Here are the lineups:
Mussina RHP (2-3, 6.25)
Contreras RHP (4-5, 4.29)
Pregame chatter: Joe Torre said he felt he had to give Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada a day off to maintain their health. Neither took BP. Jeter is 8 for 40 on the road trip. … Doug Mientkiewicz spoke to Torre and said his back and neck were feeling better. The main issue is his fratcured wrist. … Huge start for Mussina, who is 0-2 with a 7.33 ERA in his last four starts.
UPDATE, 10:13 a.m.: Sorry for the lack of updates. Been writing about the draft pick and doing my early edition stories. The time change, even an hour, does not help with the blogging. Nice of MLB to make the Yankees play a night game on getaway day.
The reason defensive metrics are generally worthless is that play in the top of the seventh inning. A good first baseman, a decent one even, makes that play. But Phelps froze and it cost the Yankees a run. He has played four games at first and this is what he’s done: 3 for 12, three DPs, 4 Ks, an error.
UPDATE, 10:53 p.m.: Bobby Abreu is 12 of his last 25 with seven walks, seven runs scored and five RBI. His batting average has climbed from .228 to .257 in seven games. Jermaine Dye? No chance. … Forget Carl Pavano, at least he doesn’t hurt the Yankees any more. Kyle Farnsworth is the biggest mistake Brian Cashman has made with a pitcher. The guy is just not reliable and never has been.
If the Yankees get away a win on a night Jeter and Posada weren’t in the starting lineup, that’ll be impressive. The win also would be No. 2,000 for Joe Torre. He would be one of 10 managers with that many. It was all talent, of course.
UPDATE, 11:08 p.m.: Next time you complain about the Yankee bullpen, consider Chicago. Did Kenny Williams throw darts at a board of names? … Gotta hand it to Jeter. Sits all day then gets a walk to start a rally and singles. … Melky Cabrera is 11 of 26 since he started playing every day in center. … If A-Rod gets up this inning he will crank one.
Alex is an interesting cat. He sat his locker today talking about the draft (turns out he had met Andrew Brackman through a friend) and talking about his experience getting drafted and signing. When he is just being himself and talking about baseball, Alex is very interesting to talk to. When he’s trying to be Alex Rodriguez, Inc., it’s not the same.
UPDATE, 11:19 p.m.: Sweet.
UPDATE, 11:28 p.m.: The Yanks are rolling now. Three straight and six of eight. They’re still only 27-31 but that’s going to change in a hurry. They’re swinging the bats now and getting good starts on most nights. Add in Clemens and this will get interesting in a hurry.
A-Rod has 22 homers and 56 RBI in 58 games.