Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (1-1, 4.81).
Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander (0-2, 9.00).
MOTOWN MOJO: The Yankees are 16-11 against the Tigers the last four seasons, 8-6 at Comerica Park.
OLD FOES: CC Sabathia has made 26 starts against the Tigers in his career. He is 13-9 with a 4.70 ERA. He is 7-2, 3.80 at Comerica Park.
GODZILLA RISES: Hideki Matsui has hit safely in six straight games at 10 of 23. He has raised his batting average to .280.
CANO KEEPS ON: Robinson Cano has a 13-game hitting streak. He has hit safely in all but one game this season.
SWISHER SKID: Nick Swisher is 5 of 31 (.181) in the last eight games. His batting average has fallen from .371 to .286. He has fanned 11 times in those 31 ABs and driven in two runs.
APRIL OF THEIR DISCONTENT: The Yankees are 32-28 in April over the last three seasons.
Back with more later on.
UPDATE, 5:59 p.m.: There are a few things going on …
• Phil Hughes is in town but will not be added to the roster until tomorrow. At that point it will be a fond farewell to Steven Jackson, who has yet to make a bad pitch for the Yankees.
• Johnny Damon said his left shoulder “hurts all over” and he wouldn’t mind a cortisone shot. But he doesn’t want to get any tests done. “I can’t see any good coming of that,” he said. “I’d rather play with some pain.”
• It took 18 games for the Yankees to lose faith in Brett Gardner as Melky Cabrera gets a start against a RHP. Girardi explained that Cabrera was the choice because he’s swinging a hot bat. Gardner has had 186 at-bats in the majors and hit .226 with a .274 OBP. At some point you have to do better than bat if you expect to keep going out there.
They should have pulled the trigger on Cameron, who has a 172 OPS+ so far.
• Ramiro Pena is playing 3B in place of the defensively challenged Angel Berroa. That should be a permanent move. Pena is not likely to hit but at least he can field.
• Chien-Ming Wang will throw a side tomorrow and then they’ll figure out what comes next for him.
• A-Rod has yet to slide, which is the last step before he gets into a game. Those of you in Charleston, Trenton or Scranton hoping that the circus comes to your town can forget it. Girardi said that all of Rodriguez’s work would come in Florida, including any games.
A-Rod ran the bases for the third time in five days in Florida, and also added situational drills when taking grounders at third. He hit 13 homers on 89 swings in regular batting practice.
“Feels good,” Rodriguez said. “I’m taking it one day at a time.”
UPDATE, 6:28 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game media session in the dugout:
UPDATE, 6:31 p.m.: Joba Chamberlain, man of the people, is signing down in right field. Swish also signed for an old guy who held a sign saying he had a ball signed by Steve Swisher, Nick’s dad.
UPDATE, 7:15 p.m.: Don’t know if television showed this or not. But when Damon made a throw to second to try to get Polanco, he spun around afterward and appeared to be in pain. He also was flexing his shoulder throughout the rest of the inning.
It would not be shocking if Damon had to come out of the game.
UPDATE, 7:20 p.m.: Cano has now hit in 14 straight. At least he got the memo about getting off to a good start.
UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: Damon went back out to left. He doesn’t look comfortable throwing but it’s not like throwing is a big part of his game.
Meanwhile, Verlander looks very sharp.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: The Nick Swisher Era was fun while it lasted. He is now 5 of his last 33 with 13 Ks.
Meanwhile Verlander is throwing 99.
UPDATE, 8:01 p.m.: The Yankees are 7 of their last 45 (.155) with RISP. Melky just chased a high heater to end the inning.
UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: Wow, CC just filthy that inning as he fans the side using all his pitches.
CC through 4: 4 3 1 1 0 3
Verlander through 4: 4 4 0 0 0 6
Heck of a game. Both guys are dealing.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: There is one way the Yankees win this game. Somebody needs to pop a two-run homer out then CC pitches 8 and Mo saves it. It’s hard to see them mounting a rally against Verlander tonight.
UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: That is, obviously, a huge run. CC had two strikes on Polanco and couldn’t put him away.
4-0 with Verlander pitching the way he is? Yikes.
UPDATE, 8:49 p.m.: Angel Berroa makes that play — if the runner falls down.
Seriously, Angel Berroa? What is the point of having him on the roster? Suck it up until A-Rod gets back, play the kid and that’s that.
UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: Verlander is at 99 pitches as he starts the eighth inning.
UPDATE, 8:57 p.m.: Ramiro Pena is the man.
UPDATE, 9:02 p.m.: Well, here is their shot. Runners on first and second, no outs and Verlander is out of the game after 110 pitches.
UPDATE, 9:16 p.m.: Yankees 0 for their last 23 with RISP.
UPDATE, 9:22 p.m.: There is no quit in those Yankees as they have a rally cooking against Fernando Rodney. Those missed opportunities earlier in the game could haunt them.
UPDATE, 9:24 p.m.: I’m sure there are slower and less athletic teams than the Yankees out there. But I can’t think of any. The Giants?
The Tigers gladly traded the double play for a run there.