I am curious to see exactly “What Will Joe Do” tonight. Barring the return of Brian Gordon from Japan, we know that none of the eight pitchers who made a start for the Yankees this year will make one tonight. We also know that apart from Logan, Ayala and Hughes, the regular bullpen guys are not going to pitch. My guess is we see Betances make his first big league start. He would be on a strict pitch count, but he is probably the only guy down in the bullpen who you could expect to get you to the 4th or 5th inning right now.

I also want to see what Girardi does with the lineup. I imagine we will see the regular lineup tonight, but at some point those guys are going to be sent to the bench. When that happens probably has something to do with the score of the game, but I wouldn’t expect to see any of the regulars in the later innings. So, we may start out with a lineup that looks like this:


And end with one that looks like this


So, if you are a Red Sox fan, you better hope the Yankees score early and often because the Yankee closer tonight is probably Luis Ayala and the lineup isn’t going to look very good in the late innings.

It’s going to make for a weird night of baseball, here are a few things I will be watching for league-wide in no particular order.

Will the Cardinals have to make another huge comeback against Houston? Lost in the stories of the Braves collapse is how bad the lowly Astros have made St. Louis look this week. Houston may have lost 105 games this year, but they are making the Cardinals work. Monday they jumped out to a 4-0 lead and then won in extras. Last night they had a 5-0 lead and lost it. Either way, kudos to the Astros.

On the flip side, do the Braves have anything left? They are at home, playing a Phillies team that has nothing on the line and not getting the job done. Last night they got demolished. If they fall behind again tonight, it could get ugly.

Will the Red Sox really trade for Bruce Chen? I don’t ever recall a trade made for a player who could only start one game and that game isn’t even a certainty.
Can the Tigers win and the Rangers lose? That’s what the Yankees need to have happen tonight to avoid Detroit in the first round. But, it is probably worth noting that the two best teams in the AL since September 1st are Detroit and Texas. Pick your poison.

The MLB.TV app let’s you watch four games at once. I will be taking full advantage of that tonight.