Pitching questions abound before Phillies-Yankees rematch

MLB

While Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela are waiting to be cleared for a return from the COVID-19 list, the New York Yankees are getting it done with a makeshift version of their lineup.

The Yankees seek a fourth straight win Wednesday night when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in the finale of a two-game interleague series at Yankee Stadium.

New York is seeking four straight wins for the first time since winning six straight May 18-23. That winning streak was part of a 23-9 run, and this time the Yankees are on an 8-3 run since losing the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets on July 4.

In the first game without Judge and Urshela, the Yankees mustered just three hits in a 4-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Since then they have scored 18 runs while mixing in contributions from players such as Greg Allen, along with nine homers.

On Tuesday, the Yankees posted a 6-4 win by mixing speed and power, doing so with even more of a patchwork lineup after DJ LeMahieu was scratched about 45 minutes before first pitch with a stomach virus. LeMahieu was feeling better by the end of Tuesday and could return Wednesday.

Allen scored New York’s first two runs before the power kicked in.

“It’s been really neat to see us for the last couple of days to do it in some different ways,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “The home run ball showed up for us tonight, but the little ball was there (also).”

Brett Gardner, who replaced LeMahieu in the leadoff spot, hit a tiebreaking homer in the fifth off Aaron Nola. Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton and Estevan Florial then hit solo homers before Aroldis Chapman got his first save since June 20.

Philadelphia is looking to avoid consecutive losses for the first time since dropping four straight from June 20-25. The Phillies are 10-5 in their past 15 games after stranding 11 and striking out 13 times.

Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen homered, Ronald Torreyes hit an RBI double and Jean Segura singled in a run as Philadelphia stayed 2 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

If Asher Wojciechowski makes the start as expected for the Yankees, he will be their 10th starter this season. He would be taking the spot occupied by the injured Michael King, who was filling in for Corey Kluber.

Wojciechowski was 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in four appearances (three starts) with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

He is 9-15 with a 5.95 ERA in 57 career major league appearances (34 starts) and was 5-11 with a 5.51 ERA in 27 appearances (23 starts) with the Baltimore Orioles in the previous two seasons.

This would be Wojciechowski’s second career appearance against Philadelphia and first since allowing two runs (one earned) while pitching for the Cincinnati Reds on May 26, 2017.

On Tuesday, Philadelphia placed Zach Eflin on the injured list with right knee tendinitis. While Eflin does not expect to miss much more than one start, his injury created a situation that will force the Phillies to deploy a bullpen game on Wednesday.

Manager Joe Girardi did not indicate which pitcher would begin the game and said the Phillies will likely make a few more transactions.

“The next person just has to step up,” Girardi said. “That’s part of it. There’s a lot of teams that are going through this right now. So the next person just has to step up, and you take it one game at a time and you figure out how to win that game and you move on to the next day.”

–Field Level Media

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