Uncategorized

Game 7 a.k.a the Home Opener: Yankees 8, Rays 1

Here are the Yankees we saw in the preseason. In the Yankee Stadium home opener on Monday night we saw the team absolutely dominate on both sides of the ball. It was refreshing to say the least.

Overall, the offense scored 8 runs on 10 hits, going 3-11 with RISP. Half of the runs came as a result of the three home runs the team hit. Aaron Judge launched the first one, a solo shot, in the fourth inning, his second in as many games. Looks like he’s starting to get hot at the plate. Chase Headley hit a solo shot as well in the seventh, and Starlin Castro followed in the eighth with a 2-run bomb.

Other RBIs came from Jacoby Ellsbury (who returned to the #2 spot in the lineup), Matt Hollidau, Chris Carter (who is very slowly beginning to contribute to the team offensively), and Ronald Torreyes, with his team leading 8TH RBI of the season. While Didi Gregorious continues to be sidelined by this shoulder strain, Torreyes has been filling in really nicely offensively and defensively. A pleasant surprise.

The big performer of the game was starter Michael Pineda though. Big Mike was absolutely dominant in his second start against the Rays. After last week’s start in Tampa, Pineda needed to bounce back in a big way, and he did just that. He was perfect through 6 IP, and striking out hitters left and right. He finished the day with 7.2 IP, allowing 1 R on 2 H while striking out 11 and walking 0. Honestly, these are the types of games that have secured Pineda’s place in the rotation these past few seasons. Obviously it’s great to see him pitch well, but until he can string these performances together on a regular basis, it’s hardly encouraging. So, enjoy it while it lasts, which may only be until the next start.

One more thing of note: Yankees catcher and recent call-up Kyle Higashioka finally saw big league game action Monday afternoon as a defensive substitution late in the game, and it was a long time coming for the guy. After having spent parts of 10 seasons with the club at various minor league levels, Higashioka matched the record for the longest gap from draft to debut in franchise history. Good for Kyle. He’s always been seen as a defense-first catcher, but last season something clicked and we saw the bat come to life. He may not have much of a future with the team with Gary Sanchez ahead of him, but it’s great to see a guy who has been with the team for so long finally make his debut. Heartwarming stuff.

You can catch the full box score here, and video highlights here.

The Yankees take on the Rays again today at 1:05 p.m. EST, with Luis Severino squaring off against Blake Snell.

Game Recap · Uncategorized

Weekend Recap

This weekend the Yankees played a three game series against the Baltimore Orioles and boy was it a rough one to watch. It seems like every single year this team gets off to a bad start. Let’s just hope this April isn’t as bad as the last one.

Friday: Yankees 5, Orioles 6

The Yankees were up 5-1 at the halfway point of this game. The the offense looked good and starting pitcher Luis Severino was going strong having allowed just one run through 4 IP. He was throwing hard and using his changeup pretty effectively, which is exactly what we wanted to see. Then, with two outs and a man on in the bottom of the fifth, Sevy walked OF Adam Jones. Adam Jones, the guy with the 4.5% career walk rate. It was Severino’s lone walk of the game, but it cost him big, as instead of getting Jones out and ending the inning, he had two guys on based with Manny Machado coming up to the plate. Machado made him pay, as he does, by launching a 3-run home run to bring the O’s within 1.

Severino managed to get out of the inning with the lead intact, but it was his last of the evening. He finished with 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, and 6 K. Joe Girardi then handed the game over to the at that time shutdown Yankees bullpen. Holder and Layne combined for a perfect inning, but then in the seventh inning the bullpen’s scoreless streak came to an end. Jonathan Schoop reached second due to a throwing error by Chase Headley, J.J. Hardy bunted him over to third, and then Seth Smith hit the go-ahead two-run home run. That was that. The O’s bullpen retired the Yanks 6 up and 6 down in the eighth and ninth to seal the deal.

To make matters worse, Greg Bird had to leave the game late due to discomfort in his right ankle. That’s the same ankle he fouled a pitch off of in a March 30 Grapefruit League game against the Phillies. Apparently it’s been bothering him all season, which could explain his sub-par hitting so far. The good news is x-rays came back negative, so it looks like he’s just a little banged up. Hopefully with some rest he’ll be good as new in a few days.

There were a couple Yankees highlights this game. Both Matt Holliday and Gary Sanchez hit their first home runs of the season. Both of them were 2-run shots off Ubaldo Jiminez.

Holliday:

Have yourself a game, Matt Holliday! 💪🏼💪🏼

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Sanchez:

🚨🐙🚨🐙 The Kraken is back. 🚨🐙🚨🐙

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Nice to see some balls flying off of bats that don’t belong to Ronald Torreyes.

Saturday: Yankees 4, Orioles 5

More Blown leads! In a near carbon copy of Friday night’s game, the Yankees had the lead 4-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Starter Masahiro Tanaka was absolutely dealing. His pitch count was low, he was striking guys out and inducing a lot of weak contact. When guys were reaching, it was pretty much exclusively on bloop singles or infield hits. It was a completely different Tanaka than the one we saw in the opener.

But then the fifth happened. Seth Smith singled on a line drive to center, Tanaka plunked Adam Jones, Manny Machado hit an RBI double, Chris Davis walked, and Mark Trumbo drove in a run on a fielder’s choice. Tanaka would go on to walk Wellington Castillo as well before ending an inning in which he threw 30+ pitches. The first four innings were primetime Tanaka. The fifth inning was anything but.

Adam Warren came in from the bullpen and pitched a shutout sixth inning, not much unlike Friday’s game. Warren also started off the seventh, but with the left-handed hitting Chris Davis coming up to the plate, Girardi opted to pull Warren and bring in southpaw Tommy Layne. Davis doubled, and Layne got pulled for Dellin Betances. Betances allowed an RBI single to Mark Trumbo, who stole second (!), and then was driven in by a Hyun Soo Kim single. And that was that. The Orioles took a 5-4 lead and never looked back. The O’s bullpen pitched a shutout eighth and ninth and took another win from the Yanks.

Of note is the fact that Baltimore stole 2 bases in the game on Saturday after having stolen 19 bases total in all of 2016. The last time they stole 2 bases in a game was October 1….2015.

Piling on to the Friday night parallels, Gary Sanchez had to leave the game in the fifth with an apparent injury after taking a hard swing in an at-bat. He tried taking another swing right after and winced. That was enough for the team to take him out of there. The official diagnosis is a right bicep strain, and Sanchez has been placed on the 10-day DL. With James Kaprielian and Bird both being sidelined with injuries already, this is an especially hard pill to swallow. The only thing the Yankees and Sanchez can do now though is wait for as long as it takes until he’s 100% again. There’s no use rushing him back into game action and risk hurting him even more. It’s not like the Yankees are really competing this season anyway. At least they aren’t playing like it (Sorry, it’s just been a rough weekend. I don’t mean that. I know they’re trying very hard.).

Sunday: Yankees 7, Orioles 3

Finally, something good to come out of the weekend, although it didn’t start off that way. This game was looking more like the first two of the series until the sixth inning, at which point the Yankees were down 3-0. Orioles’s starter Wade Miley had allowed 7 walks in the five previous innings and the Yankees had managed to do absolutely nothing with all of the opportunities that were basically being handed over to them. They finished the game 2-10 with RISP and it was largely due to those first five innings.

Then in the sixth Aaron Judge hit a scorching line drive single to left. This wasn’t just any scorching line drive single though. This particular scorching line drive single landed at the base of the left field wall. Judge hit it so unbelievably hard though that it was already in the fielder’s glove by the time he got to first. You want some Statcast data? Well here it comes. The ball left Judge’s bat at an exit velocity of 115.9 MPH, the fourth fastest so far this season. At a launch angle of 17.3 degrees, it traveled 342 ft before bouncing off the left field wall. It was one of the most impressive singles you’ll ever see.

Austine Romine followed Judge with a single of his own, bringing Ronald Torreyes to the plate, that’s right, Yankees slugger Ronald Toreyes, who belted a ball deep to right field that landed in for a 2 RBI triple, putting the team on the board. Signs of life.

The Orioles got out of that inning, but then in the top of the eighth, the Yanks still down by one, Judge came back up to the plate, and this happened:

Finished the road trip with a win and we're (finally) coming HOME. See you in the Bronx tomorrow, Yankees fans!

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Now this might sound crazy, but that ball wasn’t nearly as well hit as the single. I mean look at it. It comes off the end of the bat. You barely even hear a pop. Judge is just so ridiculously strong that he’s still able to take that pitch yard to tie up the game.

Betances shut down the O’s in the eighth, and then between walks, hits, and errors the top of the ninth was an absolute free-for-all for the Yankees as they scored 4 runs, allowing them to turn the ball over to Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the inning to seal the victory.

A couple notes of interest. Although he didn’t play, this was C Kyle Higashioka’s first major league game in pinstripes after nearly a decade in the Yankees farm system. After Sanchez got put on the DL, apparently Higashioka got the call from the team while he was out to dinner with his wife in Buffalo. He got in a car almost immediately and was in Baltimore by 2 a.m. the day of the game. I can’t even imagine how exciting that must have been for him. Hopefully he gets to see a little game action soon.

Also of note, Matt Holliday walked 5 times in Sunday’s game in 5 plate appearances. Not only is he just 1 of about 100 MLB players to walk 5 times in one game, but he’s 1 of 20 players to do so in 5 plate appearances, and 1 of 12 to do so without getting walked intentionally at all. Wild stuff.

So yeah, not a great weekend for the Yankees overall with the losses and the injuries, but at least they ended it on a high note. Today is the home opener against the Rays. The game starts at 1:05 EST. Preview to come.

Game Recap

Game 3: Yankees 1, Rays 4

So this was kind of a hard one to stomach, mainly because everything I mentioned in the preview that had gone wrong for Michael Pineda last season happened last night. Well, that and the distinct lack of offense from the Yankees lineup. Let’s talk about Pineda first though.

Here’s the check list of issues I outlined in the preview: high home run rate, bad luck, difficulty finishing innings. Why don’t we run through them one by one?

High Home Run Rate. Check.

The trouble began almost instantly for Pineda when he gave up a leadoff home run to Rays DH Cory Dickerson. He missed his spot with his fastball and Dickerson made him pay for it. Off to a bad start.

Bad Luck. Check.

Pitchers can’t control everything that happens to them, particularly what happens to the ball after it comes off the hitter’s bat. Things like weird hops and fielding errors on routine plays happen all the time, and you can’t fault a pitcher for them. Sometimes, though, the field itself might decide to impose its will on the ball and screw things up for the pitcher. We saw it happen on Tuesday to the Rays on the fly ball to left that Matt Holliday hit. On Wednesday, we saw it happen to the Yankees. With no outs and a man on first in the second inning, Logan Morrison hit a towering fly ball to right field. At just about any other field it would’ve been a routine out. Not at the Trop though. The ball went so high that it bounced off of one of the catwalks on the roof of the dome and landed on the field in between Aaron Judge and Starlin Castro. There is literally nothing Pineda could have done about that, and instead of having a man on first with one out, he ended up with two runners on and no outs. Bad luck.

Difficulty Finishing Innings. Check.

After the funky pop-up single by Morrison, Pineda struck out Tim Beckham. 1 out. A wild pitch allowed Morrison and Steven Souza Jr. to advance to second and third. Still 1 out. Mallex Smith hits a week ground ball to the third base with Souza Jr. going home on contact. Headley makes the smart play and goes home with the ball. In spite of a bad throw, Sanchez was able to get the tag down (maybe?) on Souza Jr. for the out at the plate. Tampa challenged the call on the field, but it was upheld due to lack of sufficient evidence to overturn. 2 outs. Uh oh. With runners on first and third, Pineda proceeded to give up three straight singles, two of them on two strike counts. You just can’t do that. The Yankees could have gotten out of the inning unscathed, but instead the Rays put three on the board and the Yankees never caught up.

Pineda was pulled in the fourth inning. His final line was 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 6 K, 1 HR. On a more positive note, the Yankees bullpen continued their streak of excellence this season, with Tommy Layne, Adam Warren, and Chasen Shreve combining for 4.1 no-hit innings.

On the offensive side of the ball the Yankees were almost completely ineffective. The sole run came on a Jacob Ellsbury solo shot in the second. That’s right, #5 hitter and offensive juggernaut Jacob Ellsbury. He finished the day 3-4. Maybe Joe’s binders actually know what they’re talking about.

That was it though. The team scored just the one run on 8 hits, going 0-9 with runners in scoring position, which is just awful.

Gary Sanchez got his first hit of the season, a single on a hard hit ground ball through the shift. It’s nice that he at least has that weight off his shoulders. Of course, it’s not as though he’s really struggling at the plate. He’s continuing to tear the cover off the ball. In his first at bat he launched one to the warning track in center. The hits will come eventually. We just have to be patient.

The only other offensive highlight came in the top of the ninth inning, as hitting extraordinaire Chase Headley showed us yet another innovative way to beat the shift: by hitting the ball as hard as you can at the pitcher. On a 1-2 count and with the left side of the infield wide open, Headley hit a ground ball straight back to the mound. Rays pitcher Alex Colome tried to make a play on the ball, but it ended up deflecting off of his glove and rolling onto the outfield grass in left. A nearly identical play happened earlier in the inning when Ellsbury hit a line drive straight back to Colome that ricocheted off the pitcher and past second base. Lots of bad luck in this game.

Here’s the full box score and video highlights.

So, the Yankees dropped their first series of the season to the Tampa Bay Rays, losing 2 out of 3. More of the same as the team looks to continue their tradition of slow starts in April. That’s just the pessimistic fan in me talking though. The team has an off day today, but tomorrow they begin a 3 game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Previews to come.

Game Preview

Game 3 Preview: Yankees (1-1) vs. Rays (1-1)

Wednesday night’s game will see Yankees RHP Michael Pineda face off against Rays RHP Alex Cobb.

2016 was Pineda’s first full injury-free season in pinstripes. He made 32 starts and pitched to a 4.82 ERA (3.79 FIP) across 175.2 innings. He totaled 207 Ks on the season, which yielded a league leading 10.6 K/9. The large discrepancy between Pineda’s ERA and his FIP suggest that he was pretty unlucky last season. His HR/FB rate was a staggering 17% and his BABIP against last year was 39 points higher than his career average. Simply put, Pineda saw a lot of fly balls leave the yard, and a lot of balls put into play get past the defense and fall in for hits.

That wasn’t the whole story for Pineda though. What we’ll want to keep an eye out for in his first start of the season is how he performs with two outs. In 2016 with 2 outs in an inning, Pineda was, in a word, awful. In such situations, he had an 8.84 ERA and a .981 OPS against. In 2015, those numbers were 2.76 and .625, respectively. He just wasn’t able to close the door on innings, and it absolutely killed him.

Pineda made five starts against the Rays last season, going 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in 24.2 innings pitched. I’d like to be able to tell you those numbers were inflated by a couple bad games, but they were pretty much all bad games. It’s a new season and a new team though, so anything can happen.

On the other side of the rubber, Alex Cobb looks to bounce back after a 2016 season that saw him spend five months on the disabled list. In five September starts, Cobb had an 8.59 ERA in 22 IP, striking out 16 and walking 7. Not great numbers, but we can’t tell much from them since Cobb was coming off such a long DL stint. I’ll still note though that two of those starts were against the Yankees, and in those games he pitched a combined 7.1 innings and allowed 10 earned runs. 7 of those runs came in Cobb’s last start against the Yankees, in which he only lasted 1.1 innings. Gary Sanchez hit his 18th home run of the season off of Cobb in that game, a three-run shot in the first inning. What a magical time that was.

Here’s today’s starting lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. 1B Greg Bird
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  6. 2B Starlin Castro
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. RF Aaron Judge
  9. SS Ronald Torreyes

The game starts at 7:10 p.m. EST at Tropicana Field.

Game Recap

Game 2: Yankees – 5, Rays – 0

It’s official: the New York Yankees will not suffer a winless season in 2017. What a relief.

Last night was the Chase Headley and Ronald Torreyes show, and yes, you read that correctly. First off, the two infielders were responsible for 4 of the team’s 5 RBIs. Torreyes opened up scoring in the third inning, tearing a line drive home run over the left field wall.

Ronald Torreyes: Power hitter.

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It was a no doubter and Torreyes’s second career home run. You have to watch the video to fully appreciate the hit though. With Aaron Judge on first from a line drive single, Torreyes practically catches up to Judge in a near sprint around the bases after the home run. When the two meet at home plate, it looks like a father congratulating his son on his first little league home run. I don’t know if anyone is keeping track of the greatest height differences between players meeting at home plate after a home run, but I imagine this has got to be one of the biggest. Maybe that’s a market inefficiency yet to be exploited.

Headley had himself a day as well, going 2-4 with 1 R, 2 RBIs, and 1 home run, a solo shot to dead center. Here are the Statcast numbers on the home run: 102.9 mph exit velocity, 26 degree launch angle, 420 feet traveled. Nice. It’s only been two games, and I know I’ll jinx everything by saying this, but Headley actually looks pretty good at the plate. Of course after his April last season I’d consider just about anything out of him to be pretty good. So let’s be thankful for that.

In addition to their offensive performances, both of these guys were stellar in the field as well. Torreyes showed off his range all game and made a really nice bare handed play on a ball the deflected off Sabathia’s glove and dribbled just past the mound. At third Headley made a stabbing grab on a line drive straight down the line, saving what would have surely been a double off the bat of Peter Bourjos.

The one Yankees run that did not involve Torreyes or Headley came in the third thanks to the Tropicana Field dome. With Gardner on second, Matt Holliday launched a high fly ball to deep left field, not quite deep enough for a home run though. However, left fielder Bourjos lost the ball almost immediately in the roof, and it ended up landing safely on the warning track about 20 feet away from him. Because there were two outs in the inning, Gardner was basically already at home plate by the time the ball landed, so chalk it up as an RBI double for Holliday.

Starting pitcher CC Sabathia had a good day on the mound, although his line doesn’t quite tell the whole story. Sabathia went 5 IP and allowed 0 R on 3 H and 2 BB while striking out 2. 5 shutout innings is obviously a great way for CC to start his season. However, there were multiple times, especially in the fourth and fifth inning, when CC started losing a little command and really had to work hitters into deep counts. He threw about as many pitches in the fourth and fifth as he did in the first three. Still, he didn’t give up any extra base hits and rarely had to pitch with runners in scoring position. Overall a nice start.

A string of relievers including Bryan Mitchell, Tyler Clippard, Jonathan Holder, and Dellin Betances took over and more or less shut down the Rays lineup, combining for three shutout innings of work with 4 Ks, 2 H, and 1 BB. Then, with a five run lead, Joe Girardi handed the ball over to closer Aroldis Chapman and the game was as good as over. In his inning of work, Chapman allowed no base runners and struck out 2. Here’s the first K:

Baseballs aren't supposed to move like this.

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Are you kidding me? That’s an impossible pitch to hit. Chapman’s fastball gets a lot of attention, but you can’t ignore the fact that his slider is an elite pitch as well. Just filthy.

A couple afterthoughts. Greg Bird got his first hit of the season, a blood double down the left field line. I’m sure that’s a load off his mind. Gary Sanchez remains hitless, although he’s been making some really hard contact that’s been met with some bad luck. As long as he keeps hitting the ball hard, the hits will come.

Here’s the full box score and video highlights.

Great to see the Yanks pick up their first win of the season. They’ll be looking to build on that with their third game against the Rays tonight. Preview to come.

Analysis

Dr. Tanaka or: How I learned not to overreact to bad opening day starts

It’s taken me a couple days but I finally feel like I’ve had enough time to mentally process the Yankees’s season opener against the Rays. At times, the team looked like they had never seen a baseball field before Sunday. At other times, they looked fine. Overall, there were a lot of mistakes and a lot of missed opportunities both on the field and at the plate. I mean, our lord and savior Gary Sanchez went 0-5 with a strikeout. What’s all that about?

Well, good players have bad games. When most of your team’s good players have bad games, the team has bad games. That’s basically what happened on Sunday. I don’t think anyone had an arguably worse game on Sunday than Masahiro Tanaka, though. The guy never even made it out of the third innings, allowing 7 ER in 2.2 IP. More Rays hitters reached base (10) than Tanaka recorded outs (8) before he got pulled. Yikes. Not a good start to the season, especially for someone who looked so dominant in spring training. And I’m not just talking about Tanaka’s spring numbers, because obviously those don’t count for anything. I’m talking about how in-command Tanaka looked on the mound in his spring starts. His control was as good as it’s ever been and he was just working through lineups like clockwork. So what happened?

I reiterate: good players have bad games. That’s all you need to know about Tanaka’s opening day start. It’s so easy to overreact to a game like this though. It’s been months since we’ve seen baseball that actually counted. We’ve been starved for games to watch obsessively and stats to overanalyze. We see a game like Sunday’s and maybe we start thinking, “I waited so long for this?! Blow it all up! Trade half the team and go into full rebuild!” …… Alright maybe not to that extreme, but it’s hard to stomach to say the least.

Now that I’ve had some time to think about it though, I got to wondering, what other pitchers have had similar opening day performances to Tanaka’s, and how did they fare the rest of the season? So, I did a quick search using Baseball Reference’s Play Index for starting pitcher’s who have completed 3 or fewer innings and given up 7 or more earned runs in their team’s first game of the season. The list was fairly short, but still somewhat intriguing. Going back to 2002, 8 pitchers have had similar opening day starts:

  1. Masahiro Tanaka (2017)
  2. Roberto Hernandez (2011)
  3. Carlos Zambrano (2010)
  4. Mark Buehrle (2008)
  5. Jose Contreras (2007)
  6. Barry Zito (2006)
  7. Javier Vazquez (2005)
  8. Pedro Martinez (2002)

Even a casual fan of the game will no doubt recognize more than a couple names on that list. The one that stands out the most is Pedro Martinez. Back on opening day for the Red Sox in 2002, Pedro allowed 8 runs (7 earned) in 3 IP, giving up 9 hits and 2 walks. By year’s end, Pedro was sporting a 2.26 ERA (2.24 FIP) with a 0.923 WHIP and a 10.8 K/9. All season he allowed 50 total earned runs, nearly 20% of them coming from his opening day start.

I reiterate: good players have bad games. Now obviously Tanaka is not Pedro Martinez, but he’s certainly not any of the other guys on this list either. Some of them went on to have good seasons. Some of them went on to have not so good seasons. The important thing to note is that there is absolutely no correlation between poor opening day performance and a good or bad season. Literally zero.

There is, however, correlation between past success and future success for starting pitchers with large sample sizes, and that’s exactly the case for Tanaka. In 3 seasons for the Yankees, he has maintained a 3.23 ERA (3.58 FIP), 1.06 WHIP, 8.2 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. Those are very very very good numbers for a starting pitcher in today’s game, especially one who has had to pitch in an offense-heavy division like the AL East. It’s not as though Tanaka has changed his mechanics or lost velocity on his fastball. It was just a flukey start. Nothing more. All other signs point to Tanaka having yet another great season this year.

So, stop worrying. Baseball is back. I’m more excited to see how this season plays out for the Yankees than I have been for a long time, and one bad game isn’t going to change that. Two bad games, though? I don’t know…..we’ll see.

Game Preview

Game 2 Preview: Yankees (0-1) vs. Rays (1-0)

Today’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays will see LHP CC Sabathia square off against RHP Jake Odorizzi.

Sabathia had a rough, but full spring. He started 4 games and pitched to a 6.75 ERA through 12 innings. He also struck out 9 and walked 4. No one expects Sabathia at this point in his career to pitch the way he did a few years back. He had somewhat of a bounce back season last year, but even then his peripherals weren’t the greatest. The hope is that he stays happy and healthy throughout the season and is able to eat a lot of innings and take some pressure off the bullpen. I think a season ERA in the low 4’s is optimistic, but he’ll have streaks of brilliance throughout the year, I’m sure. Last season Sabathia started 3 games against the Rays, going 1-0 with a 5.52 ERA in 14.2 IP.

This is Odorizzi’s fifth season with Tampa Bay and his fourth as a full time starter. Last year he had a 3.69 ERA (4.31 FIP) in 187.2 IP, striking out 166 and walking 54. He started 3 games against the Yankees in 2016, going 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 19.2 IP. That ERA is the second lowest against any opponent that Odorizzi made multiple starts against. Only the Rangers fared worse against him. Don’t let that get you down though. In his last start against the Yankees on August 14th, both Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge homered off of him. Additionally, Greg Bird and Matt Holliday have both homered twice off the Rays pitcher in the 6 times they’ve faced him. So there’s that.

Here’s today’s lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. 1B Greg Bird
  4. DH Matt Holliday
  5. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  6. 2B Starlin Castro
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. RF Aaron Judge
  9. SS Ronald Torreyes

The game at the Trop starts at 7:10 p.m. EST.