WASHINGTON — The Phillies will catch a break this week when the Yankees come to town. Starting catcher Gary Sanchez is likely headed to the DL after coming up lame on a groundball in extra innings Sunday.
Sanchez was trying to leg out a double-play ball in the top of the 10th in Tampa Bay when he injured his groin area. He walked off the field carefully, and after the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters his catcher is likely going on the shelf. Monday's MRI will determine it.
It's a break for the Phils against a ridiculously deep Yankees lineup. Sanchez is hitting just .190, but he's a huge power threat with 14 homers and 14 doubles. Since 2016, Sanchez has 67 home runs despite averaging just 340 plate appearances per season over that span. It's by far the most HR hit by any player with that few PAs.
Even with Sanchez out, the Phils will have to deal with a formidable offense. You've got Aaron Judge batting second with his league-best power and .393 OBP. You've got Giancarlo Stanton, who's heating up and went 5 for 5 with a pair of doubles Sunday. Rookie Miguel Andujar has been better than anyone anticipated, entering the week hitting .284 with 11 homers, 35 RBI and a .836 OPS.
But because the series is at Citizens Bank Park and the Yankees won't have a DH, they likely won't play Aaron Hicks. In effect, the Yankees will be without their regular Nos. 5 and 6 hitters.
The pitching matchups for the series are:
Monday — Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.82) vs. Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0, 3.12)
Tuesday — Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.42) vs. Luis Severino (11-2, 2.24)
Wednesday — Zach Eflin (5-2, 3.42) vs. Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.00)
Loaisiga has a great nickname: Johnny Lasagna.
Severino is one of the AL's toughest customers.
Cessa has not started a game this season and has a 4.54 ERA in 14 career starts.