Notes: Thanks to Brian Heyman for calling in the lineup. … The Yankees are trying for their third straight series sweep at home. They have won nine straight games at the Stadium. … Yankees have won five straight and 10 out of 13 overall. … The Yanks are 19 of 56 (.339) with RISP since the break. … Cano is 12 of his last 23 with seven RBI and is at .366 (24 of 67) this month. … A-Rod is 15 for 16 on SBs this season. … The bullpen has a 1.60 ERA since the second game of the June 27 Mets doubleheader.
MINNESOTA MOOSE: Mike Mussina is 21-6, 3.18 against the Twins in his career. He beat the Twins back on May 30, allowing two ER in six innings. Moose has beaten the Twins more than any other team he has faced except for the Blue Jays.
WE MEET AGAIN: Mussina beat Perkins in that May 30. The lefty allowed five runs on 10 hits in four innings with two walks and no strikeouts. Perkins is 3-0, 2.42 in his last four starts, however. He shut Texas out for six innings on Friday. Perkins will be pitching at Yankee Stadium for the first time.
* * * * * * * * * * JORGE POSADA UPDATE, 11:26 a.m. * * * * * * * * *
Jorge Posada stepped up with the information. The MRI showed that his labrum is worse and that he has capsule damage. He will need surgery and a six-month rehab. However … he will try rehabbing for the next two weeks and consider trying to return as a DH and first baseman.
Posada said the Yankees are willing to have him play again this season even if it means missing part of next season. But if he comes back this season, he won’t catch.
“Catching is out of the question,” he said.
It seems curious to me that they would not want Posada ready to start next season, especially given how ineffective he was as a hitter. Obviously the injury has hampered his ability at the plate. But we’ll see what happens in a few weeks.
UPDATE, 1:07 p.m.: The decision to delay surgery for Jorge Posada is being driven, at least partly, by team president Randy Levine according to several people close to the situation. He thinks the Yankees need to get some return on the money they spent on Posada.
Why Levine would get involved in baseball and medical decisions isn’t certain, but he has that right as team president. That could explain why the Yankees were being so reticent to give information out.
Posada also revealed that he called Joe Torre to ask for advice. Obviously he wants the opinion of somebody outside the organization. Posada is not the kind of guy who would mindlessly do what the team asks. He’ll try and do what is right.
For now, Posada will try and rehab without throwing and come back as a hitter. But understand this: Once he has surgery, he will need six months to rehab. So every day that they delay surgery is another day that takes away from Posada being ready for spring training and the 2009 season.
UPDATE, 1:33 p.m.: What’s with all the first-pitch swinging? The Yankees seem eager to start their day off. Or maybe beat the rain.
UPDATE, 2:05 p.m.: Just spoke to Brian Cashman, who said the decision on Posada involves everybody from the trainers on up to ownership. He feels that Posada would fill a need the team has now “better than anything I can get in a trade” so he wants to see whether rehab is possible.
“We’ll have a tough decision to make in 13 days,” he said. “We’ll just have to see where he is.”
UPDATE, 2:09 p.m.: Meanwhile, back at the baseball, why do the Yankees insist on stealing bases with A-Rod up? Abreu is now 13 of 20. That is not good enough to continue the risk, not with Alex at the plate. With the lineup the Yankees have, outs have the greatest value. The Yankees have become carelessly aggressive on the bases.
UPDATE, 2:19 p.m.: Huge mental error there by Twins 2B Alexi Casilla. He thought there was one out when he forced Cabrera at second. Minnesota had an easy double play with Molina running. It would have ended the inning.
Then Christian comes up and drives in two runs. With rain on the way, that could be a huge play.
UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Giambi makes that play … mainly because he plays about a foot off the bag.
UPDATE, 2:31 p.m.: Imagine if I (or anybody else) wrote in spring training that Mike Mussina would clearly be the most consistent and successful starter this season? He has a 3.32 ERA at the moment.
Nobody, even Mussina, throught this was possible. He’s the comeback player of the year.
UPDATE, 2:46 p.m.: Say what you want about Richie Sexson but he’s been helpful so far and he’s a heck of a lot better at first base than Wilson Betemit late in a game. For $161,000, what harm is it? He’s certainly more helpful than Billy Traber.
Meanwhile, the offense must keeps motoring along.
UPDATE, 2:56 p.m.: Mooooooooooooooose!
Meanwhile, if the Yankees are going to insist on playing God Bless America every day, can they at least find another version? Kate Smith died 22 years ago.
Why not have the moment of silence for the troops before the National Anthem every day and save God Bless America for Sundays?
UPDATE, 3:12 p.m.: The Moose comes back out for the 8th inning.
UPDATE, 3:16 p.m.: Moose is finished for the day. His ERA is down to 3.26. Another brilliant performance. Where would the Yankees be without him?
UPDATE, 3:36 p.m.: This a total waste of bullets for Mariano. Either leave Moose in or bring in a pitcher who can get some outs like Robertson or Giese.
This could be it for Hawkins. Might as well bring Bruney back now.
UPDATE, 3:39 p.m.: Not exactly the greatest save ever, but Mo will take it. That’s six straight for the pinstripes and 11 games over.