Update, 11:16 p.m.: Funny how things work. A day after he committed three errors, there have been eight grounders hit to Robinson Cano at second base so far tonight. Meanwhile, the idea that Mariano Rivera is unreliable or finished is just ridiculous. He’s throwing 94-mph fastballs and nobody can get a decent swing on him. I think it was Marty Miller’s fault.
Anyway, time to hit the clubhouse. Thanks for reading and let me know how you like this tweak of the new format. Back later with some audio.
Update, 11:13 p.m.: Good night for Bobby Abreu: 2 for 3 with two walks. The walks are a key for Abreu as it shows he is getting his eye back. He has drawn three walks in the last two games.
Update, 10:49 p.m.: Leaving Scott Proctor in for a second inning is quite a condemnation of Kyle Farnsworth. Or you can look at it as trying to rest the pen with the Red Sox coming to town. I would have left Clippard in for the seventh then gone Bruney and Rivera. Mo needs an inning.
Update, 10:36 p.m.: I guess Proctor was ready. Proctor has been great lately but I would have let Clippard at least start the inning. Perhaps the long top of the inning changed Torre’s mind.
But great job by Clippard: 6 3 1 1 3 6. One of the walks was intentional. He threw 95 pitches, 54 strikes.
Update, 10:20 p.m.: Did you see how A-Rod had his front down down when he made contact? When players talk about having, “a good base” that’s what they mean. As strong as he is, you need balance to hit well. I’d wager that Alex watched some tape in between at-bats and made the adjustjment.
Meanwhile, nobody is warming up for the Yankees. The Yankee Clippard will go into the seventh. Quite a job by the kid.
Update, 9:46 p.m.: Jorge Posada is having some kind of season. His conditioning drills with Tony Pena the last two years have really paid off. He’s been carrying 215 pounds for two years now and his athleticism is better than ever. It’s amazing to see a catcher at this stage of his career get better.
Update, 9:30 p.m.: Larry Bowa must be a heck of a coach. He talked to Tyler Clippard for 30 seconds and the kid put down a perfect sac bunt. That was the key to the inning. Of course Jeter burying one in the bleachers didn’t hurt. Meanwhile, if you’re John Maine, you can’t be walking Doug Mientkiewicz.
Update, 9:07 p.m.: I’m certainly no batting coach. But Alex Rodriguez has that high leg kick back again and his swing is off-balance. He was reaching for a ball in that last at-bat he had no chance of getting to. The Yankees have left four players in scoring position in the first three innings. They’re missing their chance against Maine.
Then again, perhaps it should not be a surprise. Counting tonight they are 10 of 55 (.182) with runners in scoring position in the last seven games.
Update, 8:25 p.m.: 14 pitches, 12 strikes for Tyler Clippard. Very impressive. He was the first player in the clubhouse today and was in his uniform pants at 4 p.m. Must be a great feeling, that first game in the majors. He was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Senior League World Series 2001.” I didn’t ask him if he played in that but I suspect he did. Clippard is 22 and was drafted in 2003 out of J.W. Mitchell HS in Florida.
Here are the lineups:
Clippard RHP (0-0, 0.00)
Lo Duca C
Maine RHP (5-1, 2.15)
Pregame chatter: Darrell Rasner had surgery on his fractured finger last night and is expected to be out three months. … Matt DeSalvo is getting skipped and is available in the bullpen tonight. … Kei Igawa pitched for Class A Tampa last night. His line: 4 3 2 0 2 2. He will stay in Tampa but could be considered for Friday’s game against the Angels. But more likely it will be DeSalvo or Clippard. … Speaking of Tampa, have you been watching Ian Kennedy? The 2006 first-round pick was great again today. His line against Jupiter: 7 5 0 0 2 9. Kennedy is 5-1 with a 1.24 ERA.
We’re going with the new in-game format again tonight. I’m going to try posting my updates at the top of this post, so the latest update would be first. Let’s see how it works.