The second-place Seattle Mariners (46-26) are making their way into the Bronx for a three-game set.
The Mariners are coming off of a four-game split with the Boston Red Sox, and have posted a 12-4 record so far during the month of June. The Mariners have exceeded expectations around every corner so far this season and have put some distance between themselves and the remainder of the American League second wild card contenders currently sitting at 20 games over .500.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto has put together a heck of a baseball team that has rebounded nicely after their star second baseman and former Yankee, Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games for violating the Major Leagues substance abuse policy on May 15th.
Since then, the team has posted a 22-9 record and has not lost a beat on the offensive side of the ball. Their story this season thus far has been focused around one-run victories. They are 23-10 in one-run games; good for the best in the major leagues.
With a deep lineup and a strong back-end of the bullpen, spear-headed by closer Edwin Diaz (2.37 ERA) and offseason acquisition Juan Nicasio (5.34 ERA) they have transformed into one of the best teams in baseball.
Friday: Marco Gonzalez (7-3, 3.42 ERA, 69 SO) vs. Domingo Germàn (1-4, 5.23 ERA 63 SO)
Saturday: Felix Hernandez (6-6, 5.44 ERA, 70 SO) vs. Jonathan Loaisiga (6 IP, 0 ER, 6 SO)
Sunday: James Paxton (6-1, 3.44 ERA, 115 SO) vs. Luis Severino (10-2, 2.09 ERA, 118 SO)
The clear match-up of the week for this series is James Paxton vs. Luis Severino. Both teams have their aces matched up to go on Thursday and will look to finish the series strong.
Paxton has had a phenomenal season thus far; having thrown a no-hitter in his hometown on May 8th in Toronto against the Blue Jays. He was a little roughed up in his last start however against the Red Sox where he gave up six runs (five of those earned) in 2.1 innings.
This will be a series will be a great test for the Yankees, coming off of a one and a half game double header in Washington and coming home late to face the surging Mariners.
The Yankees recalled outfielder Clint Frazier on Monday and optioned utility-man Ronald Torreyes to AAA-Scranton after outfielder Brett Gardner had an MRI on an inflamed knee. Frazier has been the Yankees 26th-man this season, moving between Scranton and the Bronx to help the Yankees during doubleheaders, but it looks as though this time will be for more than just a series.
Manager Aaron Boone stated that Frazier’s promotion was due to Gardner’s status being day-to-day with knee inflammation, and will most likely stay in New York until Gardner is cleared to play.
The 23-year-old has been tearing the cover off of the ball in AAA and has done more than enough to earn an extended look in the major leagues, but with the Yankees current depth, he has not had a chance. He is going to have to have a strong showing during this series if he wants to push for a roster spot.