MLB Game Preview - Yankees v Tigers

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3:40 PM PT4:40 PM MT5:40 PM CT6:40 PM ET18:40 ET22:40 GMT6:40 3:40 PM MST5:40 PM EST6:10 PM VEN2:40 UAE (+1)5:40 PM CT, September 11, 2019
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan

Yanks' Sabathia faces Tigers in return from injury

According to STATS
According to STATS

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers

  1. New York heads to Detroit for a three-game set in the middle of its 10-game road trip. The Tigers' beat the Yankees in two of three from April 1-3, with New York scoring just five total runs. The Yankees' .176 batting average, .255 on-base and .275 slugging in that series are all their worst in any set this season.
  2. The Yankees took three of four from the Red Sox, including a combined shutout Monday. New York has won 12 of its last 16 games with a 2.57 starters' ERA after having a 4.88 ERA before then. Yankee starters have given up 0.96 home runs per nine innings in that span, compared to 1.94 before then.
  3. The Tigers dropped two of three in Oakland, losing their eighth consecutive series. Detroit hasn't won a series since July 29-31 against the Angels and has won just six series all season. The Tigers won fewer than 10 series just twice in franchise history (eight, 2003; nine, 1920).
  4. Brett Gardner is last in the American League with a .165 batting average with runners in scoring position (min. 400 total PA). Only Raul Mondesi in 2003 has a lower average in Yankee history with at least 100 plate appearances with RISP.
  5. Victor Reyes is hitting .448 in September and is tied for the major league lead with five doubles this month (Tim Anderson, CWS). Reyes is batting .312 this season after hitting .222 last year. That 90-point increase is the second highest in Tigers history (Bobby Higginson, 1995-96, min. 200 PA both seasons).
  6. Luke Voit is slashing .303/.412/.567 on the road this season and .251/.365/.404 at home. His 211-point increase of road OPS over home OPS is on pace to be the highest by a Yankee since Robinson Cano in 2005 (+.231).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/10/2019 thru 9/12/2019

CC Sabathia is making another -- and probably final -- comeback when he starts at Detroit on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old New York Yankees left-hander, who has been bothered most of the season by a balky right knee, will take the mound for the first time this month in the second game of a three-game series. Sabathia hasn't pitched since Aug. 30, when he gave up one run in three innings against Oakland.

Sabathia got through a bullpen session in Boston on Monday without any issues. He's hopeful that he can make steady contributions for the Yankees through the playoffs.

"This is way better than I thought," Sabathia told reporters. "I didn't think I was going to get to this point, not with this knee. I think we knew coming into this season, it was going to be a battle. To still be able to have a chance to make starts is all I wanted."

Sabathia, who announced over the winter that this season would be his last, likely will need surgery after the season.

If the Yankees weren't one of the favorites to win the championship, Sabathia might have already opted for the surgery.

"There's nothing really to manage. ... It flares up when it flares up," he said. "I feel good right now, and knock on wood it continues to feel good."

Sabathia (5-8, 4.93 ERA) probably won't go the required five innings Wednesday to pick up a victory.

Sabathia has faced the Tigers 40 times in his career, posting a 21-14 record and 4.16 ERA.

Domingo German (17-4, 4.21 ERA) will be the first reliever out of the bullpen. He'll remain in a relief role through the postseason, as the Yankees want to limit his innings.

"We're trying to win a championship," German told reporters. "The game will be the same."

Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (8-10, 4.57 ERA) has won his last two starts. Most recently, he gave up three runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings in Kansas City on Sept. 5.

The left-hander didn't give up a homer after surrendering 13 in his previous five outings.

He collected 13 strikeouts when he faced the Yankees on April 3. Boyd gave up only one run in 6 1/3 innings that day but wound up with a no-decision. He's 1-2 with a 5.57 ERA in four career starts against New York.

The Tigers will be looking to string together two victories, something the 100-loss club hasn't done very often this season. They won a wild 12-11 game on Tuesday, overcoming six Yankees homers and a six-run deficit.

The Yankees had won their last 97 games when scoring 11 or more runs.

"We feel like we've been playing good baseball, but only on the road. We haven't been able to do anything at home," said Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire, whose club hit the 100-loss mark on Sunday.

"Tonight, our fans got to see some of the things we've been seeing on the road, and that's exciting. Our fans were into it, the players were into it. It was a back and forth game. They were hitting ball into the seats about every five seconds, it felt like. But we hung on and got the final hit."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 11, 2019

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