Series Alert: Yankees set to battle D-backs

Where & When To Watch

Tonight: Coverage of Game 1 begins at 6:00 on YES and the YES App.

Saturday: Coverage of Game 2 begins at 12:00 p.m. on YES and the YES App.

Sunday: Coverage of Game 3 begins at 12:30 p.m. on YES and the YES App.

Leading Off

The Yankees are opening their final home series of the season this evening with the first of three games against the Diamondbacks, who currently hold one of the Wild Card playoff spots in the National League. With a 40-38 record in the Bronx, the Yanks need one victory to clinch a winning mark at the Stadium this year. The first 18,000 guests at the Stadium on Saturday will receive an Aaron Judge #62 bobblehead, part two of two in a collectible set, presented by TikTok.

How ‘Bout That

What a performance by Michael King on Wednesday against the Blue Jays! Making his sixth start since becoming a full-fledged member of the rotation, King delivered the kind of outing that only Gerrit Cole has given the Yankees in recent years. By rolling up 13 strikeouts, he became the lone Yankee other than Cole to record that many in a game since the beginning of 2018. King is also the 14th right-handed pitcher in franchise history to strike out at least 13 batters in a game, and his ERA since joining the rotation is down to 1.27, the lowest in the American League among pitchers who have worked at least 25 innings dating back to Aug. 24, when King made the first appearance of his transition from a relief role to starting.

Pinstriped Pulse

The night after King’s gem against Toronto, Gerrit Cole delivered a performance that may have cemented the ace as the eventual winner of this year’s AL Cy Young Award, retiring the first 16 Blue Jays he faced and throwing eight innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts in a 5-3 Yankees win. Jake Bauers provided Cole with some run support by crushing a three-run homer, his first extra-base hit since Aug. 5. On Wednesday, Austin Wells hit the first home run of his MLB career and became the third Yankee to log their first round tripper this year, joining Anthony Volpe on April 14 and Jasson Domínguez on Sept. 1, which was the game that saw Domínguez and Wells both make their big league debuts. Estevan Florial has recorded a hit in six of his last eight games. Gleyber Torres is batting .316 since Aug. 28 and Oswaldo Cabrera has a .306 average over his last 10 games.

Probable Pitchers

Luke Weaver will make his second start with the Yankees tonight after striking out seven batters in four innings during his team debut against the Pirates this past Saturday, and he’s going to face one of his old clubs. Part of the return Arizona received from the Cardinals in the December 2018 Paul Goldschmidt trade, Weaver pitched in 49 games for the Diamondbacks from 2019 until the middle of last season when he was dealt to Kansas City. He’ll take the mound opposite 24-year-old rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who made his MLB debut in early May and has straightened things out after struggling early. Having been hit to the tune of a 9.82 ERA through his first six career starts, Pfaadt’s ERA is 4.18 since his current stint with Arizona began in late July. Carlos Rodón briefly spent time as a divisional foe of the D-Backs when he pitched for San Francisco last year, and he will try to keep a nice run to the finish line going when he starts against Zach Davies on Saturday. In his last two starts, Rodón threw five innings of one-run ball in Boston and then delivered a quality start in Pittsburgh, striking out 19 batters in those games combined. Clarke Schmidt will take his third shot at earning his 10th win of the season when he starts versus Zac Gallen on Sunday in the Yankees’ last home game of the year.