Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.46).
Pitching: LHP David Price (1-0, 3.00).
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES.
LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN: The teams were rained out last night. The weather is cooperating today, however. The Yankees have won three of four, six of eight and 17 of 22. They are a half-game ahead of Boston.
A FEW STATS: The Yankees are 16-10 at home, having won 10 of the last 13 games. … The Yankees lead the majors with 19 come-from-behind wins. … They are 8-4 in one-run games.
ABOUT THE RAYS: Tampa is four games back and at .500 despite a +48 run differential. The Rays have won three straight. The Yankees are 2-3 against the Rays this season.
ON THE MARK: Mark Teixeira is 36 of 98 (.367) with 23 runs scored, 21 extra-base hits, 32 RBI and 10 walks in the last 25 games.
CC A-OK: Sabathia is 4-0, 2.08 in his last five starts. He has allowed only 26 hits in his last 39 innings while striking out 32. He is facing the Rays for the the first time since 2007. He is 7-1, 2.44 against the Rays in 11 career starts. CC will be working on six days of rest.
PRICE IS RIGHT: The 23-year-old has a 2.35 ERA in 23 major league innings and had fanned 29. He has velocity, command, versatility and thinks the game through. Price had a pedestrian 3.97 ERA in Triple-A Durham over eight starts, probably because he was bored. He has fanned 17 in nine innings in the majors this season.
SWISH AT THE DISH: Nick Swisher is 9 of his last 19 with five RBI over six games. He has taken his batting average from .223 to .251.
RISP UPDATE: The Yankees were 71 of 292 (.243) with RISP over their first 33 games. They are 67 of 213 (.315) in the 22 games since.
A-ROD UPDATE: Alex Rodriguez has gone 43 at-bats without a home run. He is 8 of 34 (.235) with one extra-base hit in the last nine games.
MILESTONE WATCH: Joe Girardi needs a win to have 200 as a manager. He is 199-179 with the Marlins and Yankees.
RELIABLE ROBERTSON: Since he was called back up from Scranton, Dave Robertson has appeared in six games. His line: 4 1 0 0 2 4.
NO BULL FROM THE PEN: In the last five games, the relievers have thrown 14.2 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out 14.
Back with more later on. Lots of updates during the game, too.
UPDATE, 11:59 p.m.: Brian Bruney may be a little closer than we first thought. He is scheduled to throw two 15-pitch simulated innings tomorrow. Then they’ll decide what’s next. But if he gets through that OK, he may be only a week away.
“My elbow is fine,” Bruney said. “My body is a little out of whack because I haven’t pitched much. But I feel good.”
A few other notes for you:
• You may remember the story about John Challis, the high school baseball player from the Pittsburgh area who died of cancer last year. He got to know several of the Yankees, particularly Alex Rodriguez. John’s parents and sister are at the game today as guests of the Yankees and were on the field for BP.
• Jorge Posada has good taste in music. He was playing some Kings of Leon in the clubhouse before the game, which Bruney approved of. And somebody with great wisdom was playing the version of Ring of Fire by Social Distortion over the PA system during BP. Good stuff.
UPDATE, 1:08 p.m.: We’re underway and it’s 71 degrees. Perfect weather for a ballgame. Don’t forget, if you have any questions for our Q&A with CC, please e-mail them by 6 p.m.
• No Evan Longoria today for Tampa, although he could pinch hit. Look for him tomorrow.
Beautiful day in the Bronx, great matchup of lefties. Should be fun. Check back later for more updates.
UPDATE, 1:31 p.m.: 11 pitches, 7 strikes in each of the first two innings for CC. Nice and economical.
Meanwhile, A-Rod just snapped a streak of 43 ABs without a homer with a blast to right center. 1-0 Yankees. Good sign for Alex when he goes the other way like that. When he’s locked in, he’s going oppo with power.
UPDATE, 1:39 p.m.: Price is a very impressive young pitcher. He’s hammering the strike zone and froze Swisher with a very nasty fastball that had late life. But the Yankees have the lead.
UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: 31 pitches in three innings for CC. The Yankees are making Price work harder as he is close to 50 in the third.
UPDATE, 1:52 p.m.: Jeter now has 11 SBs. That’s as many as he had all of last season.
UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Joe Girardi said before the game that he wanted his hitters to work the count and drive up the pitch count on Price. As I write this in the fourth inning, the Yankees have drawn three walks and gone to six three-ball counts.
That said, Price looks like somebody the Yankees are going to be dealing with for a long time. He has some great stuff.
UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: That was A-Rod first SB attempt of the year. That would seem to indicate his hip is healing nicely. Alex at third and one out. They need to get him in and give CC a little cushion.
UPDATE, 2:16 p.m.: What was Aybar thinking there? He had Alex at home if he made the throw. But 2-0 Yankees. CC is dealing through four innings and is at 47 pitches. He’s not leaving this game any time soon.
UPDATE, 2:24 p.m.: Trouble here for CC. Zobrist sneaks a 1-2 pitch inside the foul pole in left. Then Dillon reaches on a bad-hop single and takes third when Damon air mails the cut-off man. Navarro follows with a sac fly and it’s 2-2.
UPDATE, 2:27 p.m.: Remember when the Yankees went 18 straight games without an error to set a Major League record? They’ve since committed at least one error in four straight games.
UPDATE, 2:34 p.m.: Rays playing the infield in with the score 2-2 in the fifth inning. Guess they don’t think they’re going to score a lot more with CC.
UPDATE, 2:27 p.m.: Three throwing errors for Dioner Navarro. The Melkman takes one for the squad there as he runs down the down rubbing his face like he took a punch from Thomas Hearns.
Price has allowed one earned run in five innings and trails 3-2.
UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Another rough inning for CC. Leadoff walk, single, homer by Aybar. Rays lead 5-3. The Yankees have some work to do. Price is at 92 pitches, however. The next inning could be his last.
UPDATE, 2:53 p.m.: Price through 5 innings: 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts. If he gets through the sixth inning unscathed, he’ll have done a great job.
Outside of Alex’s home run, he has pitched extremely well.
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Two walks knock Price out of the game. Joe Nelson for Swisher with runners on first and second and two outs. Big spot for Swish here. One swing for the lead?
UPDATE, 3:04 p.m.: Swisher pops up. Good call by Maddon. … Meanwhile the YMCA thing is so played out.
UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: Tampa is begging to give this game away, making four errors and issuing five walks. But the Yankees have only two hits.
UPDATE, 3:27 p.m.: Make that three hits as Tex blasts one nearly into the upper deck in right field. He has 17 homers and 48 RBI. What a last five weeks he has had. Yankees trail 5-4.
UPDATE, 3:48 p.m.: Another big spot for Swisher. Runners on first and second, one out, Yankees trail 5-4.
UPDATE, 3:51 p.m.: Swisher walks to load the bases for Clutchy Cabrera. Can Cano score from second on a single?
UPDATE, 3:53 p.m.: High feed from Brignac to Zobrist or the Rays might have turned two. Brand new game as it’s 5-5. Yankees have runners at the corners with two outs for Matsui as the Yankees will give up the DH.
UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: Very interesting move here for the Yankees. But a smart one. The pitcher would go into the ninth spot. So either Matsui gives them the lead or they don’t have that spot up for a while. It should not hurt them.
UPDATE, 3:59 p.m.: Just so we’re clear here, Mariano is in the ninth spot in the order. They have Gardner and Berroa to pinch hit. So this game would have to go a long way for that move to matter.
Plus they have the top of the order coming up in the bottom of the inning. Somebody is bound to hit a Yankee Stadium cheapie to right field to win it.
UPDATE, 4:02 p.m.: Bad start for Mariano as Zobrist triples and Dillon singles him in. So much for the well-laid plans.
UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: CC has averaged 110 pitches in his starts. Girardi pulled him today after 101. CC had retired six of the last seven batters he had faced, too.
UPDATE, 4:12 p.m.: For the second time this season, Rivera is removed in the middle of an inning as he fails.
Mo has allowed 26 hits in 23.1 innings. That is alarming given his history.
UPDATE, 4:19 p.m.: They just turned on the “everybody leave” sign at the Stadium apparently as the crowd starts to run for the exits thanks to the latest epic failure by the bullpen. The Yankees have allowed four runs on four hits and now an error by A-Rod.
Rays lead 9-5.
UPDATE, 4:23 p.m.: Mo allowed three earned runs for the first time since Sept. 28, 2007 when he allowed three against Baltimore.
Meanwhile, the Yankees show two inspirational movie clips of coaches talking to their teams on the scoreboard: Matthew McConaughey from We Are Marshall and Al Pacino from the wretched Any Given Sunday.
Aren’t there any baseball movies with inspirational speeches?
Anyway, check back later for reaction from the clubhouse. Mr. Girardi has a few questions to answer about this one.
UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Hold everything. Single by Jeter, double by Damon, two-run double by Damon and now Alex is the tying run at the plate. Phil Hughes warming up.
UPDATE, 4:34 p.m: Alex grounds out. But Posada has a chance to tie it.
UPDATE, 4:39 p.m.: Posada lines to center. It’s left up to Cano, and he will face old Yankee Randy Choate.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: And that is that as Cano lines out. He crushed it, too. Yankees lose 9-7 in a supposed duel between two great lefties that turned into a mess as the teams committed six errors and walked 11.
Back with reaction from the clubhouse later on.