Rangers RHP Griffin looks to continue success vs. Yankees (Sep 10, 2017)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Don't ask Texas Rangers right-hander A.J. Griffin to explain his success against the New York Yankees.
It's because he doesn't have a good answer heading into the rubber game of the three-game series against New York Sunday.
"I just try and go out there and pitch," said Griffin. "They have a pretty different team than the last time I faced them. I just go out there and try to get everyone out like I always do."
While Griffin (6-5, 5.09 ERA) doesn't have a secret, the results say otherwise. In his five career starts against the Yankees, Griffin is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA. The ERA is Griffin's second-lowest against any team has faced more than once.
He hasn't faced the Yankees since June 30, 2016 in New York when he allowed one run and two hits in five innings of a no-decision. Griffin's last win against the Yankees was April 26, 2016, in Texas when he allowed one run and four hits in eight innings.
Griffin will be fresh for the start as Texas will look to win its fourth-consecutive series.
He'll be pitching after seven days off as the club didn't announce Griffin would be the starter until Friday. Griffin knew he was getting the nod Wednesday and threw a bullpen Thursday.
He doesn't think the extra rest will impact him.
"I'm just going to try and be as ready as I can," he said. "I threw a bullpen on the off day (Thursday). I tried to stay on schedule like that."
Griffin was in line for a win in his last start as he pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs against the Los Angeles Angels. That start continued a solid recent run for Griffin, who has a 4.20 ERA since coming off the disabled list Aug. 2 with a left intercostal strain.
The Yankees will send lefty Jordan Montgomery (7-7, 4.14) to the hill opposite Griffin. Like Griffin, he wasn't announced as the starter until Friday.
He'll also be pitching with extra rest after he lasted just 4 2/3 innings in his last start Monday at Baltimore.
New York is just 3-8 in Montgomery's last 11 starts, and he hasn't won since July 25 against Cincinnati.
One issue that has hampered Montgomery has been his inability to pitch deep in games. Montgomery hasn't pitched more than 5 1/3 innings in a start since the win against the Reds when he pitched 6 2/3 innings. In three of his last six starts he hasn't made it past the fifth inning.
Some of that's by design as the Yankees want to watch his innings with him already at 134 2/3 for the season.
"I would love to get six innings out of him," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "Again, he hasn't been stretched out as much lately just because we've been trying to conserve a little bit. We'll go inning by inning with him. Again, he's pitched well. He's pitched really well for us. We have more concerns about his innings. But we've kind of managed it and it's a pretty good situation."
The Yankees would love for Montgomery to replicate Saturday when Luis Severino combined with David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman on a one-hitter in 3-1 win.