A. Rodriguez 3B
I. Rodriguez C
Notes: The Yankees start the day 5.5 out in the wild card race. … The Yankees are 3-8 in their last 11 road games. … Jason Giambi has a 1.065 OPS since Aug. 4. … Xavier Nady (5 of 25, 8 Ks) has cooled off a bit. … Wilson Betemit is 11 of his last 33 with five RBI. … Johnny Damon is 1 of his last 18.
GODZILLA RETURNS: Hideki Matsui is back with the Yankees, having been activated off the disabled list. OF Justin Christian was optioned back to Scranton
BY THE WAY, HE’S DEREK JETER: The Captain is up to .295 thanks to a 12-of-19 hot streak.
MESSAGE DELIVERED: Robinson Cano is 6 of 15 in the last three games.
SO MUCH FOR AN UPGRADE: Pudge Rodriguez is 7 of 32 (.219) with one HR and one RBI since joining the Yankees. Jose Molina is 7 of 30 with one homer and two RBI since Pudge came aboard.
LONG TIME COMING: Brett Gardner has three extra-base hits, nine RBI and eight runs scored in 83 MLB plate appearances since June 30 when he made his debut. Melky Cabrera had five extra-base hits, four RBI and 12 runs scored in 121 plate appearances since June 30.
SAY IT AIN’T SO, MO: Mariano Rivera since July 1: 18.2 innings, 19 hits, 7 earned runs, 2 walks, 22 strikeouts, 2 home runs. That’s a 3.38 ERA.
LOOKING AHEAD: Much could change. But at the moment the Yankees would have Pettitte, Ponson and Mussina against the Red Sox when they return home next week. Of course if they don’t play well against the Jays and Orioles, it won’t matter if they have Ford, Ruffing and Gomez.
Check back later for updates.
UPDATE, 5:52 p.m.: Joe Girardi said that his plan was to play Matsui as the DH every day, use Damon in center and bring Gardner off the bench.
UPDATE ON JOBA CHAMBERLAIN, 6:05 p.m.: Jobamania threw in the outfield this afternoon. Here is what he did:
20 throws from 70 feet
20 throws from 90 feet
20 throws from 75 feet
Here is his schedule the rest of the week:
Thursday: same as today along with a few throws from level ground to a catcher.
Saturday: Throw off a mound in the bullpen in Baltimore
From there it’s uncertain. It’ll depend on how he feels. Chamberlain said that he’s throwing at 80-85 percent capacity and that he feels fine. He said his shoulder gets stiff when he’s not moving it. But once it loosens up, he feels better.
He is optimistic about getting into a game in early September. The question is whether that would be a minor-league game or a game for the Yankees. He has gone 15 days since pitching and it’ll be at least another five more.
At that point, he will have missed four starts. Girardi would not put a timetable on Joba’s return. I’m sure the Yankees have a plan on paper somewhere (they always do) but this will largely depend on how Joba feels.
UPDATE, 6:13 p.m.: Girardi went into the Cone of Silence when asked who would start Saturday. They’ll spring it on the world sometime Thursday. The candidates appear to be Carl Pavano and Phil Hughes.
Based on Brian Cashman’s recent passionate defense of the Idle, it sounds like Pavano. Unreal.
Alfredo Aceves is chucking tonight for Scranton and Chase Wright is listed for Saturday. Hughes is scheduled for Sunday but that could change.
UPDATE, 6:24 p.m.: The Red Sox signed OF Jason Lane to a minor-league deal about 10 seconds after the Yankees cut him. Boston needs OFs with J.D. Drew experiencing back pain. … In case you missed it, Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski is in a Boston hospital with chest pains.
UPDATE, 6:54 p.m.: John Challis, the Pennsylvania teenager whose battle with cancer became a national story, passed away today. He was 18.
As was mentioned on this blog last month, A-Rod had taken a special interest in John and spent time with him in New York.
â€œHe was an inspiration,â€ Rodriguez said today. â€œHe was a very brave boy, very charming, very intelligent. â€¦ Heâ€™ll be an inspiration the rest of my life.â€
UPDATE, 7:26 p.m.: Sure, Johnny Damon in center. What could go wrong?
This is clearly the best lineup they can put on the field. But Johnny can’t be doing that. Yikes.
UPDATE, 7:31 p.m.: Nice job by Rasner picking up Damon.
UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: You can’t make this stuff up. Pavano skipped his bullpen session today because of a stiff neck. Why do the Yankees even bother?
Meanwhile, speaking of stiffs, the Yankees are 0 for 5 with four strikeouts with RISP. Bobby Abreu has two doubles, everybody else is 0 for 12 with eight whiffs.
UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: Sorry about the lack of updates, but the wireless here is awful. As always.
A.J. Burnett is making a ton of money in the last month. He’ll almost certainly opt out of his deal after this season and become a free agent. He had won five straight starts coming into tonight and is dealing again. His 13 Ks (through 7 innings) are a season high.
But Rasner has the soft-serve mojo working. Still 1-0 Yankees.
UPDATE, 9:04 p.m.: Damaso Marte was warming up. If you’re going to obtain Marte, don’t you use him against a lefty hitter in the seventh inning?
Girardi stuck with Rasner and Lind homered. It’s a tough call.