New York Yankees Postseason Preview: Facing elimination tonight the Yankees have to get two more wins

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

The New York Yankees are coming off two poorly hit games that were equally poorly pitched.  On Tuesday night, Deivi Garcia gave up one run and was replaced by J.A. Happ, who pitched poorly and blew the game. Last night the usually dependable Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have it and couldn’t locate his pitches; he gave up five runs in five innings.  If the Yankees pitch and hit like that have in the last two games against the Tampa Bay Rays, they will be going back to Yankees Stadium to clean out their lockers and call it another failed season.

Tonight will be possibly a deciding game at Petco Park between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS. The game at 4:10 pm PDT (7:10 pm EDT) will be played with a setting sun in San Diego. Like last night the sun may cause some issues early in the game.  I will be a near-perfect night for baseball with temperatures right about 70 degrees, with no chance of a shower. The game will be broadcast on TBS.

Tonight’s game will be as much a chess game between two managers with big decisions to be made as much as it will be a baseball game. The Tampa Bay Rays, out of starting pitchers, will start Ray’s reliever, Ryan Thompson vs. the Yankee’s Jordan Montgomery, who hasn’t pitched in nearly two weeks. Neither team is happy about their starters in the game, and both will be on a short leash in this huge game for both teams.

At the top of the first, Jordan Montgomery will take the Yankees’ mound, having not pitched at all in the postseason.  Tremendous pressure will be on “Monty” not to screw up because if he does, the Yankees season may be over. Montgomery, on the regular season, was 2-3 with an elevated ERA of 5.11. Jordan gave up seven earned runs in his last to starts of the regular season.

The Tampa Bay Rays will send out reliever Ryan Thompson to start their half of the first inning. The Rays will treat this as an opener game, something they are very experienced with.  Thompson is 1-2 with an ERA of 4.44. He hasn’t pitched more than two innings in any game this season. He pitched 2 clean innings in the game the Ray’s lost on Monday. This will be the first postseason start of his career.

Tampa Bay will come out tonight energized by their last two wins and ready to take the series from the Yankees. The Yankees have to come out with that same energy and conviction if they will have any chance of winning this game four.  The Yankees will pull out all the stops; they will use premium reliever Zack Britton, who they haven’t taken advantage of in the first three games of the ALDS. Deivi Garcia, who only pitched one inning, may be brought in in relief. Don’t be surprised to see Aroldis Chapman in earlier than expected. The Yankees will have to use every trick in the baseball book to prevent elimination tonight.

In the Wild Card Series, the Yankees looked like the Murder’s row.  They are going to have that same energy and offense exhibited in those games.  They have the talent, they have the power; they have to go out there and do it.

For the Yankees lineup, Giancarlo Stanton has been carrying the load pretty much by himself; he had hit a single and a homer last night, and two homers the night before.  Meanwhile, Yankee stars Aaron Judge, baseball’s batting champion DJ LeMahieu and home run leader Luke Voit have not contributed in any substantial way. They must find it and perform tonight to support the Yankee pitchers, as there is no tomorrow to work it out if the New York Yankees are to advance.

If the New York Yankees can win it tonight, they have a chance to win the ALDS when Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pitches on short rest on Friday night, probably against Blake Snell, who the Yankees have already bested.