After winning a couple series, the Yankees returned home and returned to being on the wrong side of things as they dropped a set to the Blue Jays in the Bronx. Beyond that, they’re now on the verge of seeing their window at an outside, unlikely shot at a playoff spot officially, mathematically slamming shut. Now, as the march towards the end of a disappointing 2023 campaign continues, it’s time for some interleague play.
This weekend will see the Diamondbacks come to town for a 2001 World Series rematch. Arizona enter into this series with a lot to play for as they’re part of a tight pack battling for the last couple NL Wild Card playoff places. While they haven’t quite kept pace with their impressive first half, Corbin Carroll and company ride in on a five-game winning streak.
Before things get going tonight, here’s a look at the expected pitching matchups for this weekend.
Friday: Carlos Rodón vs. Brandon Pfaadt (7:05 PM ET)
In his outing last weekend in Pittsburgh, Rodón showed some solid signs, lasting into the seventh inning for the first time this season, and striking out 10 Pirate batters. He got dinged with the loss after allowing a go-ahead run in the seventh, but that loss is also largely on the mediocrity of the Yankees’ offense. He has now struck out 19 batters over his last two games combined, and this start will be largely about him continuing to show that type of stuff on the mound.
This will be the Yankees’ first time ever seeing the rookie Pfaadt. A former fifth round draft pick, Pfaadt debuted back in May, and has been below average in the bigs so far. That being said, he has been better of late, and is coming off 5.1 scoreless innings in his last outing.
Saturday: Luke Weaver vs. TBD (1:05 PM ET)
Weaver will being making his second start as a Yankee in this game. After picking him up off waivers a little over a week ago, the Yankees gave him a start against the Pirates last weekend, an he was so-so. He allowed three runs, but did strike out seven. He does have the pedigree of being a former first round draft pick, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s anything there with Weaver.
The Diamondbacks haven’t announced anything for either of the last two games, as they’re potentially looking at rearranging their rotation for the stretch run and the playoffs. This would normally be Zach Davies’ — who with a 6.81 ERA and a 4.51 FIP hasn’t been great — turn, but we shall see. The other option is likely Ryne Nelson, who has a 5.53 ERA and a 5.17 FIP.
Sunday: Clarke Schmidt vs. TBD (1:35 PM ET)
Schmidt will get the ball for the Yankees in the last game of the set. After a good mid-season run, Schmidt has been a bit meh in recent weeks, and has a 6.00 ERA since August 14th, which included allowing four runs in five innings to the Blue Jays earlier this week.
The reason the Diamondbacks haven’t said anything for Saturday or Sunday is that it’s possible they’ll skip a starter and bring Zac Gallen out for the series finale.
Brandon Pfaadt will start Friday against the Yankees. No word yet on Saturday and Sunday. Gallen could pitch Sunday if the D-Backs skip Davies or Nelson.— Theo Mackie (@theo_mackie) September 20, 2023
Arizona got Thursday off, so it wouldn’t be a short rest start for their ace and the 2023 NL All-Star Game starter. Gallen has fallen off the pace of his first half, but he’s still fully capable of shutting down the Yankees. If the D-Backs opt to stick to their normal rotation order, Ryne Nelson would probably start here.