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Game #118 Preview: Germán vs Pannone

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Yankees (75-39) vs Blue Jays (47-70)

Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Blue Jays finally return home after a long 10 day road trip, looking to welcome the division leading Yankees into town. Gametime is set for 7:07 ET this evening.

Blue Jays’ Starter

Thomas Pannone will be tasked with slowing down the red hot Yankee bats, and he will need to pitch better than he has lately if he wants to achieve that. Pannone has struggled a little bit since returning the rotation, putting up a 5.51 ERA over 16.1 innings across 3 starts, although he has at least completed 6 innings twice. That 5.51 ERA is actually better than his season mark of 5.98 over 55.2 innings, so I guess that’s progress.

Pannone has faced the Yankees in two separate appearances so far this year, both coming out of the bullpen. He has combined for 4 innings with no runs and just 1 hit allowed, but he did walk 3 and strike out just 1.

Yankees’ Starter

The Yankees will go with 27 year old right handed Domingo Germán. Germán is having a great season pitching for the Yankees, currently sitting with a 14-2 record and a 3.98 ERA. His FIP is a bit worse at 4.43 over his 104 innings, owing entirely to his extremely high 1.82 HR/9 rate. Of the 96 pitchers in baseball with at least 100 innings this year, Germán ranks 6th highest in home run rate, and pitching in the small confines of Yankee Stadium no doubt helps that rate climb.

Germán has faced the Jays just once this year, and completely shut them down over 6 shutout innings. The Jays managed all of 3 hits, didn’t draw a walk and struck out 7 times.

Blue Jays’ Lineup

After a very successful road trip debut for Bo Bichette, the rookie sensation gets to play in Canada for the first time since the exhibition games in Montreal, where he exited to a stadium chanting his name. Considering the excitement he built up over his 10 game debut, he may be in for a similar treatment again in his Toronto debut.

While the majority of the team enjoyed a successful road trip, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Justin Smoak did not. Smoak sat a couple games, and was otherwise limited to 3 singles and 6 walks, making it seem like he may be nursing some form of injury. Gurriel managed a home run yesterday, and a double over the weekend, but otherwise had difficulty making hard contact. But not everyone can have a great road trip, so hopefully he can regain his form now that he’s back at home.

Yankees’ Lineup

The Yankees come into this series about as red hot as a team can be, after demolishing the Orioles to start the week. They scored 32 runs on 16 home runs in that series, setting a record by homering at least 5 times in 3 straight games. They have now won 9 in a row, scoring at least 6 runs in 8 of those victories and averaging just over 8 runs over all 9 games.

The list of injured Yankees is still an impressive list of players, although not quite as impressive as it was earlier this year. Players currently on the IL include Gary Sanchez, Edwin Encarnacion, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton along with the season long absences of Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar and Jacoby Ellsbury.

The latest player to benefit from the Yankees’ devil magic is Mike Tauchman. The 28 year old who is just barely not a rookie, was traded to the Yankees back in March from the Rockies. He opened the season in AAA, a place where he has played 379 games since 2016, while struggling to gain any footing at the Major League level. Fast forward to 199 plate appearances for the Yankees, and he is now hitting .294/.372/.554 (141 wRC+) with 10 home runs and 5 stolen bases, already with 10 DRS in 471.2 innings in the outfield. He is probably now committed to an eternity of damnation, but hey, he’s helping the Yankees win.

Yesterday’s Heroes

It was a pretty crowded field of deserving candidates, but Keston Hiura takes home the Monster Bat award. On top of launching a pair of home runs into the night, Hiura also ripped a double and got on base a fourth time by getting hit. His offensive output was able to put the Brewers on top over the Pirates 8-3.

Russell Martin had the game winning, 2 run single to give his Dodgers the 2-1 walkoff win over the Cardinals. That hit alone was worth .771 WPA, erasing the negative Martin had for the day and giving him a WPA King total of .679.

Until Martin’s walkoff single, the Dodgers were completely shut down, thanks to the excellent work of Jack Flaherty. He worked 7 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and a walk, while striking out 10.

Find the Link

Find the link between Germán and Scott McGough.

Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs