The New York Yankees took on the Washington Nationals this week in what can be the PREVIEW of this year’s World Series. The TWO split the series this week and will face each other AGAIN in Washington on for 1.5 games on Monday. The Yankees will continue their Home Stand this weekend against the LOWLY Tampa Bay Devil Rays before going on the road to take on the Nationals next week. The Yankees and the Boston Red Sox continue to be neck and neck in the AL East Standings so it is ESSENTIAL for the Yankees to beat up on TRASH team like the Devil Rays.
Yankees- Nationals Series Recap-
Game 1- Didi Gregorius was the BEST player in baseball for the month of April but he was also the WORST player in baseball for the month of May. It is now June FOURTEENTH and he has been playing well over the last couple of weeks to recover from a TERRIBLE month of May. One of the big things that he did in April was put the team on his back and CARRY the Yankees to VICTORY and that is EXACTLY what he did on Tuesday Night.
The TWO Home Runs by Didi and a STELLAR pitching performance by CC Sabathia, in which he gave up NO runs in Five and Two-Thirds innings, helped the Yankees get a 3-0 win over the Nationals in the first COMPLETED game between the two teams this season.
Game 2- Sonny Gray has been PHENOMENAL in his last few starts after a TERRIBLE start to his season but all of those GREAT starts have been on the Road and he has NOT been that at Home. He had a chance to change that last night but he gave up FOUR runs in FIVE innings to continue his STRUGGLES at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are in DESPERATE need for good pitching and they need Gray to pitch BETTER at home if they want get some SEPARATION between them and the Red Sox.
The Yankee offense led by the BOTTOM of the order, Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres tried to keep pace with the Nationals and Gray’s POOR start but they could not muster up enough runs to catch up to the Nationals and LOST the game 5-4.
The Nationals are a FLAWED team right now but I expect them to make the playoffs this season and be a World Series contender so this games are a GREAT benchmark for the Yankees. The two teams will RESUME play on the SUSPENDED game from earlier this season, where the two teams are TIED at 3 going into the SIXTH inning, on Monday before playing a FULL game that was Rained Out from that series, so we will get to see the Nationals again VERY SOON.
The Yankees pitched GREAT on Tuesday Night and outside of the POOR start by Gray last night, the bullpen only gave up ONE run in FOUR innings of relief. The Yankees are HEAVY reliant on their bullpen while their starting rotation is going through INJURIES so I expect the bullpen to have some OFF nights and give up the go ahead run. Once the Yankees have a STABLE starting rotation they are going to be UNBEATABLE with how the FRONT end of the bullpen has been pitching lately.
The Yankee offense made up for the SHUTOUT on Sunday Night against the Mets by being CONSISTENT against the Nationals. Gary Sanchez got BOTH games OFF to clear his head as he has been TRASH this season and the Yankees DESPERATELY need him to get it together. The Yankee offense is NOT the problem right now but they need to start scoring more runs that are NOT Home Runs, because NOBODY hits Home Runs in the postseason.
The Devil Rays come into the Bronx this weekend being in THIRD place in the AL East but they are THIRTEEN games behind the Yankees who are in currently in SECOND place despite having the BEST Winning Percentage in baseball. The Devil Rays have NO shot to catch up to the Yankees or the Red Sox but if they cannot play well against the Yankees this weekend than their hopes are all but DEAD for winning the AL East this season.
Yankees- Devil Rays Pitching Match Ups-
Game 1: Tonight- Domingo German vs Blake Snell
Game 2: Friday Night- Jonathan Loaisiga vs Nathan Eovaldi
Game 3: Saturday Afternoon: Luis Severino vs TBA
Game 4: Sunday Afternoon: CC Sabathia vs TBA
Jonathan Loaisiga will make the jump from AA to the BIG leagues on Friday night making his Major League debut in the Bronx. The Yankees are currently TWO pitchers short due to injuries so if Loaisiga pitches GREAT on Friday Night then he will become a STAPLE for the Yankees rotation for the rest of the season.