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Giants vs. Yankees, 4/28

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Dereck Rodríguez (RHP; 3-2, 4.04 FIP) vs. Domingo Germán (RHP; 4-1, 2.90 FIP)

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The Giants will try to use their unheralded superpower of avoiding a series sweep, but this time against the mighty New York Yankees, who’ve looked positively unbothered or inconvenienced by the Giants’ presence through the eighteen innings played so far.

It would be the third sweep of the season for the Yankees if they can pull it off — and, well, think happy thoughts, I suppose. The Yankees’ backup squad lineup will appear once more, with a little bit of a wrinkle:

Brett Gardner in the third spot shouldn’t be totally shocking, but it certainly raises an eyebrow. Yeah, he’s slugging .448 in the first month of the season, but he has a career slugging of just .392, and he’s 35 years old. This is definitely a move Bruce Bochy would make, which means that Yankees manager Aaron Boone might be honoring the long-time manager as sort of a weird retirement gift?

Meanwhile, Domingo Germán is a 26 year old righy whom the Yankees acquired in 2014 in the Martin Prado trade. Oh, you don’t remember that? That’s when the Yankees traded Martin Prado (whom they had acquired at the 2014 trade deadline from Arizona in their 84-78 season) and David Phelps for Germán, Garrett Jones, and Nathan Eovaldi. Ahem.

He started 14 games for the Yankees last season and struck out 102 in 85.2 IP. In his last two starts of this season (he’s made four overall), he has 14 strikeouts to 1 walk and has allowed just 10 hits (2 home runs). His fastball averages 93.7 mph, but it’s his curveball that really does damage (50% Whiff Rate).

He’ll be facing the Giants’ steadiest starter so far in 2019: Dereck Rodríguez. He has a decision in all five of his starts (3-2), and so far, despite not having much strikeout stuff (7.1 strikeouts per 9), he’s limited the walks (just 5 in 28 IP) and hits (a 1.000 WHIP overall). He’ll need to be practically perfect if this makeshift lineup is to get him or the team a win:

Steven Duggar is out of the lineup despite feeling better after sustaining a wrist injury on Friday night thanks to the bullpen mound. He has not had a good season — really, only Brandon Belt has had a decent one so far; although, Buster Posey is heating up — but he’s been even worse the past five games (.150 / .227 / .150 in 22 PA), so, this isn’t too shocking a decision, no matter the reason.

Joe Panik is still striking out well below league average (he’s at 10% — average is around 22%), but his Isolated Power of literally .085 is staggeringly bad (league average is .178) and his .190 batting average on balls in play would be considered extremely unlucky under normal circumstances, but he’s simply not hitting the ball very hard and it has reduced his utility to a backup defender.

Just gotta go out and play hard!