The Red Sox (11-8) belatedly begin a now-two-game series against the Yankees (11-7) at home tonight (7:10 on NESN, ESPN), their first matchup with the Bronx Bombers of the year after last night’s rainout.
Dustin Pedroia is still on the shelf after the silly-season inducing slide from Manny Machado last week, despite the fact John Farrell said he would have played last night if not for the showers. He apparently felt some discomfort in yesterday’s warm-up and, well, there you go. He’s not the only one hurting. With Pablo Sandoval headed to the DL with a right knee sprain, Josh Rutledge returns from his own DL stint to make his first start of the year. He’ll bat seventh, one spot ahead of Marco Hernandez, who will take Pedroia’s place in the field.
Also, the bullpen will be a bit light, as silly season’s echo rings loudly:
Matt Barnes has dropped his appeal and will begin serving his four-game suspension tonight.— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) April 26, 2017
He’s not the only one who will miss tonight. The Yankees are without young slugger Gary Sanchez, who will miss the series with a strained bicep, and field a lineup almost equally split between Olds and Youngs. Onetime Boston taco-enabled Jacoby Ellsbury bats cleanup (!). That’s decent news for Rick Porcello and his recent romance with the home run ball, but he’ll still have to get past the young and enormous Aaron Judge, among others. Judge has 6 home runs this year, tied for third in the league, and has Mass Pike power.
Tonight’s Yankees starter is Luis Severino. He’s been the star of the Yankees’ rotation so far, boasting a 27:2 K:BB ratio over 20 innings, and the young Dominican worked with Pedro Martinez in the offseason. That’s... something (Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s amusing comment: “He owed us.”). As Matt Collins wrote in his series preview, Severino has a problem with the home run ball, but he’s generally the type of pitcher who can give the Red Sox fits on his best day. Let’s hope tonight’s potentially soggy affair is not his best day.
Game 20, April 26, 2017 vs. Yankees
|1||Brett Gardner, LF||Xander Bogaerts, SS|
|2||Chase Headley, 3B||Andrew Benintendi, CF|
|3||Matt Holliday, DH||Mookie Betts, RF|
|4||Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||Mitch Moreland, 1B|
|5||Starlin Castro, 2B||Hanley Ramirez, DH|
|6||Aaron Judge, RF||Jackie Bradley Jr., CF|
|7||Greg Bird, 1B||Josh Rutledge, 3B|
|8||Austin Romine, C||Marco Hernandez, 2B|
|9||Ronald Torreyes, SS||Sandy Leon, C|
|SP||Luis Severino, RHP||Rick Porcello, RHP|