Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (3-3, 3.70 ERA)
Brian Roberts 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Aubrey Huff 1B
Melvin Mora 3B
Nolan Reimold LF
Lou Montanez DH
Gregg Zaun C
Robert Andino SS
Pitching: RHP Brad Bergesen (1-1, 5.27)
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., My9
CREEPING UP: The Yankees have won six in a row and are only one game behind the Red Sox for second place in the AL East. The surprising Blue Jays, at 27-14, are still in first. Doubters of Toronto fairly point to the fact the Jays have played a grand total of three games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. Toronto can start to show it’s for real tonight when it begins a series in Boston.
TEX MESSAGING: Mark Teixeira is batting .458 (11-for-24) with 11 RBI during the Yankees’ six-game winning streak.
CC ON THE RISE: CC Sabathia started his season (and Yankees career) with a stinker against the Orioles and then gave up 16 runs in 21 1/3 innings from April 22 – May 2. In his last two starts, though, he’s thrown 17 innings, allowed just two runs and struck out 13. A win tonight would be Sabathia’s first victory at the new Yankee Stadium.
Back with more later …
UPDATE, 5:12 p.m. Let’s try this Jeopardy! style. Joe Girardi’s answers are:
1. Not yet
2. Not yet
3. We’re not sure
1. Have you made a move for Bruney yet? (They plan to make one after batting practice.)
2. Do you have a plan for Wang yet? (“There probably won’t be a decision today,” Girardi said.)
3. What will happen with your rotation – read: Hughes – when Wang is ready? (“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Girardi said.)
4. Do you think A-Rod’s return has been a big part of the team’s surge? (“I don’t think it’s a coincidence,” Girardi said.)
Sorry there isn’t more to report yet. Jorge Posada is in the house because of incredibly bad weather in Tampa, and we’re hoping to talk with him once BP is over. Ostensibly we’ll have the much-anticipated reliever move at that point, too. For those Xavier Nady fans out there, Girardi did have a small update, saying he thought Nady would be taking modified BP tomorrow. He also wouldn’t rule out Posada rejoining the team at some point on the upcoming road trip, though Texas – where the Yankees go on Monday – is a tough place to return because of the heat.
Back with more after BP.
UPDATE, 5:22 p.m.: Shameless plug: Some of you may know that in addition to working for the good people at The Journal News and LoHud.com, I also write a weekly column for SNY.tv. As part of my work with the SNY folks, I make appearances on their excellent Internet pregame show “New York Baseball Today,” and today I was on to talk about the Yankees game tonight. The daily show is a quick, 4-5 minute recap of the issues facing both local teams that night and you can watch today’s episode here.
UPDATE, 6:14 p.m.: Still no word on the move. The Yankees are taking their time on this one, apparently.
UPDATE, 6:57 p.m.: And the mystery is solved: Edwar Ramirez is headed back to Scranton. We just got back upstairs from talking to Ramirez and he seemed to calmly accept the decision. “I’m surprised but I have to be better,” he said. “I’ll go back down and work.”
UPDATE, 7:08 p.m.: 61 degrees at first pitch. Nice night in the Bronx. CC is wearing sleeves but most of the other Yankees aren’t.
UPDATE, 7:29 p.m.: That’s homers in four straight games for A-Rod, giving Sabathia a 2-1 lead after he gave up a run in the top of the first. Girardi said before the game he thinks A-Rod’s mobility in the field is improving incrementally; obviously he’s pretty comfortable at the plate.
UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: CC is settled in. He whiffed Roberts on a 95 mph heater and looked pumped as he walked off the mound. Not sure why the Yankees can’t do more with Bergesen – it’s amazing how much they struggle with pitchers they haven’t seen. That’s been the case for as long as I’ve been around them.
UPDATE, 8:34 p.m.: Forgot to mention this before: Phil Coke had a shaved head when he walked into the clubhouse today. I’m not really sure why. He’s also not available tonight after throwing so many pitches last night. Also, for those who were wondering, Girardi said he prefers to have two infielders on the bench – Berroa and Pena – because there are still some concerns about A-Rod in the field. Having the extra body gives the Yankees more flexibility in terms of sitting Rodriguez (or Cano or Jeter) on any given day and still having someone else available.
UPDATE, 8:44 p.m.: Just a reminder: When we say “Cervelli is fast for a catcher” that doesn’t mean he’s actually fast. That had to be a missed sign by someone right?
UPDATE, 8:56 p.m.: That’s a missed opportunity by the Yankees right there. A lack of tack-ons almost hurt them last night and they’re living dangerously again tonight. With only 86 pitches, though, Sabathia could very well take the ball all the way to Rivera (or just finish it himself).
UPDATE, 9:23 p.m.: Remember when Chris Ray was the hot new closer for the Orioles? Me either. Anyway, nice play by Robert Andino – who wears his hat sort of crooked, like Sabathia – gifts the Yanks another run. Now it’s up to Jeter. No one warming in the Yankees pen by the way.
UPDATE, 9:26 p.m.: Big hit by Jeter gives the Yankees some room and gets Bruney up in the bullpen. If you’re interested, Jeter’s hit was scored a double, two RBI and an error on the CF allowing the third run to score.
UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: Another homer for Teixeira and suddenly this game is a rout. Thanks for coming, Chris Ray.
UPDATE, 9:32 p.m.: Let’s be clear about something: Mark Hendrickson is a tall drink of water.
UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: Chris Ray’s line: 0 innings, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 teammate’s night ruined (sorry, Brad Bergesen). With the Yankees now up by eight, Sabathia’s night is over and Brian Bruney is making his triumphant return to the mound.
UPDATE, 9:51 p.m.: Yanks clear the decks with Pena moving to short, Berroa going to third and Tomko coming in to pitch. That’s seven in a row for the Yankees and, with Boston beating Toronto, they’re 3 1/2 out in the AL East.