Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.47).
Pitching: RHP Anthony Ortega (0-1, 7.20).
BACK HOME: The Yankees return from a 2-4 road trip to start an eight-game homestand against the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees are three games out of first in the AL East while the Angels are three games out in the AL West.
STREAKS AND SUCH: Robinson Cano (16) and Hideki Matsui (9) have hit streaks going. … Mark Teixeira is 1 of his last 16. He’ll be happy to see April in the rear-view mirror. … Phil Coke hasn’t allowed a run in his last five innings.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the one combined earned run allowed on Tuesday by 22-year-old Phil Hughes (6.0 IP, 0 ER) and on Wednesday by 23-year-old Joba Chamberlain (7.0 IP, 1 ER) marked the first time the Yankees had starters that young allow one earned run or less in consecutive games since 5/29-30/1981, when 22- year-old Dave Righetti (8.0 IP, 1 ER) and 20-year-old Gene Nelson (5.2 IP, 0 ER) accomplished the feat in consecutive wins at Cleveland. (Thanks to the Yankees for that note).
MORE ON A-ROD: Rodriguez faced 33 pitches in the intrasquad game today. He also did his usual worjout and took batting practice after the game. A-Rod is scheduled to DH in an extended spring training game tomorrow against the Pirates in Bradenton.
WELCOME BACK, BOBBY: Bobby Abreu was a Yankee for 372 games from 2006-08. He hit .295, had a .376 OBP and drove in 243 runs. The Yankees declined to retain him as a free agent as they were concerned about his age and declining defensive skills. The Angels picked him up on the cheap and he is at .368/.430/.434 for them.
Hopefully folks give Bobby a nice hand tonight. He was a good, solid player for the Yankees and never caused any trouble.
A.J.’S TURN: After dominant starts by Phil and Joba, A.J. Burnett needs a bounce back after his atrocious performance against the Red Sox on Saturday. He has allowed 11 earned runs in his last 11.1 innings.
DISH ON SWISH: Nick Swisher is hitting .307 and leads the team in homers (seven), RBI (19) and is second in OBP (.416).
Kevin Devaney will take it from here. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 6:09 p.m.: Hello all, Kevin Devaney here taking over for Pete. Just got back from the clubhouse. Below are audio of Girardi and GM Brian Cashman from the pregame:
Update, 7:20 p.m.: Not a great first inning for Burnett considering he’s coming off that awful start in Boston. Two other things of note:
1. The Bleacher Creatures did a role call for Bobby Abreu in right. Necessary? I mean, he wasn’t exactly loved the entire time he was here because of his indifferent personality and his fear of outfield walls.
2. Speaking of fear, there’s a reporter in the press box wearing a doctors mask. The swine flu scare is taking over. Just look at the empty seats around the dugouts. People are afraid!
Update, 7:56 p.m.: Nice play in the hole by Jeter finally gives Burnett a scoreless inning. Much-needed for the emotional pitcher, especially against the heart of the Angels order.
Update, 8:00 p.m.: The Old Johnny Damon Half-Swing Home Run. Ortega apparently never got the memo not to throw fastballs on the inner-half to lefties here at the new stadium.
Update, 8:28 p.m.: Derek Jeter brings home two runs (one an error in right) and the Yankees take the lead. It puts him in sole possession of 10th place on the all-time Yankee list. It’s 4-3 Yanks in the bottom of the fourth.
How did the rally start? Oh yeah, Nick Swisher’s single. The guy might not be talented enough to actually lead the Yankees in homers and RBI all season. But he’s going to be in the middle of things a lot.
By the way, Swisher’s collage was completed by tonight’s return to the stadium. He cut out pictures of every teammate and taped them all together on the right side of his locker. Most of the players are in snazzy suits. Very cool for a player to do that. A-Rod should do the same, although he probably couldn’t name 4 or 5 of the guys.
Update, 8:42 p.m.: By the way, I should have noted this earlier, but an email from Tim made a great point: I’ve been to five Yankee home games this season and the roar on Derek Jeter’s hit before was by far the loudest it’s been here. Pete has compared this place to a “church” at times, and I agree. But on that hit, I felt like I was back at the old stadium. Maybe the museum fans are gone and the real folks finally got tickets? Let’s hope so.
Update, 9:08 p.m.: The Angels have now put the leadoff man on base in four of Burnett’s seven innings. The first three scored, including Napoli’s homer. Let’s see if Burnett can finally dance around this.
Update, 9:10 p.m.: Burnett finally makes pitches and gets out of an inning. Double-play ball and a first-pitch pop-out. Good sign.
Update, 9:38 p.m.: That’s a 17-game hitting streak for Robinson Cano. Posada’s ground-rule double puts runners on second and third with one out. Seriously, is there any doubt Nick Swisher’s going to come through here?
Update, 9:39 p.m.: Intentionally walking Swisher was a good move. Never let the MVP candidate beat you in that spot.