Ian Kennedy (0-3, 7.41) has never faced any of the Los Angeles hitters.
Notes: The Yankees have won two straight and four of their last six. … The Yankees are 2-2 on their 10-game journey across America. … The Yankees knocked around Weaver back on Aug. 2. He allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings. Betemit, Abreu, Molina and A-Rod hit home runs. … Still no Pudge Rodriguez (knee) while Melky returns from a four-game “rest” to play center. He’s 3 of his last 24 and has one RBI since July 9.
OVERDUE A-ROD: A-Rod is 0 for his last 15 with four GIDPs and four strikeouts. But he is .322/.399/.678 in his career at this stadium.
WELCOME HOME: Ian Kennedy, the pride of USC, is pitching at the Big A for the first time.
WHAT, AGAIN? RHP Chris Britton was optioned to Scranton for the 234th time this season.
Back later with some updates.
UPDATE, 10:09 p.m.: Pudge Rodriguez said his knee feels better and he hopes to play tomorrow. He tried squatting and felt some discomfort, hence Jose Molina. … Ian Kennedy was very happy to see everybody, he flew in yesterday. … Dan Giese will have 50 people at the game tomorrow. He was born in Anaheim, grew up in Riverside and his folks now live in San Clemente.
This is a nice story: Giese’s parents are having a party tomorrow night. Dave Robertson is going down for it. So is Johnny Damon. Nice guy that Johnny Damon.
UPDATE, 10:17 p.m.: Joe Girardi looked surprised when he heard what Joba said today (see previous post).
â€œIâ€™m not going to speculate when heâ€™s going to come back because I donâ€™t want to put any pressure on him,” he said. “But players always think they can come back the next day.â€
Girardi went on to say that the Yankees will be “very cautious” with Chamberlain.
Within the organization, the thought is that Chamberlain could pitch in September.
UPDATE, 10:22 p.m.: I think Johnny would have caught that ball if Melky has not been so close to him. You have to love Johnny, going into a wall a month after be screwed up his shoulder doing the same thing. The guy plays hard.
UPDATE, 10:25 p.m.: Cue the “Kennedy stinks” posters. But only a fool would judge him now. He’s appearing in his 12th big league start and he has a grand total of 260 professional innings under his belt.
UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: That’s 25 homers for A-Rod. 17 of them have come with the bases empty.
UPDATE, 11:17 p.m.: I’m not ready to declare Ian Kennedy a non-prospect. But that was pretty awful. A few of the nine hits were bleeders but there were a few rockets, too.
UPDATE, 11:45 p.m.: OK, here’s my Vlad Guerrero story:
I was covering the AA Norwich Navigators in 1996. They were a Yankees affiliate then. The new stadium in Norwich was huge and everybody was having having trouble hitting homers. The Yankees, in fact, ordered the dimensions changed in 1997. But in ’96, homers were few and far between.
The Harrisburg Senators come to town one week with 19-year-old Vlad Guerrero in the lineup. The first game, he crushes two over the right-field fence. I venture into their clubhouse afterward and tell him in my half-ass college Spanish that the Norwich players complained all the time about the dimensions.
“Not me,” he said with a smile. “No problem.”
The next night, Norwich won’t throw a strike to him. He walks his first time and in his second plate appearance, the pitcher is bouncing curveballs trying to get him to chase. Vlad hits a curveball off the bounce for a double off the wall. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The Norwich catcher was a guy named Jaime Torres. “Did he really do that?” I asked him. Jaime confirmed it, shaking his head in amazement. Ever since then, Vlad has been one of my favorite players.
I asked him a few years ago if he remembered playing in Norwich. He didn’t. But I’ll never forget it.
UPDATE, 12:08 a.m.: Rasner is giving them a chance to win this game. Be interesting to see what happens with this spot in the rotation now. They might need to make a move tonight to get a long reliever type here tomorrow.
UPDATE, 12:21 a.m.: I should say Rasner was keeping them in the game.
Meanwhile, Torii Hunter is the man. 4 for 4 with a dinger, four RBI and a nice catch.
UPDATE, 12:53 p.m.: And that’s that. The Yankees have lost 8 of their last 13 games. They are 6.5 behind Tampa but still only three games behind Boston for the wild card.
Dan Giese against John Lackey tomorrow. Thanks to everybody for reading so deep into the night.