The New York Yankees have to be more positive going into a series with the Philadelphia Phillies than they have been in several weeks. They are coming off a series win against the Boston Red Sox. Previously, this season in 7 other meetings, the Yankees could not take a single game from the Red Sox, who are in first place in the AL East.
This series win is so remarkable that with all the negativity surrounding the team, from poor play to the number of injured and Covid infections on the team, they could accomplish this feat with a ragtag lineup. It is reminiscent of the 2019 season when the team had so many injuries, but the “next man up” kicked in, and the team went on to win 103 games and the AL East.
The only negativity that will be carried into this two-game series with the Phillies is that manager Aaron Boone’s options to fill positions have been shrinking by the day. Replacement players Tim Locastro and Trey Amburgey are also not available. Replacement for replacement player Ryan LaMarre crashed into the wall and ended in a heap for a time before he got up and continued to play in Sunday’s game. There is no news on how he is feeling today. The Yankees, in total, have 18 players injured or on the Covid list.
Although the depleted outfield is of concern, they have few options for starting pitchers as well. Corey Kluber is out until the beginning of September. In addition, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Micheal King are unavailable. There is also some question about whether Jonathan Loaisiga is back with the team or not; he is not scheduled to be back until Friday. It was also learned yesterday that Darren O’Day had a setback and might miss the entire season.
There are some encouraging signs. Although the lineup is without Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, and Gio Urshela, Rougie Odor seems to have added some spark to the team, and with Gleyber Torres’ two homers in two nights, he may be returning to form. Players on the Covid list should, barring setbacks, be back with the team to begin the Tampa Bay Rays series.
Tonight, July 20, 7:05 pm:
Tonight, right-hander Domingo German will take the mound for the New York Yankees; he will face the Phillies’ Aaron Nola. German is no sure thing; he can be lights out but also struggle mightily. He is 4-5 with an ERA of 4.72. In his last outing against the Red Sox, he lasted only 1 inning using 17 pitches before being removed. The Yankees have lost seven of his last then starts. That is after seven straight wins earlier in the season. German will have to watch out for J.T. Realmuto; he has 2 hits off him in 3 at-bats.
The Yankees with face righty Aaron Nola; he is 6-5 with an ERA of 4.53. He is a strikeout pitcher similar to Gerrit Cole; he has 126 strikeouts over 18 starts, more than half of his strikeouts have been in June and July. Nola went on the Covid list before the All-Star break due to contact tracing; he never tested positive and has been cleared to pitch tonight’s game. He is coming off a 15-10 win on July 6th against the Chicago Cubs. Both DJ LeMahieu and Rougie Odor hit well off of Nola.
Wednesday, July 21, 7:05 pm:
Neither club has released their starters for the Wednesday night game. The Yankees don’t have a lot of options. They could start Jordan Montgomery on short rest or patch together the game from the bullpen. If that’s the case, Luis Cessa would likely handle the first three or four innings. A less likely option would be to bring up Deivi Garcia for the start.
Both games will be broadcast on the YES Network and NBCS Philly. After this short two-game series at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees will move on to Fenway Park in Boston for four games against the Red Sox and three games at Tropicana Field with the Tampa Bay Rays. No easy road ahead.
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