A. Rodriguez 3B
I. Rodriguez C
Notes: Johnny Damon is 13 of 32 on the road trip. He has hit safely in 11 straight and 16 of 17. No word yet on why he isn’t playing. … The Yankees are 2-5 on the road trip, getting outscored 45-31. … They have fallen to 27-29 on the road. … The Yankees are 5-2 against the Twins. … Minnesota is a half-game out in the Central and 1.5 behind Boston in the wild card.
WE GAVE UP JEFF KARSTENS FOR THIS? Damaso Marte has appeared in eight games for the Yankees. His line: 7 innings, 7 hits, 7 earned runs, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts.
TAMING THE TWINS: Sir Sidney is making his fourth start against the Twins. He is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA against them this season. 20 innings, 22 hits, 5 ER, 4 BB, 11 K.
Back later with updates.
UPDATE, 5:39 p.m.: Spoke to Johnny Damon, who had no idea until he showed at the park and saw the lineup that he wasn’t playing today. “I feel fine,” he said.
Hey, it’s not like the Yankees are 8.5 games out and he’s leading the AL in hitting.
UPDATE, 6:42 p.m.: Damon is out of the lineup because Girardi decided not to play him. That’s it.
“I put a lineup up,” Girardi said. “Johnny’s played a lot.”
If turf is the issue, why not DH Damon and play Nady in left? Damon is hitting .292 against lefties.
Meanwhile, Girardi would not discuss the final play of yesterday’s game, refusing to get into it other than to say it has been addressed just like everything else has been addressed.
Audio to come.
UPDATE, 6:58 p.m.: Joe Girardi said that Joba’s throwing program would start on Friday, not tomorrow as the player said.
That will make it 10 days of rest, not the week as was first reported. Girardi would not comment on what the throwing program would entail.
If the throwing program starts Aug. 15, it’s going to take at least 7-10 days to get his arm ready for a game. At that point, the Yankees will have some decisions to make. Do you bring him back if the team has fallen out of contention?
UPDATE, 7:10 p.m.: Here’s the audio of Girardi’s pre-game press conference. It’s interesting.
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Great throw by Jeter there. I’m not a big believer in defensive metrics because it’s impossible to account for all the variables, particularly how players are positioned by coaches. But I do think Jeter is having a much better defensive season than last season.
UPDATE, 9:18 p.m.: The Justin Christian move isn’t going down as a great one so far. But the Yankees look flat regardless.
Meanwhile Sidney Ponson is giving them a good start.
UPDATE, 10:24 p.m.: A four-hit shutout in two hours and 14 minutes. Nice to see the Yankees grind out a big game. But Johnny got some rest.