Notes: The Yankees have lost two straight, three of four and five of seven. … The Yankees have scored two runs in their last 24 innings, hitting 13 of 79 (.165) in that stretch. … Jose Molina is 3 for 41 with one RBI. … Melky Cabrera is for 4 for 19 in his last five games with one RBI. … Kyle Farnsworth has allowed one run in his last 9.2 innings. … The Yankees are 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position in this series. … If you’re keeping track at home, that’s 36 lineups in 41 games.
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 6:10 p.m.: Joe Girardi held a team meeting before batting practice. The gathering started at 4:53 p.m. and broke up just before 5:30 p.m. “I wanted to speak to the club,” said Girardi, who added that he spoke “from his heart.”
Girardi disagrees with Hank Steinbrenner’s take that the team lacks energy. He just thinks the Yankees aren’t playing very well.
To be honest, what do people expect? They don’t have Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, the back end of the rotation has been a mess and the bench has been virtually useless. Sweeny Murti figured out that the players who have replaced A-Rod and Posada have 5 RBI in the last 13 games. Talk about VORP.
There are 122 games left. Evaluate the Yankees when they’re whole. Didn’t anybody watch last season?
UPDATE, 6:28 p.m.: Here’s the pre-game audio from Joe Girardi:
UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: The Rays announced 20 minutes before the game that they signed LHP Scott Kazmir to a three-year extension worth $28.5 million. There’s an team option in 2012 worth $11 million.
Another smart move by a franchise that hasn’t made too many mistakes lately. Kazmir is 36-30, 3.36 in his career.
UPDATE, 7:25 p.m.: Word is that Hank Steinbrenner is in the house. Surely now the Yankees will win. Perhaps he’ll coach third for a few innings.
UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: That was one of those “No, no, no, Melky, throw to second … hey, heck of a throw.”
The Yankees have scored two runs in the last 26 innings and hit 14 of 87 (.161). That’s hard to do.
UPDATE, 7:55 p.m.: The Moose has allowed 8 ERs on 25 hits in his last 26 innings. You’d take that from every starter.
UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Hank is a genius. Yankees lead 1-0.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Forget to mention this before but Jeff Karstens threw 5 innings in an extended spring training game today. “I got to 56 pitches and I felt great,” he said. “I gave up five hits but those guys swing at everything.”
Karstens will start a rehab assignment on Monday with Class A Tampa. He hopes to be ready for the majors within a few weeks.
Karstens could be used as a starter if needed. Or the Yankees could use him in the bullpen as a long man and dump one of the extra right-handers they’re carrying.
UPDATE, 8:21 p.m.: A little pop-fly double by Abreu makes it 2-0. Now watch the game change. The Rays can’t play the way they want to play down a couple of runs.
Moose needs to keep pitching well. But trailing by a couple takes away some weapons for the Rays.
These are two big innings for the Moose, who needs to show he’s not a five-inning pitcher.
UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: The Yankees have to win now. The Big G just sprawled in the dirt to snare a ball and made an acccurate throw to Mike Mussina as he got to the bag.
When The Big G has a web gem, it guarantees victory.
Now he’s up. Maybe he’ll clock one.
UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: Or maybe he’ll ground into the shift.
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: You might want to go batter to batter with him at this point. But leave the Moose in for the seventh. He’s cruising. He’s retired seven of the last eight batters and 12 of the last 14.
Nobody warming up.
UPDATE, 9:05 p.m.: This is an awful lot of faith to show in Ross Ohlendorf. Big spot for him. Obviously they’re looking for Floyd to ground into a double play.
Tremendous job by Mussina, five hits and one walk over 6.1 innings. No runs so far.
Only 87 pitches for Moose.
UPDATE, 9:10 p.m.: Nobody warming up. This inning is up to Ohlendorf. They’re taking a heck of a chance with a rookie.
UPDATE, 9:12 p.m.: Ladies and Gentlemen, the captain of the Yankees, Derek Sanderson Jeter. The statheads hate on his defense. But the man makes plays when the Yankees need plays to be made.
UPDATE, 9:36 p.m.: Back on the horse goes Mariano Rivera. Just a hunch, but he will be lights out. The man knows his business.
No fist pump from Joba. I was hoping he would leap into the stands and high five every Yankee fan here.
UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: Four hits by Robbie Cano and he’s over the Mendoza line at .205. He’s 14 for 40 in May.