Notes: Tonight, of course, is the return of The Rajah of Rehab, the American Idle himself, Carl Pavano. The last time he faced the Orioles they had Brooks Robinson playing third base. … The Yankees have won 4 of their last six. … The Yankees are 6-7 against the Orioles this season, getting outscored 73-67.
LINK OF THE DAY: Steve Lombardi of Was Watching points out how poorly the Yankees have played against teams under .500 this season.
To take it a step further, the Yankees are 16-22 against the Orioles, Royals, Indians, Tigers and Reds. The Red Sox are 22-10 against those teams. There’s the difference. The Yankees used to take care of business against bad teams.
STOP SIGN: Bobby Abreu has been successful on only three of his last nine steal attempts and is 14 of 24 on the season. Only four players in baseball have been caught more times than Abreu:
B.J. Upton 14
Ryan Theriot 13
Hanley Ramirez 12
Jose Reyes 12
PART-TIME PUDGE: Pudge Rodriguez has only 11 at-bats since Aug. 17. Going into today, he had not played in four of the previous seven games.
IDLE CHATTER: It’s truly hard to believe how little Carl Pavano has played for the Yankees since signing that infamous $39.95 million deal before the 2005 season. Tonight will be only his third start since June 27, 2005.
In all he has made 19 starts (at $2.10 million a start) for the Yankees.
FEEL THE BREEZE: The Yankees have drawn seven walks and struck out 40 times in the last four games.
ALAS THE ‘STACHE: Jason Giambi has not had a double since July 2 (113 at-bats) and has struck out at least once in eight straight games.
X-MAN: Xavier Nady in 25 games for the Yankees: 30-94 (.319), 14 runs, 21 RBI, 8 HR.
Back later with updates.
* * * * * * JOBA CHAMBERLAIN UPDATE, 5:42 p.m. * * * * *
Joba threw 30 pitches in the bullpen this afternoon from 4:40 to 4:46 p.m. There were 25 fastballs and five changeups.
With Dave Eiland, Joe Girardi and head athletic trainer Gene Monahan watching, Joba played catch in the outfield for about five minutes with bullpen catcher Roman Rodriguez before taking the mound.
I watched Joba pretty closely. Everything was from the stretch with the exception of about 10 or so pitches at the end when he went to nearly his full wind-up. He was not finishing off his pitches. Later on he said he was throwing at about 85 percent.
Most everything was up, which is what you would expect after nearly three weeks off.
Joba will rest tomorrow and throw another bullpen at Yankee Stadium on Monday when the team is off. Girardi refused to say what the team has planned for Joba other than to say he’s “confident” the right-hander will pitch again for the Yankees this season.
What that means is anybody’s guess. But based on what he did today, Joba is at least two weeks away from being ready to pitch in a big-league game.
UPDATE, 5:54 p.m.: LHP Billy Traber was optiond to Scranton to make room for the Idle. … Austin Jackson was placed on the disabled list at Trenton with back stiffness. The Thunder have clinched a playoff berth, as did Scranton. Congrats to those guys.
UPDATE, 7:14 p.m.: Two poor defensive plays there by the Orioles give the Yankees the 2-0 lead. Bobby Meacham sent Damon in what should have been an out but catcher Ramon Hernandez failed to block the plate. Than Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts made a high throw to the pitcher covering first, allowing A-Rod to score. That should have been called an error. Nevertheless, 2-0 Yankees.
UPDATE, 7:18 p.m.: Well, here we are. Pavano is going to take the mound. The only question now is what happens in terms of an injury. I think he’ll either slip down the dugout steps or be attacked by a escaped lion from the National Zoo.
UPDATE, 7:53 p.m.: The second inning isn’t over and Pavano has thrown 45 pitches, put seven men on base and allowed three runs. How to hold the lead.
UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: There is dispute on the field. It seems that Pudge Rodriguez did not tag Mora when he struck out. The Orioles may still be at the plate. The umps are talking.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: They talked it over and Mora is out. Now the O’s are arguing.
UPDATE, 8:02 p.m.: Trembley is still arguing after being ejected. Hopefully he doesn’t kick an umpire like the guy from Cuba in the Olympics. Did you see that?
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: The Big G smokes one and the Yankees are up 4-3. How soon before the Idle gives the lead back?
UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: Alex gets hit and Pavano hits Millar. Hopefully that’s the end of that.
UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: Pavano has put nine runners on base and doesn’t have an out in the 4th inning. Might the Yankees want to get somebody warming up here?
Meanwhile, the Orioles are bunting down a run at home in the fourth inning. Brilliant baseball.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: The Idle is coming back out for the fifth inning having thrown 83 pitches.
UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Idle hits Mora. Now Bruney is up. We could be batter to batter here.
UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: Girardi goes to the mound but will leave the Idle in to face Hernandez.
UPDATE, 9:01 p.m.: That should be it for Pavano. He was better than anybody could have expected.
5 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 2 HBPs. Putting 10 runners on base in five innings isn’t any good. But he left with a lead in this park, which isn’t bad.
UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.: Bruney for Pavano. Meanwhile, Guthrie has retired 10 straight since the home run by Giambi.
UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: Nice having a real hitter like Godzilla in the lineup, isn’t it? That’s 500 RBI for the big man and his second HR since coming back.
5-3 Yankees. Can the Idle get a win?
UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: Nice work by Brian Bruney and Jose Veras in relief of the Idle. Now it’s up to Mariano.
Bruney’s last four appearances: 5.1 1 0 0 0 3. He is back to what he was in April. Good for hin, given all he went through with the Lisfranc fracture.
If Mo can close it out, the Yankees would be five behind Boston with 33 to play. Hey, we need something to do for the next five weeks.
UPDATE, 10:14 p.m.: Carl Pavano has won his last two starts. OK, so they were 501 days apart. But still.