Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes (2-2, 7.06).
Pitching: LHP Matt Harrison (4-3, 4.71).
TIME/TV: 2:05 p.m. (ET), YES.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After a stellar 8-2 homestand that got them back near the top of the division, the Yankees open a seven-game road trip with a Memorial Day afternoon game before a sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE: The Rangers lead the AL West at 26-17. They have won 12 of their 21 including eight straight at home, their longest streak since 2005.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: The last time Phil Hughes pitched in Texas, he no-hit the Rangers for 6.1 innings then left the game with a hamstring tear. That was May 1, 2007.
CLEAN PLAY: The Yankees have not made an error in 11 straight games, which seems to be a franchise record. They are 22-6 when they don’t make an error.
HOWDY, TEX: Mark Teixeira was 18 of 39 (.462) on the homestand with six homers and 16 RBI. His batting average went from .203 to .268.
ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL: Alex Rodriguez is 10 of 53 since returning, but seven of those hits have been home runs.
WELCOME BACK: Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez played significant parts of their careers in Texas. Tex was here from 2003-07 and A-Rod from 2001-03. Teixeira figures to receive a warm welcome from the fans. But the hatred for Alex is thick here and figures to be increased given that he admitted using steroids while a member of the Rangers. This could be a long three days for him. But A-Rod mashes (.329/.411/.643) at Rangers Ballpark.
HOME ON THE RANGE: The Yankees are 13-3 in Texas since 2005.
REMEMBER WHEN HE WAS GOOD? Nick Swisher is 7 of 61 (.115) with three extra-base and five RBI since May 1 when he was hit in his right elbow. He has fanned 24 times.
PATIENCE, BOYS: The Yankees drew two walks against the Phillies and whiffed 24 times.
HEADS UP, MR. OCTOBER: A-Rod has 560 homers, 12th all-time. He needs three to catch Reggie Jackson for 11th place. Mr. October, one would think, will have plenty to say about that.
UM, GODZILLA? Hideki Matsui is 3 for 22 with one RBI in his last six games, was 5 for 31 on the homestand and is 6 of his last 42 overall.
REHAB CREW: Jorge Posada, Xavier Nady, Jose Molina, Cody Ransom and a partridge in a pear tree are among those reporting for rehab duty in Tampa today. Some (or all) of them could get in extended spring training games today or tomorrow.
SHAMELESS PLUG: I’m scheduled to do a few minutes on SportsCenter at 1:45 p.m.
Back with much more later on.
UPDATE, 11:25 a.m.: Brian Bruney is going on the DL. They’ll get a pitcher here for tomorrow.
UPDATE, 1:33 p.m.: Bruney said his elbow was hurting him when he came off the DL and he didn’t tell the team. “I thought I could pitch through it,” he said.
He said the plan is to get a second opinion. “We need to figure out what it is,” he said.
They can’t get a pitcher here today. But somebody (Ramirez, Albaledejo, Melancon or Robertson) will be here tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Girardi indicated he’s willing to use Aceves in late-inning situations as Wang is available as a long man. Wang is in the bullpen at this point until they need a starter. There is no timetable for him to return to the rotation.
The Yankees will be wearing red caps today with a stars-and-stripes NY on the front. It was mandated by MLB for Memorial Day. Personally, I think teams like the Yankees and Dodgers should not mess with their uniforms whatsoever. But nobody asked me. The Yankees wearing a red hat is a travesty. The stars-and-stripes NY is fine. But a red hat?
U. of Texas QB Colt McCoy was watching BP. He already has a NFL-caliber girlfriend.
SportsCenter at 1:45. Check it out.
UPDATE, 2:08 p.m.: We’re underway here in Texas. Somebody with the Rangers has a good sense of humor. They were playing The Kids Are All Right by The Who. When A-Rod left here, he made a dismissive remark about playing with a bunch of kids. They never forgot that.
That’s a nine-game hit streak for Jeter.
UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: Nice start for the Yankees as they tattoo Harrison early.
Meanwhile, interesting start for Hughes as he returns to where he was once dominant. If he no hits Texas for 2.2 innings, does he get to celebrate a no-hitter? I guess not. Be kind of neat if he did.
UPDATE, 2:41 p.m.: Nice work by Mr. Hughes there as he wiggles out of trouble in the inning with some well-located breaking pitches.
Much like Joba, only a rockhead would want this kid in the bullpen. The Yankees have to give him ever chance in the world to be a starter because he has that sort of talent.
UPDATE, 2:59 p.m.: Nice inning by Hughes, who has tossed 37 pitches through three innings. His breaking stuff has been good and his fastball has late life.
UPDATE, 3:12 p.m.: Gotta love plate umpire Tom Hallion and his emphatic strikeout calls. If you’re going to do that impossible job, you need to have conviction.
Meanwhile, Hughes (or “Hughsie” if you’re Joe Girardi) is dealing. 4 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts and only 47 pitches.
UPDATE, 3:33 p.m.: Here is what has impressed me about Hughes. He has put a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in three of the five innings he has pitched and not allowed them to score. That’s pitching. It’s great to see Hughes doing what he is capable of doing.
UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Kris Benson on to pitch for Texas. I’m sure by now his attention-seeking wife has started calling New York tabloids to try and get her photo in.
UPDATE, 3:47 p.m.: Think A-Rod likes hitting here? He’s 4 for 4 with two doubles and four RBI. Yankees now rolling, 10-0. They should let Hughes go as far as he can. He needs innings and they need to rest that bullpen up for the rest of the series.
UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: It’s 10-0 and we’re in the seventh inning. Time to watch and make sure A-Rod isn’t tipping pitches to Michael Young. Hmm, he just adjusted his hat. Maybe that’s a sign.
UPDATE, 4:11 p.m.: I’m just kidding, calm down.
UPDATE, 4:14 p.m.: Hughes rolls through another inning. Not a creature is stirring in the bullpen. Hughes thrown 13.1 scoreless innings in this ballpark. That’s impressive.
UPDATE, 4:37 p.m.: The Yankees have scored 11 runs despite leaving 10 runners on base. They finish with 19 hits.
Meanwhile, Hughes will not get the chance to finish his shutout. That’s too bad.
His final line: 8 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 1 HPB. He threw 101 pitches, 65 strikes.
UPDATE, 4:41 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves? Girardi said before the game that Aceves is a guy who me might use in late innings with Bruney out. OK, that makes sense. So why use him to mop up in an 11-0 game?
With Joba going tomorrow, they’ll need the bullpen given his propensity for throwing a lot of pitches. It doesn’t make sense.
Regardless, 11-1. Yankees win. Check back later for more.