For the first time since 2001, the Yankees have lost a head-to-head season series matchup against the Minnesota Twins. But, there’s a silver lining to their three-game stay at Target Field.
After dropping the first two games, New York’s offense broke out for 12 runs in the Wednesday afternoon finale. The 14-11 Bombers will take that to Texas in hopes of building momentum against the Rangers. They’re 14-10 to start 2023, but they’ve also lost three straight.
Here’s what the probable pitcher matchups look like for this four-game series.
Thursday at 8:05 p.m. EST: Gerrit Cole vs. Andrew Heaney
Through five starts and 34 innings, Gerrit Cole’s ERA (0.79) matches his WHIP (0.79). In this particular case, that’s excellent news and the Yankees want more of that. In 13 career starts vs. the Rangers, the right-hander is 5-4 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. He had a 2.19 ERA against them in two starts last year.
Andrew Heaney’s Rangers debut included allowing seven runs in 2.2 innings against the Baltimore Orioles. Since then, he’s allowed three runs (two earned) over his past 16 innings, which spans three starts. In five career starts vs. the Yankees, Heaney is 1-2 with a 5.47 ERA. He’s allowed six homers and 13 walks in 26.1 innings.
Friday at 8:05 p.m. EST: Clarke Schmidt vs. Jacob deGrom
Did Clarke Schmidt have a breakthrough in his last start? After failing to go more than four innings in his first four outings, he held the Blue Jays to three runs (no earned) on three hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings at Yankee Stadium last weekend.
Like Heaney, Jacob deGrom’s Rangers debut was less than stellar. The right-hander has looked normal over his last four starts, though. DeGrom owns a 1.57 ERA with 36 strikeouts and three walks in 23 innings. He’s 2-4 with a 3.51 ERA in six career starts vs. the Yankees, but the two-time Cy Young winner hasn’t faced the Bombers since 2018.
Saturday at 7:05 p.m. EST: Jhony Brito vs. Nathan Eovaldi
Jhony Brito’s last start against the Twins wasn’t as bad as the first one, but that doesn’t mean it was great. He allowed three runs in 2.2 innings, allowing six guys to reach base (three hits and three walks) while striking out just one. After posting a 0.90 ERA through his first 10 innings, Brito owns a 12.91 ERA over his most recent 7.2 innings.
New York gets to face old friend Nathan Eovaldi on Saturday, who hasn’t gotten off to a great start with his new club. He owns a 5.20 ERA through his first five appearances. He has thrown six innings in each of his last two turns through the rotation, lowering his season-long ERA from 6.40 to that 5.20 mark. Across 87 career innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi is 3-4 with a 3.83 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP.
Sunday at 2:35 p.m. EST: Nestor Cortes vs. Martin Perez
Nestor Cortes has lasted at least five innings in each of his five starts, all while not allowing more than three earned runs in any of those outings. Cortes has a lifetime 5.40 ERA against Texas, but his last start was spectacular. In 2022, he one-hit the Rangers over 7.1 shutout innings while walking four and striking out 11.
After having a breakout in 2022 of his own, Martin Perez has kept it going in 2023. He owns a 2.60 ERA through 27.2 innings. Perez’s last outing against the Reds was probably his best of the young season — allowed one run (not earned) on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts in 6.1 innings. He owns a 5.80 ERA in 54.1 innings against the Yankees but has been mostly solid since 2020. Last year, Perez allowed one run on five hits, five walks, and two strikeouts in six innings.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.