Game 58: Yankees at Red Sox (updated with Girardi pre-game audio and quotes from first-round pick Slade Heathcott)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon DH
Mark Teuxeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Nick Swisher LF
Melky Cabrera RF
Brett Gardner CF
Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (4-2, 4.69).
RED SOX (33-24)
Dustin Pedroia 2B
J.D. Drew RF
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Jason Bay LF
Mike Lowell 3B
David Ortiz DH
Jason Varitek C
Mark Kotsay CF
Nick Green SS
Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (6-2, 4.09).
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., MY9.
THE SEASON SERIES: Boston is 5-0 against New York, outscoring the Yankees 38-23.
RETURNING TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME: A.J. Burnett allowed eight runs in five innings against Boston on April 25, kicking away a 6-0 lead in a game the Yankees lost 16-11. But Burnett has pitched well against Boston (5-0, 3.52) and at Fenway Park (3-0, 2.93) in his career.
ON A ROLL: The Yankees have won two straight, three of four and 19 of their last 25. They have won eight of their last nine series.
IN THE CLUTCH: The Yankees are 9-4 in one-run games and have come from behind to win a MLB-best 20 times.
THEY’RE HOT: Mark Teixeira has homered eight times in the last 14 games. … Nick Swisher is 12 of 31 with seven extra-base hits and eight RBI in his last 11 games. He has raised his batting average from .222 to .257.
HE’S COLD: Hideki Matsui is hitless in 16 straight at-bats, matching the longest streak of his career.
DESPITE THAT: The Yankees are 4 of 34 (.118) with runners in scoring position the last five games.
CAN ANYBODY ELSE CLOSE? Mariano Rivera has pitched in each of the last three games, throwing 42 pitches. He has worked four of the last five days, too.
IT’S GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME: The Yankees have an ERA of 4.81, the lowest it has been since April 12 when it was 4.41.
THREE’S A CHARM: The Yankees are 21-0 when holding opponents to three runs or less. They have a streak of 31 such wins going back to last season.
WELCOME BACK: This will be Alex Rodriguez’s first taste of Fenway Park this season. It’ll be interesting to see how the fans respond given the sudden, inexplicable decline of David Ortiz.
Back with much more later on.
UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Brian Bruney threw all of his pitches in the bullpen and said he felt great. But expect the Yankees to proceed cautiously with him. Joe Girardi indicated that they want to see Bruney pitch another bullpen before “one or two” rehab games. If that is case, Bruney could be available sometime next week.
Girardi said he wants to stay away from Mariano Rivera, who has pitched three straight days. They also seem leery about using Phil Hughes again.
Talked to CMW, who said he’ll be good for 90-100 pitches tomorrow. Girardi said it would be more like 85-90.
UPDATE, 5:38 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game interview session. Using my newly discovered editing skills, I was able to condense it and cut out the dead spots. Pretty fancy, right?
Meanwhile the tarp is down but Boston is hopeful of getting the game in.
UPDATE, 5:50 p.m.: In terms of the Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury is day to day with a shoulder injury.
UPDATE, 6:14 p.m.: The grounds crew is gathering to pull the tarp, which would seem like a good sign. It’s sort of misting and very foggy.
UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: So much for Donovan Tate falling like a rock to the Yankees, the Padres took him third which is where he belonged. Meanwhile, a hearty congratulations to our own SJ44. His nephew, Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez, was just taken No. 4 overall by the Pirates.
SJ44 has been telling us about Tony for several years now. Congrats to their family and here’s hoping Tony has a great career.
UPDATE, 6:31 p.m.: Tarp is coming off and the pitchers are going to warm up. Looks like we’ll have a baseball game.
UPDATE, 7:03 p.m.: We’re going to have an on-time start, a testament to the grounds crew. We’ll have news on the draft pick when it breaks but we’ll mostly be concerned with Burnett vs. Beckett.
Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 7:40 p.m.: It would seem that teams cast signability issues out the window in the draft as Crow, Tate, Purke and Matzek all went in the first half of the first round. As for what’s going on at Fenway Park, Burnett is doing is “throw a million pitches” thing again on a foggy, raw June night. Beckett looks fairly sharp. He is 4-0, 1.98 in his last six starts.
Ortiz just homered to dead center. 2-0 Red Sox and Burnett in trouble again.
UPDATE, 7:48 p.m.: Burnett’s ERA is 4.42 in his career when he pitches with extra rest, 3.44 on four days’ rest. Tonight’s erratic effort isn’t helping that any.
UPDATE, 7:51 p.m.: That makes it seven straight games with an error for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Burnett can’t pick up A-Rod as Drew doubles in two runs. 4-0 Red Sox. Burnett has walked three batters and two have scored.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: Pitching on extra rest of not ideal for an established starter. But a big part of being good is doing what the circumstances dictate. This is the Burnett so many reasonable people feared when the Yankees pursued him. He has thrown 61 pitches after chucking 43 in that inning.
How can a guy with that sort of ability need 43 pitches to get through an inning?
UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: 4-0 in this park with the offense the Yankees have is not insurmountable over seven innings. But with the way Beckett is pitching and Burnett having maybe three innings left, it’s not shaping up like a good night for the pinstripes.
UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: Just brutal. Nick Green? Really? Nick Green?
5-0 Boston and Burnett is done.
Can the Yankees draft somebody they can sign now and use in the fifth inning?
BREAKING NEWS: YANKEES TAKE HEATHCOTT, 8:28 p.m.: The Yankees have selected Texas HS outfielder Slade Heathcott with their first-round pick.
UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: Heathcott has already had major surgery. Usually the Yankees take guys who get their surgery later on, so that’s a good sign. He an an ACL repair in November.
Hetahcott is a player with tools who wants to play pro ball and is likely to pass on LSU. He’s a guy with plus speed, a plus arm and plus defensive skills along with a good bat. He’s a lefty hitter. He’s repped by Darek Braunecker, who has A.J. Burnett.
We’re hoping to get a pool reporter on a call with him shortly.
UPDATE, 9:23 p.m.: Here’s a Q&A a pool reporter (it was me) had with Slade Heathcott:
How surprised were you? “I was pretty surprised. It’s indescribable.
(He said he was with his HS team at the state final four in Round Rock. They’re playing a state semifinal tomorrow night. Final is Thursday if they win.)
First round a surprise? “It was somewhat of a surprise. I had a feeling it might happen to a degree. But nothing was final. So it was still a pretty big surprise. I had (talked to the Yankees) quite a bit. I think it’ll be an excellent fit.”
LSU or pro ball? “Like I’ve said all along throughout this whole process, I’m in a win-win situation either way. I’m ready to get started if it works out. I’m just in an excellent situation right now.
Describe yourself as a player: “Aggressive, energetic, I play with a lot of passion and heart.”
Best part of his game: “I’m pretty rounded in my five tools. My hitting is probably the best out of the five.”
Negotiations with the Yankees: “I’m not sure about that. We’re going to negotiate through everything and I don’t have a clue how long it will take.”
He said he has Darek Braunecker advising him. He is A.J. Burnett’s agent.
Meet A.J.? “I did, I did talk to A.J. and his family. Back when I first met Darek, we went to a Rangers ballgame against the Blue Jays last year while they were in Dallas. We sat down with A.J. and his mom and dad and we talked then. It’s actually ironic now that I think about it. I guess everything happens for a reason. It seems like a good fit.”
He was a Red Sox fan: “I’m a Yankees fan now. I actually was a Red Sox fan. I’ve always been a Red Sox fan since I was little and I just kept with it.”
He said he did not pitch this season but he used to. His left knee (ACL surgery in November) is good.
“It’s sore from time to time. I came back in three and half months to try and help my high school team out. The doctor said it would be sore but it’s doing good.”
When will they start negotiations? “I imagine it’ll be after the season so I can focus on these games first. It’ll wait until right after this series.”