Notes: The Orioles are 15-13 against the Yankees over the last two seasons, 104-135 against everybody else. It has something to do with Kevin Millar destroying the Yankees. … Jeter has hit safely in nine straight at 13 of 41 (.317). … Jason Giambi is 4 for 20 since the All-Star break. And you would think four days in Vegas would be relaxing. … Damon is back in left for the first time since he got hurt on July 4.
PITCHING PROBLEMS: The Yankees have allowed 32 hits and 22 runs in their last 17 innings.
STEADY EDDIE: It would seem Edwar Ramirez may not be a one-trick pony after all. It’s hard to ignore what he has done. He has gone 13 innings without allowing a run and 11 innings without giving up a hit. His line in the last 11 appearances: 13 1 0 0 3 17.
TRADE TALK: The Yankees seem to be expanding their horizons in search of a starter. There does not seem to be a great difference-maker available but they only need somebody better than Rasner or Sidney Ponson.
Back at the stadium, hopped up on Red Bull and ready to go. Check back later for updates. Oh, and thanks to everybody who has been sending in e-mails about seeing Springsteen last night. Great to see that so many Yankees fans are fans of the real Boss, too.
UPDATE, 4:16 p.m.: Chien-Ming Wang got his cast off today and X-rays revealed that his foot fracture has healed.
He will wear a walking boot and use his crutches for another week or so. He also has been fitted for a special insole that will cushion his foot. That is scheduled to arrive in a week. At that point, he will head down to Tampa and start rehabbing.
If Wang is starting his rehab on or around Aug. 5, it’s just about unrealistic to think he can help the Yankees much this season. It’s going to take him 4-5 weeks to get ready to pitch again. Said Wang: “I want to pitch this year. We’ll see.”
UPDATE, 6:01 p.m.: Bad news for the Yankees: Mark Teixeira to the Angels for Casey Kotchman. The Yankees have 10 games left against the Angels.
UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: Brian Cashman just spoke to some reporters. “Realistically, I don’t see anything happening,” he said.
He said the pitching options are Rasner and Ponson with Kennedy and Aceves in AAA and Hughes starting his rehab.
But keep in mind that the trade deadline is sort of an artificial one. A guy like Jarrod Washburn would clear waivers easily and could be dealt in August. The real deadline is Aug. 31 when the rosters have to be set.
UPDATE, 6:39 p.m.: This from the AP in Tampa:
New York Yankees left-hander Eric Milton took another step in his comeback from elbow surgery by throwing 35 pitches Tuesday in his first simulated game.
Milton, who had surgery in June 2007, went 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA in six starts with Cincinnati last season. The 32-year-old Milton could be ready to pitch in a minor league game in the next few weeks.
The Yankees signed Milton to a minor league contract on July 11, returning the pitcher to the organization that originally picked him 20th overall in the 1996 draft.
Also, right-hander Victor Zambrano threw 46 pitches in his second simulated game, and Shelly Duncan batted. Duncan, a first baseman-outfielder, separated his shoulder while making a diving catch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on July 1.
Free agent left-hander Joey Eischen worked out, throwing 37 pitches.
Andrew Brackman, who had an appendectomy on June 10, is scheduled to throw off the mound Thursday. He was taken by the Yankees in the first round of the 2007 draft.
UPDATE, 7:11 p.m.: Well, at this point Rasner should just give up and walk Markakis every time. He breaks his bat and he still gets a single. Markakis is now 10 for 12 aganst Rasner.
UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: The Charleston game that Hughes and some other guy – Karl Pagano or something – are supposed to pitch in is being delayed by rain.
I would think the Yankees will be far more interested in how Ian Kennedy pitches for Scranton tonight. I realize they’re trying to make him earn his way. But if he pitches well again, it becomes silly to keep him in the minors and keep running Sidney Ponson out there.
UPDATE, 7:29 p.m.: I hate to say it. But it could be time for The Big G to shave the ‘stache. He has been pretty brutal of late (4 for 21) and leaving men on bases in bunches.
UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: Carl Pavano threw two innings for Charleston 2 1 0 0 1 4. Cashman made sure to say today that they had no expectations of him pitching in the majors this season. They’ll let him rehab and then that will be that.
Hughes is now in the game.
Meanwhile, stop complaining about Rasner. This is what a No. 5 starter does, he holds a team like Baltimore to two runs over five or six innings. You want him to be Cy Young. This game, so far, is on the offense.
UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Phil Hughes threw two innings for Charleston. One hit, one walk, no K’s. 14 pitches/10 strikes.
Alas, he slapped Pavano on the back and said “Good job” and fractured Pavano’s spine. Joe Girardi said he was day to day.
UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: But wait! Hughes pitched a third inning. His line was 3 2 0 0 1 1. 28 pitches, 20 strikes.
UPDATE, 9:03 p.m.: Rasner did what they needed him to do, although pushing him into the seventh inning might have been asking a little too much.
This team just can’t solve Cabrera this season. He has thrown 19 innings against the Yankees and allowed five runs.
UPDATE, 9:07 p.m.: Rasner had not pitched into the seventh inning since June 6. Not a surprise what happened.
Meanwhile, Marte is getting rocked and this game is all but over.
UPDATE, 9:37 p.m.: That was weird. You almost never see a pitcher ejected for hitting a batter without warnings first being issued, although the umpires have a right to do that.
Either Chad Fairchild is wildly overreacting or perhaps Cabrera had words with A-Rod earlier the game. Did A-Rod pose after his home run?
Cabrera is known for being wild. Whatever it was, he’s out.
UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: A-Rod had a very animated discussion at second base with Brian Roberts.
Meanwhile, Baltimore just fell asleep and let a run score.
Bobby Meacham held A-Rod despite Adam Jones conceding the run. So A-Rod looked and went himself.
UPDATE, 9:44 p.m.: I have to assume Xavier Nady was being saved for Moeller. Man, Betemit is brutal.
UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: It sure is weird how Mo pitches differently when it’s not a save situation. It’s to the point where it’s not a quirk.
UPDATE, 10:06 p.m.: That home run Mo gave up really hurts now.