Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (1-0, 3.13).
Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (2-2, 7.22).
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES, NESN.
WEATHER: The iPhone weather application says it’ll be sporadic rain and in the mid 50s tonight. If they played last night, they’ll probably figure out a way to play tonight. The tarp is down at the moment so don’t rush here to watch batting practice.
THE RIVALRY: The Yankees are 0-4 against Boston this season, getting outscored 31-20. The Yankees very easily could have won three of the games.”That doesn’t matter,” Derek Jeter said last night. “Bottom line is we lost and we need to get it going.”
BAD BLOOD? Joe Girardi got into a shouting match with Boston 1B coach Tom Bogar last night. Bogar was trying to steal signs and Girardi didn’t much like it. Bogar said a new uncharitable words in return. Girardi was steamed after the game last night. Steamed. It’ll be very, very interesting to see what happens tonight with Chamberlain and Beckett on the mound. Those guys are certainly not afraid to throw at somebody.
STRANGE STAT: Mark Teixeira joined Melky Cabrera (April 22) and Nick Swisher (April 29) as Yankees to home from both sides of the plate this season. In the prior history of the franchise, only eight other players had done that.
According to Elias, the Yankees are the first team since going back to at least 1969 to have three hitters homer from each side in the same season. Now before we get too carried away, Mickey Mantle used to do it in his sleep. But it is quite a quirk that three guys did it in 25 games.
BREAKOUT: Teixeira’s homer in the fifth inning broke a 2-for-29 slump. He homered again in the eighth inning but struck out with two runners on in the ninth.
PAPELBON NOT AVAILABLE? Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon threw 32 pitches last night, getting five outs. He could be unavailable this evening.
BUT MO IS: Meanwhile, Mariano Rivera hasn’t pitched since April 30.
A-ROD UPDATE: Alex is scheduled to play seven innings in the field today in Florida. In response to e-mails, there are NO plans for him to play for any of the minor-league affiliates. He’s going to stay in Florida extended spring. Check this post later on for updates.
TICKETS: I keep hearing from e-mailers and readers that the secondary market (StubHub.com, etc.) is flush with tickets at reasonable prices. In most cases, you can download these tickets and print them yourself. So if you’re looking to go to the game, you might want to check it out.
ON THE SOX: Remember, for news from the other side, visit WEEI.com and the Full Count Blog.
Back with much more later on.
UPDATE, 3:46 p.m.: Francisco Cervelli was called up from Double-A Trenton.
UPDATE, 4:06 p.m.: The Yankees are saying officially that Posada will be out 2-3 weeks. But within the clubhouse, the fear us that it could be more like 3-5 weeks.
UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: A-Rod was 3 for 6 with two homers, a single and a lineout. He also had to make several plays in the field.
Sounds like a Friday return.
UPDATE, 5:28 p.m.: Just spoke to Jorge Posada He has a Grade 2 hamstring strain. That means it is highly unlikely he will be back in 2-3 weeks. He literally had trouble sitting in the chair in front of his locker when he spoke to us and winced when he straightened out his right leg.
Posada seemed pretty down.
“It’s disappointing, but I know I can come back,” he said. “But it’s tough on me, it’s tough on me because I worked really hard to come back. I did everything I could with my body to be back. It’s one of those things you can’t control. You try to stay positive but it’s not easy right now.”
If you’re keeping track the Yankees now have Posada, A-Rod, Xavier Nady, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte and Cody Ransom on the DL.
If you take any team in the game and remove the catcher, third baseman, right fielder, No. 2 starter and top two set-up men, that’s trouble.
Look at it this way, there are roughly 16 important players on the team. Eight position players, five starters, three top relievers. The Yankees are down six of them. That’s nearly 40 percent of their core players.
UPDATE, 5:45 p.m.: The tarp is down, the gates are open and it’s not raining. As far as I know, we’re looking at an on-time start.
UPDATE, 6:04 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game press conference. Using my fancy editing program, I even deleted the dead spots in the beginning and the end. I’m quite the tech wizard.
At any rate, here is the manager talking about all the assorted issues:
Oh, and they’re starting to pull the tarp. So if you’re wondering whether to come to the park, come to the park.
UPDATE, 6:22 p.m.: Via the AP, here is what A-Rod had to say after his game today:
“I have no idea about Friday. I feel good.”
He otherwise refused to take questions.
UPDATE, 6:44 p.m.: After the ruckus last night (see previous post), the Yankees today met with their security and staff people about improving communication with fans.
“We have about 5,000 game-day event staff,” spokesman Jason Zillo said. “Today we’re being proactive. We’ve met with supervisors and with all ranges of guest services people.”
Zillo said the team woukd make more announcements and post more scoreboard updates during delays.
“There should be once voice coming from the Yankees during any rain delay situation via either the PA announcer or scoreboard messages,” he said. “We recognize that we can give fans information more repetitively during a rain delay situation.”
Maybe I’m wrong, but I think once a fan is in the park, they should have enough common sense not to leave unless you hear an announcement. Trusting the word of some minimum-wage kid is not the best idea.
UPDATE, 6:48 p.m.: Via Chad Jennings and Mike Ashmore (thanks, guys), word is that the Yankees have re-signed RHP Humberto Sanchez. Makes sense. He’ll be rehabbing (as always) in Tampa and they’ll what they can get out of him. At least he’s not taking up space on the 40-man roster.
UPDATE, 6:59 p.m.: Baseball at 7:05 p.m. Field is ready, lineups being announced.
Oh, forgot to mention this before, Boston 1B Kevin Youkilis is out with a bad bruise on his side. It was the result of getting drilled by A.J. Burnett back in April and then again in the same spot last week Jeff Bailey is playing first.
UPDATE, 7:14 p.m.: Single, stolen base, single, single. Not the start Joba was looking for. He looks very uncomfortable on the mound and throwing a lot of breaking pitches.
UPDATE, 7:16 p.m.: Joba just hung a pitch and Bay hammered it into the left-field stands. 4-0 Boston after four hitters.
Bay owns the Yankees. He is 10 for 16 against them this season with three homers and 10 RBI.
UPDATE, 7:32 p.m.: Cano is 0 for his last 9.
UPDATE, 7:40 p.m.: Joba looked good in the second inning. Unfortunately that’s a little late to the party. … Meanwhile there are entire rows behind the plate that are empty. I realize it’s cold. But when the Yankees are playing the Red Sox, the the fourth, sixth and seventh row directly behind the plate should not be completely empty. That is a farce.
UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Strange game for Jobamania. He gives up five straight hits in the first inning and has since retired eight of the nine hitters he has faced, four by strikeout. It looks like it took him an inning to get started.
UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: You have to give it up to Johnny Damon, he shows up against his old squad. That home run to the Pony League porch in right field makes it 4-3 Red Sox.
UPDATE, 8:08 p.m.: Thanks to Dave Pinto’s awesome Day By Day Database, I looked up Johnny against the Red Sox.
He is hitting only .266 as a Yankee while playing the Red Sox. But he has 11 homers and 37 RBI in 55 games. That’s not bad.
UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: I’m sure the put-Joba-in-the-bullpen chuckleheads enjoyed the first inning. Meanwhile, he has struck out seven of the last 11 batters he has faced. This just in: He’s not going to be Bob Gibson every inning. He’s 23 and in his first full year as a big league starter. He’s figuring it all out. Give him a chance. He could be great. Not good, great.
Meanwhile, Ellsbury is out with a tight right hamstring. Jonathan Van Every replaced him.
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Bad base-running mistake there by Melky as he was thrown out going to third. Nice throw by Pedroia. That’s on Rob Thomson to some degree.
I think if the Yankees tie this game, they will go on to win it.
UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Witness and behold Joba Chamberlain, who is filthy as filthy can be these last four innings. He has fanned 10 of the last 16 batters he has faced, eight of them looking.
Word around the league was that Chamberlain could not throw his slider for a strike and to lay off it. That is no longer the case.
Anybody who wants to waste this kid in the bullpen is clinically stupid.
UPDATE, 8:48 p.m.: Beckett might hit somebody this inning after Joba hit Bay.
UPDATE, 8:59 p.m.: Joba going back out for the sixth inning at 97 pitches. Jose Veras — shudder — is warming up.
UPDATE, 9:02 p.m.: Joba is finito after 108 pitches. Girardi got booed when he came to the mound. But you cant blame the manager for being cautious.
Joba’s line: 5.2 innings, 6 hits 4 runs, 4 earned, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts.
Now it’s raining. Uh, oh.
UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.: Joba had this place in the palm of his hand. The crowd was living and dying with every pitch.
UPDATE, 9:08 p.m: The last time a Yankee fanned 12 was Mike Mussina on May 7, 2007 at Seattle. The last Yankee to K 12 in the Boogie Down was Moose on Sept. 24, 2002.
But by all means, let’s use him in the eighth inning. That way he can strike out three guys.
UPDATE, 9:14 p.m.: Bad hop there for the Yankees as Swisher would have scored on that ball. Now it’s up to young Ramiro Pena.
The bench is Cervelli, Berroa and Gardner, what other choice do they have? This is where not having Nady hurts.
They really need to at least tie this. Because it’s an official game and if it’s called, they lose.
UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Looked this up on Baseball-Reference.com:
Chamberlain is the youngest Yankee to strike out 12 since Al Downing struck out 13 against the White Sox on June 21, 1964.
UPDATE, 9:40 p.m.: OK, enough of Jobamania for now. Yanks trail 4-3 and have Jeter on first. Okajima in to face Damon. Light rain here.
UPDATE, 9:49 p.m.: Albaladejo in to start the eighth inning. Maybe Melancon is out getting coffee for everybody.
UPDATE, 10:02 p.m.: It’s getting ugly here. Boston just scored an unearned run and there are fights breaking out in the bleachers. There are maybe — maybe — 50 people sitting the premium seats. The bleachers and upper deck are still pretty full, I’d say 70 percent.
UPDATE, 10:06 p.m.: Edwar with runners on base? It’s 6-3 and it won’t be for long.
That error by Pena opened the door up to this mess. As exciting as it was to watch Joba, they’re in trouble.
UPDATE, 10:11 p.m.: Well, Edwar ended the inning. 6-3 with two shots to get something done.
UPDATE, 10:21 p.m.: Hate to be mean, but I just laughed out loud. A guy in the premium seats was in his cell not paying attention to the game when a foul ball got him in the mid-section. His umbrella went flying. I do think he got the ball, however.
Hey, Mark Melancon is in.
UPDATE, 10:33 p.m.: My faith in Melancon is proving to be unfounded as he walks Pedroia and Ortiz.
The Yankees were last 0-5 to start the season against Boston in 1985. That led to Yogi Berra getting fired after 16 games. Meanwhile, Melancon has walked the bases loaded and the crowd is getting ugly. Girardi just pulled him.