The Yankees saved themselves from a near implosion to salvage the first game of this series, but they’ll hope for a calmer result tonight.
Masahiro Tanaka will get the start for the Bombers, and he’ll be looking to put the memories of the London trip behind him. Tanaka was flat out awful against the Sox across the pond, failing to escape the first inning and surrendering the six-run lead he was given in the top of the first. The pitchers in the London Series in general got roughed up, so Tanaka definitely isn’t the only abnormality. His performance in particular was one to forget.
Fortunately, Tanaka is facing the best-case scenario for himself back in the States. The Rays have done nothing against Tanaka this season, managing just one run in 22 innings of work. They were also the victims of a 10-strikeout shutout the last time they met Tanaka back on June 17. Tanaka sports a lifetime 3.06 ERA against Tampa Bay in 109 innings, striking out 115 in the process, so he’s had their number for a while.
Opposing the Yankee lineup will be rookie Brendan McKay, making just his second big league start. The Rays blue-chip prospect has been magnificent in short stints at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, pitching to a 1.30 and 1.08 ERA respectively. He tossed six shutout innings in his debut last Saturday against Texas, but will have his hands full trying to navigate the Yankees’ deep lineup.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. EST. You can watch the action live on YES, or stream the game on mlb.tv or fubo.tv. You can also listen to the broadcast on WFAN 660/101.9 FM or WADO 1280.
Ready to keep it rolling in St Pete.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 5, 2019
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McKay day on a Friday. https://t.co/7GCVkFhFdt #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/rXJEkBfFyB— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 5, 2019