Notes: Joe Girardi (illness) will be a game-time decision but it looks like he will be on the bench. … The Yankees have yet to drop a player to make room for Pettitte but it appears Jon Albaladejo will be optioned out. … Dionner Navarro cut his hand on the dugout railing yesterday and needed 12 stitches. He’s on the 15-day DL and Mike DiFelice is with the Rays as the backup to Riggan.
Yankees vs. Jackson: Abreu 0-8, Cano 2-8, Jeter 4-8, Matsui 3-9, Cabrera 3-7, Damon 0-7, Rodriguez 2-7, Betemit 0-4, Ensberg 0-2, Giambi 0-3, Molina 0-3, Posada 1-2, Duncan 0-2.
UPDATE, 12:51 p.m.: Joe Girardi is too sick to manage again, so Rob Thomson will be the main voice on the bench. Girardi is still in his office, we’re told. If he’s that sick, shouldn’t be home in bed?
Meanwhile, the Yankees have optioned Jonathan Albaladejo to Triple-A Scranton.
UPDATE, 1:00 p.m.: There’s a little wind but it’s a bee-yoo-tiful day here at the ballpark. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky, green grass, the whole deal.
UPDATE, 1:06 p.m.: There were loud cheers for Andy Pettitte as he jogged out to the mound. He’s limited to around 80 pitches and the bullpen got knocked around a little bit today, so the Yankees could have some issues unless he goes five or six innings.
And we’re undway. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 1:11 p.m.: If you’re interested, and I can’t see how, famed Daily News writer Anthony McCarron will be doing a little live-blogging himself over at Blogging The Bombers. A-Mac is filling in for that lazy Mark Feinsand, who is supposedly spending the weekend with his wife and young son.
11 pitches for Pettitte in the first inning. … Meanwhile, Carlos Pena has nine HRs in his 13 games against the Yankees. … That is the infamous Elliot Johnson DH’ing for Tampa Bay.
UPDATE, 1:24 p.m.: A-Rod just hit a rocket to the base of the wall in left and Damon scored from first standing up. As Dom Amore of the Courant just noted, with Damon and Abreu running well, A-Rod could drive in 10 extra runs.
UPDATE, 1:32 p.m.: Check it out, the famed Yankees Chick was the subject of a piece in the Buffalo News. The YC often comments here. Why the Buffalo News would be interested in the California cutie, we have no idea. But good for her.
Meanwhile, Eliot Johnson came to the plate and nobody booed. Bad job.
UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: The Yankees are up 1-0 and are playing terribly. They loaded the bases with one out in the second and didn’t score and Duncan just threw a ball into left field. Tampa has the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning and Pettitte already has thrown 35 pitches.
UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: Wow, did James Hoye just blow a call at second on a force play. Break for the Yankees as they get an out while a run scores.
UPDATE, 2:03 p.m.: You can’t let the runner go to third on that sacrifice fly. That’s terrible baseball by the Yankees. This game has not exactly been a clinic on fundamentals.
UPDATE, 2:19 p.m.: The Yankees are 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position today and 3 for 28 this season.
UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: This will likely be the last inning for Pettitte, and that assumes he gets through it. He’s at 76 pitches.
UPDATE, 2:46 p.m.: Well, Andy Pettitte was doing just fine until Jonny Gomes took him deep. Now it’s 5-1 and with the Yankees lifeless on offense again, they’re in trouble.
UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: It’s only 4.5 games but the Yankees have been outscored 27-13 so far this season.
Pettitte: 5 8 5 3 2 3. One home run, two hit batters. I have him for 86 pitches, 55 strikes. He wasn’t that bad but the 2-2 pitch to Gomes cost him a good outing.
UPDATE, 2:55 p.m.: Betemit hitting for Giambi. So apparently The Big G is injured. That didn’t take long. No word yet on what ails him but my guess would be something to do with his legs.
This is pretty grim.
UPDATE, 3:18 p.m.: Six up and six down by Brian Bruney, four by K’s. But Jackson has retired nine straight. Still 5-1.
UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: Giambi has a sore left groin and is listed as day-to-day. Meanwhile, the Yankees won’t have Shelley Duncan on Sunday and Monday as he sits out his suspension. So that leaves them when either Betmit or Ensberg at first and a two-player bench.
But the important thing is that Duncan defended the honor of Francisco Cervelli in a spring training game.
UPDATE, 3:29 p.m.: Willy Aybar, whoever he is, just crushed one off Ross Ohlendorf. 6-1 Rays and the Yankees haven’t had a hit since the fourth inning.
UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: The patient is alive. Three singles have loaded the bases with no outs against Trevor Miller in the 8th.
UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: Bottom of the ninth, down 6-3. The Yankees will be facing Troy Percival.
Back later with some updates from the clubhouse.