For most of the past two weeks, the New York Yankees spent postgame media sessions discussing frustrating things such as not getting a timely hit or making key pitches. Those topics were discussed following seven straight games, putting the Yankees on the verge of their longest skid in 25 years.
Instead the Yankees will head into Sunday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets coming off their first win in nearly two weeks.
The Yankees are coming off a 2-1 win on Saturday when Clint Frazier scored on a wild pitch in the ninth inning by Dellin Betances. Frazier’s winning run gave the Yankees their first victory since beating the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 17.
During the skid, the Yankees lost five games by two runs or less, including the previous three on late homers. On Wednesday, Freddie Freeman homered off Chad Green in the sixth inning and Friday, Green gave up three homers in the sixth of a 6-4 loss and Aroldis Chapman allowed a walk-off homer to Amed Rosario in the seventh to send the Yankees to a 4-3 loss.
If the Yankees took another loss Saturday, they would have entered their fifth doubleheader of the abbreviated season on their first eight-game losing streak since Aug. 19-26, 1995.
“It was big,” said Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu, who returned from missing nearly two weeks with a sprained thumb. “It was definitely a grind-out win, not the prettiest win but we needed that bad today. Hopefully, that sparks us and we get back playing to how we should be playing.”
The Mets will play their third doubleheader since Tuesday and will be the home team for the nightcap, just like on Friday.
The Mets have six wins in their last nine games. They have scored nine runs in the sixth inning or later in their last four games after getting blanked in both ends of a doubleheader to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.
On Saturday, the Mets got a game-tying homer from Wilson Ramos in the eighth and they have five homers in the series off Yankees relievers.
The Yankees will start Mike King in the opener and top prospect Deivi Garcia start will make his major league debut while the Mets will go with Rick Porcello and Seth Lugo.
Porcello is 1-4 with a 6.43 ERA in his six starts and has allowed eight runs on 15 hits spanning nine innings in his last two starts.
“It’s been frustrating,” Porcello said. “It’s always frustrating when you’re not going out there and giving your team a chance to win every fifth day consistently.”
Porcello is pitching in a second straight doubleheader game. He started the opener of Tuesday’s doubleheader and allowed four runs in three innings before not returning following a 65-minute rain delay.
The right-hander has extensive experience against the Yankees and is 11-10 with a 3.96 ERA in 26 starts against them. He also has struggled in the Bronx by going 1-5 with a 5.96 ERA in eight starts at Yankee Stadium.
Lugo will make his second start after making nine relief appearances. He pitched three hitless innings on 39 pitches in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader and is 2-1 with a 3.75 ERA in six career outings against the Yankees.
King is making his second start and first appearance since Aug. 17. In his only start this season, King allowed three runs and five walks in 3 2/3 innings in a 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay on Aug. 8.
Garcia quickly rose through the minor leagues last season and was 5-9 with a 4.28 ERA at three levels when he struck out 165 hitters in 111 1/3 innings.
–Field Level Media