Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (6-2, 4.22).
Pitching: RHP Fernando Nieve (0-0, 0.00).
TIME/TV: 4:10 p.m., FOX.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have lost four of their last seven games but won an unlikely 9-8 game last night thanks to a dropped pop-up by Luis Castillo. They start the day two games behind Boston in the AL East.
STATE OF THE METS: The poor cousins from Queens have lost three straight and seven of their last 10. They trail the Phillies by four games and are 13-17 on the road.
SUBWAY STATS: The Yankees are 38-29 against the Mets. The Mets have won five of the last eight games, however. Derek Jeter has reached base safely in 48 consecutive interleague games dating back to June 25, 2006. The Yankees are 125-89 in interleague games.
SO WHO IS THIS GUY: Fernando Nieve, a 26-year-old right-hander, has thrown two innings in the majors this season and 109 in his career, most of them with Houston in 2006 when he appeared in 40 games, 11 as a starter. He was 3-1, 4.29 as a starter for the Mets in AA and AAA this season.
ANDY’S NOT SO DANDY: Andy Pettitte has lasted only 16 innings in his last three starts as he has allowed 18 hits and walked 13.
MO WANTS A SAVE: Mariano Rivera has entered a tied game eight times this season. He is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA and opponents are hitting .316 against him. In 15 save situations, he has a 1.72 ERA and opponents are hitting .217 against him.
A-ROD UPDATE: Alex Rodriguez has one home run in his last 18 games.
THEY’RE HOT: Hideki Matsui has five hits in his last 10 at-bats. Mark Teixeira has nine homers in his last 15 games. He leads the AL with 20 homers. His 54 RBI are third in the AL.
THEY’RE NOT: Johnny Damon is 1 of his last 14 with four strikeouts. Jose Veras has appeared in one game since June 2.
TOUGH IN TOUGH TIMES: The Yankees lead the majors with 21 come from behind wins. They have won 12 games in their final at-bat and are 10-6 in one-run games.
MAKE A PLAY: The Yankees have made at least one error in nine of their last 10 games.
Back with much more later on.
BRUNEY UPDATE: 1 perfect inning, no strikeouts. 12 pitches 8 strikes, hit 94 on the gun. Pop to short, fly to center, grounder to third. Girardi said they would consider activating him after the one appearance. They would wait until Tuesday I would guess.
UPDATE FROM THE CLUBHOUSE, 1:35 p.m.: Johnny Damon feels fine and things he made need to cit down on the caffeine. … Girardi said he needed to talk to Joba and Posada about the bickering during the game. That has been going on since 2007, actually. Two strong-willed guys. … I asked Girardi about using Damon for Swisher instead of Gardner last night in the ninth inning. He said, correctly, that Swisher has bad numbers against K-Rod. He was hoping Gardner would get on and steal second.
The tarp is on the field and it is raining lightly. I’m sure they’ll try everything to play.
UPDATE, 1:43 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game interview session. He touched on assorted topics:
Oh, yeah, just a regular day off for Swisher. He could use one.
UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: So Brian Bruney pitched his one inning for Trenton then spoke to a few writers there. He had this to say about last night’s game and Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez:
“Couldn’t have happened to a better guy on the mound, either. He’s got a tired act,” Bruney said. “He gets what he deserves, man. I just don’t like watching the guy pitch. I think it’s embarrassing.”
Bruney is talking about how Rodriguez celebrates after the final out. In the interest of being fair, we asked K-Rod for his response. He seemed baffled by what Bruney said.
“I don’t even know who that guy is,” he said. Rodriguez seemed tempted to say more but declined further comment.
Bruney and Rodriguez have no history as far as we know.
As for how he pitched, Bruney offered this: “It was important for me to face hitters, just because it’s kind of a different gear than throwing live BP or bullpens or anything like that. I think everything came out well and everything felt good. I think the next step will be rejoining the team.
“I felt good. I did what I wanted to do, attack hitters and pitched in the zone. I threw all my pitches. I was just looking to just throw and make sure it felt good.”
UPDATE, 3:11 p.m.: MLB.com has has a cool link. It’s of the four calls of last night’s final play. In order: Michael Kay, Gary Cohen, John Sterling and Howie Rose. They all did a good job for the most part.
I did notice one thing on the relay: Castillo was on his knees when he retrieved the ball, which prohibited him from throwing it to the plate.
UPDATE, 3:19 p.m.: Tarp still down, light rain falling. Doesn’t look like an on-time start. It always rains on the Subway Series.
UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: I should learn not to underestimate the grounds crew. We’ll have baseball at 4:10 p.m. Cloudy but dry at the moment.
UPDATE, 4:06 p.m.: You know what would be funny? If Yankees fans gave Castillo an ovation when he comes to the plate to start the game.
UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.: Hey, the Yankees walked a guy. Pettitte headed for 40 pitches in the second inning. This pitching staff has serious problems that the offense is covering up.
UPDATE, 4:36 p.m.: Name one Yankees pitcher who has met or exceeded expectations this season. Just one. CC Sabathia, I’d say. Who else? Pettitte is headed for another five-inning outing — if that.
UPDATE, 4:44 p.m.: Pettitte got lucky there as Jeter went to his left (yes, his left) to snare a hot shot off the bat of Cora and turned it into the final out of the inning thanks to a nice scoop by Teixeira. But he is already at 54 pitches.
UPDATE, 4:47 p.m.: So much for that home run drought. Meanwhile, this park is a farce. That was a routine fly ball and it just kept going. I have no idea what the cause is, but the Yankees have some serious remodeling to do. They’re going to wreck their pitching staff playing 81 games a year here.
Raining again, by the way.
UPDATE, 5:11 p.m.: The immortal Fernando Nieve has allowed one hit in three innings, a Yankee Stadium home run by A-Rod. Is that fancy new video room they have actually open?
UPDATE, 5:22 p.m.: Pettitte is at 83 pitches after four innings. He has allowed seven hits and a walk but only two runs. Fernando Nieve is still pitching like Fernando Valenzuela.
UPDATE, 5:29 p.m.: Nieve is perfect outside of A-Rod’s solo homer and walking A-Rod in the fourth. Pettitte needs a quick inning here and maybe be can give them six innings. But getting through Beltran, Wright and Sheff quickly won’t be easy.
UPDATE, 5:35 p.m.: Like I said. … Another brutal start for the Yankees. Pettitte has (so far) allowed 10 hits in 4.1 innings. Mets lead 4-1.
After getting the gift last night and knowing Santana starts tomorrow, this is a poor effort all the way around for the Yankees, as dreary as the weather.
UPDATE, 5:44 p.m.: Omir Santos and Fernando Martinez are 5 of 6. … Pettitte so far: 4 12 5 5 1 2.
Yankees down 5-1. This does not look much like comeback win No. 22. The Mets are going to have to drop a lot of pop-ups.
UPDATE, 6:00 p.m.: One day you’re the set-up man in the eighth inning, the next you’re pitching in the sixth inning with the team down 5-1. No wonder the bullpen is a mess. Go get ’em, Alfredo Aceves. Jose Veras, it would seem, is completely useless.
Yankees have put a big stamp on this game and mailed it in so far.
UPDATE, 6:08 p.m.: Pettitte has allowed 12+ hits 10 times in his career, twice in the last 26 days.
UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: Fernando Nieve has thrown a two-hitter through six innings. The one run he allowed was a cheapie home run. It’s his first start in the majors since June 15, 2006.
UPDATE, 6:20 p.m.: Gotta love Sheff, the man does not get cheated when he swings. That ball stayed hit.
This game is over. Mentally the Yankees have picked up the bill and checked out.
UPDATE, 6:24 p.m.: It’s 6-1 in the seventh inning … Jose Veras warming up. So that’s his role.
UPDATE, 6:36 p.m.: That’s it for Fernando Nieve, who departs in the seventh having allowed four hits and two walks. Yankees have runners on the corners and two outs.
UPDATE, 6:42 p.m.: With Bruney knocking on the door, this outing could determine whether Veras is DFA’d or not.
UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: This game is three hours of my life I’ll ever get back. What a tedious affair. The Mets finished with 17 hits. Sadly, that’s eight fewer than the most the Yankees have allowed in a game this season. Cleveland had 25.
Back later with clubhouse reaction.