The New York Yankees maneuvered their rotation following Tuesday’s rainout, leaving a stellar rotation to face off against a key opponent.
No one likes a rainout. Those who have tickets must butcher their schedules, those who were looking forward to nine innings of baseball after work now have to wait a day and players now get to experience 18 innings of play crammed into one day.
For the New York Yankees, however, Tuesday night’s rainout gives them a unique opportunity to line up their best starting pitchers for this weekend’s series with the Boston Red Sox.
Jaime Garcia, the probable starter for the postponed contest with the Cleveland Indians, will start the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. Thanks to the 26th man rule which allows teams to add an extra player to their rosters for a doubleheader, rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery will take the hill in Game 2.
The 24-year-old was sent down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in order to manage his inning’s limit, but manager Joe Girardi confirmed that he’ll get the ball against a Cleveland team he held to just three hits on August 5.
Looking ahead, that allows the Yankees to send out CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino, in that order, in this weekend’s four-game set with the first-place Red Sox. To rip off New York’s manager, it’s definitely what you want.
In the month of August, those four starters have posted a combined 8-8 record with a 3.38 ERA and have helped the Yankees rotation as a whole post the fifth-best ERA in Major League Baseball throughout the month.
New York will also get another shot at defeating the front-runner in the American League Cy Young race, Chris Sale, on Sunday night.
The lefty is 0-2 in four tries against the Yankees this season basically due to the fact that the starter the Yankees deploy keeps his offense in the game. Severino, who is 6-2 with a 2.38 ERA since the All-Star break, will oppose Boston’s best in the series finale.
Of course, these respective starters will still need to go out and do their job. This setup ultimately means nothing unless the Yankees can execute against Boston and can even go south very fast if that’s the case, but one has to give props to management for maneuvering the series in this way. It’s the most important week of Yankees’ baseball, and they know that.
There is still a tremendous chance for the Yankees to clinch the postseason as something better than a Wild Card. Being that this weekend is the last series that will feature baseball’s most historic rivalry, this is the last chance New York has at directly cutting down Boston’s 3.5 game lead in the American League East.
With an offense fully healthy, organizing the rotation in this way was nothing short of genius. FanGraphs gives the Yankees a 13.1 percent shot and clinching the division, but that very well could change thanks to this maneuver.
So don’t let the old saxophone on the YES Network bring you down. Sure, a night with no Yankees’ baseball isn’t the most fun, but it makes the odds of winning the division for the first time since 2012 seem as realistic as ever.