio Broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280/WEEI 93.7
Online Stream: MLB.tv