Today’s scheduled game at 7:05 p.m. against the Chicago Cubs has been rescheduled for Wednesday at 1:05 p.m due to rain that is expected throughout the day. There will be a separate-admission, day-night doubleheader tomorrow and tomorrow’s originally scheduled game will begin at 7:05 p.m. The Yankees will honor the legacies of Jackie Robinson and Nelson Mandela at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The Cubs, who last won the World Series in 1908, have previously played at Yankee Stadium during the World Series in 1932 and 1938, which the Yankees won, as well as a three-game sweep by the Yankees during interleague play in 2005. The Cubs have never beaten the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Entering this series, the Yankees will have a record of 7-6 after winning three of their four games against the Red Sox, and the Cubs will come into the series in last place in the NL Central with a 4-8 record. They have been in rebuilding mode the last few years while waiting for top prospects Javier Baez and Kris Bryant to be ready.
As a result of Francisco Cervelli being placed on the 60-day disabled list after he suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain while running to first during Sunday’s win over Boston, the Yankees have brought up Scott Sizemore from AAA Scranton. Sizemore, who can play second and third and has previously played for the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics, was hitting .344 in 10 games at AAA. It makes sense bringing up another infielder because there is only so much Yangervis Solarte and Dean Anna can play. The Yankees have also recalled John Ryan Murphy to have another backup catcher with Cervelli out.
Masahiro Tanaka will pitch the 1:05 p.m game tomorrow and he will be pitching against a weaker offense than the one he saw during his first game at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday. He was able to limit the Baltimore Orioles to three runs in seven innings. Also, so far this season, Tanaka has the best strikeout-walk ratio in baseball. He has 18 strikeouts to only one walk. That is a great sign for future success.
Michael Pineda will pitch the night game and he will look to prove that he can pitch just as well after the pine tar/dirt situation from his last start. He pitched very well against the Blue Jays, in his first start for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, as he allowed only one run in six innings.
Jason Hammel, who has a 2.65 ERA in three starts at the new Yankee Stadium, will pitch the first game tomorrow for the Cubs. Travis Wood comes into tomorrow night’s contest with a 2.92 ERA and has not pitched at Yankee Stadium in his career.
Pineda and Tanaka could prove to be the best starters on the pitching staff by the end of the season based on their youth and what they have shown so far. It is important that the Yankees win these two games against an inferior team. Today’s off day also gives Derek Jeter another day to rest and recover from his quad tightness.