The Yankees send their rookie left hander to face the Red Sox and the best pitcher in the American League. He’s the lifeboat. The question is, though, which Yankees are allowed to hop on board.
The Yankees play the Red Sox tonight in the first of many more to come do or die games remaining on the 2017 schedule. Recent minor leaguer, Jordan Montgomery, get the call from Joe Girardi to start the game against the Red Sox best, Chris Sale.
In simple terms, the Red Sox are hot, and the Yankees are not, and this game means a two game swing in the standings. The Yankees are now six games under .500 since they reeled off that 21-9 start to the season. Until the last week or so, the Sox have been no better.
Montgomery is entirely capable of shutting down a Red Sox lineup that has seen its struggles, with a command of that over the top curveball, which hopefully Austin Romine will be digging out of the dirt, and not Gary Sanchez.
As the commander of the Yankee’s lifeboat, who does he allow to board first?
First On Board
Brett Gardner gets the first call. His two assists in the outfield, one of which completed a double play, show his value even though he looked a bit sluggish of late. Girard saw that and sat him on Friday against a lefty, and the same situation could prevent him from starting tonight against Sale. He should be in there.
Romine gets a pass too, and even though he contributes little to the offense, there is a slew of Yankees who should be hitting before him, though they are not.
Aaron Hicks had a down game yesterday following his heroics on Friday, but he looks alive, which is something you can’t automatically say about a few others who are beginning to look like they’re merely going through the motions. Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley climb on board for the same reason.
Waiting For The Next Boat
Ronald Torreyes needs to calm down a bit. In four plate appearances yesterday, he saw only nine pitches on a hitless day. Aggressiveness is one thing, and it’s something usually applauded, but situational hitting in the ninth spot is also important. Give Tyler Wade the start.
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Aaron Judge needs a blow or a few days in the minors to catch his breath, something he hasn’t been able to do since the chaotic trip to Miami and the All Star Game. If Drew Pomerantz can strike him out twice, imagine what Sale is going to do to him. Give him a few days to get his head cleared.
Jamie Garcia has the look of a pitcher who is going to perform well enough to lose almost all of his starts. He won’t ever throw a clunker like Luis Severino did yesterday but unlike Severino don’t count on him for six or seven strong innings in any of his future starts.
Gary Sanchez continues to earn his keep with, but with a home run here and there, but his overall contribution to the team has been negligible when you consider that Joe Girardi now has to pick his spots when catching him. Sanchez is a work in progress with a work ethic that no one wants to talk about, even though his manager is still going to bat for him.
Jump In And Swim Cause There Ain’t No Boat
We all know why Jacoby Ellsbury is on this team and it has nothing to do with his performance on the field. He owes the Yankees a lot, and they owe him nothing. Swim to shore if you can make it, otherwise, please make yourself invisible.
Masahiro Tanaka gave the Yankees a present when he came up with a “dead arm” forcing him to the 10-day DL. Think the Yankees didn’t jump at the chance to put him there? Bryan Mitchell or Luis Cessa will get Tanaka’s next start against the Mets. Mitchell should be the pick.
ESPN gets the nod too because this game should be underway on a beautiful 70-degree day at Yankees Stadium, instead of an 8:15 P.M. EST start time on a workday eve and a game not likely to end before midnight. I know, I know…….it’s all about money and not the fans.
Montgomery has the lifeboat, and all we can do is hope he doesn’t tip it over before anyone else gets in.