The New York Yankees are back at Yankee Stadium after a road trip to Atlanta and the West Coast. The Yankees went 5-4 over the span. This evening at the Stadium in the Bronx, the Yankees have their first game of three in a weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles. With the loss of 4 games during the road trip, the Yankees had slipped back in the AL East standings. However, while the Yankees were idle yesterday, they gained on the Tampa Bay Rays as they lost to the Red Sox. They are now 6.5 games behind the Rays.
This is an important series for the Yankees as they chase the Tampa Bay Rays for the lead in the AL East with only 28 games left to go in the regular season. To help the Yankees accomplish that, they must sweep this series over a team that will lose 110 games this season. The Rays steamrolled them early last week, and even the Red Sox swept them, scoring 30 runs to their 5. Sweeping the Orioles will give the Yankees good vibes entering a difficult four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
After the Blue Jays, the Yankees will face the crosstown New York Mets for a weekend series. After that, they will have another 3 game series with the Orioles. Then to close out the season, they will have 3 with the Indians, Rangers, Red Sox, the Blue Jays again, and finally the last 3 of the regular season with the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. If the Yankees can win more games than the Rays over the span, the season could come down to those last three against the Rays at the Stadium.
Tonight, September 3, 7:05 pm:
Tonight, the New York Yankees will start a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles. Nestor Cortes Jr. will be on the mound for the Yankees. Cortes Jr. has been a Godsend for the Yankees during Corey Kluber and Domingo German’s injuries issues. Cortes, reliever turned starter, is 2-2 with an ERA of 2.77 and 64 strikeouts in 9 games, of which the Yankees won 6 of them.Â Few Orioles has seen Cortes pitch, but those that have are hitless of him.
Cortes Jr. will face the Orioles John Means, who is 5-6 with an ERA of 3.46 and 104 strikeouts. The Yankees are very familiar with Means, having faced him many times in recent years. However, means is coming off a horrid August with the Orioles losing all of his five starts. Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton have hit best off of Means. In multiple at-bats, Gardner has a .429 batting average off him and Stanton .500 in 8 at-bats.
Saturday, September 4, 1:05 pm:
Yankee lefty Jordan Montgomery will start Saturday’s matinee. “Monty” is 5-5 with an ERA of 3.52 and 126 strikeouts. He has pitched much better than his record would indicate. Of all Yankee pitchers, he has gotten the least run support. Nevertheless, the Yankees won 3 of his 4 starts in August. His last start was a loss from the Athletics when he went six innings with the Yankees giving him zero run support. He gave up no earned runs in his outing.
Montgomery will face the Orioles Chris Ellis, who is a righty. His record is 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA. Ellis’s only win this season came as a reliever for the Tampa Bay Rays before he was traded to the Orioles. As an Oriole, he has pitched in two games. With the Orioles needing starters, he got his chance to start games but has only gone a maximum of 4.1 innings in his last outing, a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. However, he has a bit of an edge going onto this game as no Yankee has ever seen him pitch except in videos.
Sunday, September 5, 1:05 pm:
Sunday’s matinee will feature Corey Kluber’s second start back off the injured list while suffering a shoulder ailment. In Kluber’s first start, he showed a considerable amount of rust after pitching the Yankees only no-hitter earlier in the season. After missing three months of the season and not pitching for nearly two years before being acquired by the Yankees, the rust is not a surprise. Kluber is 4-3 with an ERA of 3.61 and 61 strikeouts in eleven games. The Yankees won 4 of his 5 starts in May, including his complete-game no-hitter on May 19th against the Rangers. Therefore, the Yankees will look for an improvement this outing.
Kluber will face the Oriole’s Keegan Akin, a lefty with an elevated ERA of 6.90 with 68 strikeouts in 20 games, 13 as a starter. He is coming off a win against the Toronto Blue Jays, but the Orioles have lost 12 of the last 13 games he pitched in. He lasted only three innings in a loss to the Yankees on August 3rd. Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Tyler Wade, and Kyle Higasioka have hit .500 off them this season.
Note: All three of these games will be televised on the YES Network and MASN. Saturday’s matinee will also be available on MLBN out of market.