Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes (1-2, 8.49).
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES.
Notes: The Yankees open a 10-game homestand with four against the ever-pesky Twins. Minnesota will be starting LHP Francisco Liriano (2-4, 5.75). … The Twins are 18-17 and part of a three-way tie in the somebody-has-to-win-it AL Central. Minnesota has won three straight.
This is a big start for Hughes, who pitched well in his return from the minors but poorly since, giving up 12 earned runs on 15 hits over 5.2 innings. With Chien-MIng Wang starting in Scranton on Sunday, Hughes may not be long for the rotation.
Johnny Damon carries a streak of 10 straight games with at least one extra-base hit into the game. But the big news tonight will be the debut of Alex Rodriguez at the new Yankee Stadium. Will he be cheered or booed? If he gets a few hits, he’ll be cheered. If not, he’ll get booed. He is how he performs at this point.
I am not covering the game tonight. But there could be an update or two along the way.
UPDATE, 7:36 p.m.: Just got home and caught the last inning. Nice to see that MLB is letting fans who have had too much to drink calls balls and strikes. Holy cow. … Meanwhile, interesting story via the AP: Cal Ripken Jr., the Hall of Fame shortstop who played in an MLB-record 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles, wonders what Alex Rodriguez’s motives were for using performance-enhancing drugs and plans to ask the New York Yankees third baseman himself. “I really want to know why,” Ripken said Thursday night at a banquet in Florida, according to The Palm Beach Post. “I’m going to make it my business to find out.”
A-Rod has long said that Ripken was his hero growing up and how thrilled he was to play with him for the AL All-Star team. If Ripken does ask any pointed questions, it could get uncomfortable for Alex.
UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: Wally Bell rang up Johnny on brutal calls on both sides of the plate, no wonder he got tossed.
You usually don’t see that from Johnny. Tells you how bad Bell has been tonight.
UPDATE, 9:39 p.m.: That was cool, seeing GGBG fly around the bases on television. He now has two more home runs than David Ortiz. This game has the feel of a late comeback, doesn’t it?
Meanwhile, YES keeps showing shots of Kate Hudson like she is some kind of big deal. Are we that shallow as a culture that we need to see shots of “celebrities” like Hudson, Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly to keep us entertained? Show us the game.
UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: Joe Girardi, fired up again. He looked like he wanted a piece of Ron Gardenhire. This after he wanted a piece of Boston 1B coach Tim Bogar. I like it. Nothing wrong with sticking up for your players.
Meanwhile, Tex looked like he dinged his left wrist again based on how he shook it.
UPDATE, 10:46 p.m.: What a fun game to watch. Happy to say I called it at 9:39 p.m. Just had a feeling.
Two cool things: Brett Gardner was the first player to run to Cabrera to celebrate. And CC Sabathia was having a great time in that pile. This team really does have a good vibe.
Gardner has so much upside and he always has learned how to hit at every level after a slow start. He had two huge hits in this game or they don’t win. And Melky deserves all the credit in the world for hanging in after being beaten out of the job.
18-17, three in a row. Is it the start of something?