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In a little over a week, the Yankees’ season will turn from reliant on their bullpen to just about fully dependent as they try to ride their relative superiority in the pen past the rest of baseball’s postseason contenders. They have strengths in the top of their rotation and full lineup, but their bullpen stands out compared to the rest of the league. They will use it aggressively.

Tonight is different. Tonight is a night for bullpens, good and bad relievers all taking the same mound and pitching in a game that could go forever or pass by in a heartbeat.

Jordan Montgomery might be able to give the Yankees 2-3 innings. Yonny Chirinos about the same for the Rays. Beyond them, CC Sabathia looms for his first regular season relief appearance, while the Rays have plenty of fresh relievers despite using most of the country’s emergency stockade of relievers in a win Monday.

So get ready for calls to the bullpen, warmup pitches and the scenic views of Tropicana Field going in-and-out of commercial. This is a game uniquely possible in September, and I, for one, am going to embrace the crazy fact that this could change the postseason picture.

To the lineups!

Yankees (102-55)

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 1B
  2. Aaron Judge, RF
  3. Gleyber Torres, 2B
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  5. Gio Urshela, 3B
  6. Didi Gregorius, SS
  7. Cameron Maybin, CF
  8. Austin Romine, C
  9. Tyler Wade, LF

LHP Jordan Montgomery

Rays (93-64)

Tommy Pham, LF
Austin Meadows, RF
Jesús Aguilar, DH
Travis d’Arnaud, C
Ji-Man Choi, 1B
Matt Duffy, 3B
Joey Wendle, 2B
Willy Adames, SS
Kevin Kiermaier, CF

RHP Yonny Chirinos

News & Notes

  • Gary Sánchez caught James Paxton’s and Masahiro Tanaka’s bullpens today and is aiming to get back by the end of the Texas series aka the end of the regular season.
  • Gleyber Torres is back in the lineup and in the field. For now, crisis averted.
  • Aaron Hicks shagged fly balls before today’s game and is increasing his throwing to 120 feet. He’s hoping to return at some point in the playoffs. Even if he doesn’t, showing he’s healthy helps the roster picture going into the winter.

Tonight’s game is a 7:10 p.m. start on YES and WFAN. It’s in a dome, so rain shouldn’t stop the game. However, you never know with the Trop. Enjoy the game!