Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.26).
BLUE JAYS (22-12)
Pitching: Roy Halladay (6-1, 3.29).
Time/TV: 7:07 p.m., My9.
STAT OF THE DAY: In his only previous start against the Blue Jays, A.J. Burnett allowed one run over nine innings. That was back on June 9, 2001.
THE TEACHER AND THE STUDENT: This game is a certified big deal in Toronto, as big as any Leafs practice anyway. Burnett is not a popular fellow after opting out of his contract and signing with the big, bad Yankees. Until last season, Burnett had a rocky time in Toronto. Halladay was a major influence on him and the two are close friends. You can bet each right-hander badly wants to win.
Halladay is 12-2 in his last 18 starts against the Yankees.
ROY’S THE BOY: Zach Greinke has done some marvelous things this season. But Halladay remains the gold standard of American League starters. He is 58-24 over the last four seasons. It’s worth noting that he was 18-17, 4.95 over the first 49 games of his career. Those expecting instant excellent from pitchers like Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, take note.
BURNETT’S BEEN BAD: After winning his first two starts for the Yankees, A.J. Burnett is 0-0, 6.66 over the four starts that followed. His line: 24.1 innings, 25 hits, 18 earned runs, 13 walks, 18 strikeouts, five home runs.
CANO COMING ON: Is Robbie Cano over his skid? He is 4 of 12 with three extra over the last three games.
CITO’S THE MAN: The Blue Jays are 73-49 under Cito Gaston since he took over last manager last June 20.
A-ROD UPDATE: Alex Rodriguez is 2 for 11 with a home run, a walk and a strikeout in three games since coming off the disabled list.
SWISHER SINKS: In the seven games he has played since getting hit on the right elbow by a pitch, Nick Swisher is 3 of 23 with 12 strikeouts.
BACK ON THE MARK?: Is Mark Teixeira easing out of his slump? He is 7 of 29 (.241) with seven RBI in the last seven games.
JOHNNY B. GOODE: Johnny Damon is 13 of 31 (.419) over the last seven games with five home runs and 15 RBI. He has homered six times in the last 10 games.
GOT MELKY: Melky Cabrera is 19 of 52 (.365) in the 14 games since he became a starter again. He has only three RBI in that stretch, however.
Back later with more.
UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: Jeter was scratched. No word why as of yet.
UPDATE, 5:01 p.m.: Jeter has an oblique pull.
UPDATE, 5:28 p.m.: Bruney will throw off the mound tomorrow. … Posada is in Florida amping up his rehab. … Brian Cashman is en route to Scranton to see Wang.
As for the other news: Bruney feels great and is anxious to get on the mound tomorrow. It’s uncertain whether he’ll need a rehab stint or not. They could do a simulated game during the homestand. … Jeter was injured on Friday or Saturday. It doesn’t seem too serious, but for him not to play, there’s definitely something wrong. His comment via a team spokesman: “I’m a little sore right now. Obviously I’m not in the lineup but I hope to be in there tomorrow.”
In terms of minor-league news: Obviously Wang starts tonight. Austin Jackson is third in the IL with a .432 OBP. … Alan Horne starts tonight for Trenton. … Andrew Brackman had a solid outing for Charleston last night (8 7 2 2 1 9) in a no decision. Brett Marshall starts tonight. … Jeremy Bleich on the hill tonight for Tampa.
No audio tonight. There was a speaker in the dugout making all sorts of noise and we could barely hear Girardi.
Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 7:13 p.m.: A.J. got booed when he went out to the bullpe, when he walked in and when he went to the mound. They’re booing before every pitch.
This will be a nice test for him. Do you shut them up or do you crumble?
UPDATE, 7:31 p.m.: Alex needs to make that play. He backed up on it and let it play him. He’s usually a lot better than that.
The fans here are all over A.J. Lots of “A.J. sucks” chants. Can’t blame them. He opted out, left $24 million on the table and signed with a division rival. If a Yankee did that and signed with Toronto, people in New York would be all over him.
UPDATE, 7:34 p.m.: Pena can pick it. He’s fun to watch in the field. Playing him on the turf plays to his strengths. If Jeter has to be out, it might as well be here.
UPDATE, 7:55 p.m.: Burnett just lost his no-hitter. But Chien-Ming Wang has no-hit Charlotte through four innings in Scranton. His velocity also seems to be up.
Chad Jennings is following the game closely on his blog.
UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: 2-0 Jays as Burnett is having a bad inning and still doesn’t have an out. Rolen’s double on a 1-2 count may have given Halladay all the run support he needs against a depleted Yankees lineup.
UPDATE, 8:21 p.m: Matsui out with a tight right hamstring. … Meanwhile, Halladay has retired the last 13 Yankees in order without breaking a sweat. Eight have been on grounders, three by strikeout.
The only ball to get to the outfield was Damon’s and he was thrown out at second.
UPDATE, 8:44 p.m.: Damon is pretty amazing. 15 of 33 with 10 extras. … Wang is done in Scranton: 6 3 0 0 3 6. 82 pitches / 49 strikes.
UPDATE, 8:47 p.m.: The Rogers Centre fans are chanting “steroids” at Alex and a fan just threw a foul ball he hit back on the field.
But he slaps an RBI single into left field. That’ll show them. Well, not really.