Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (3-1, 3.84).
Pitching: RHP Craig Stammen (0-2, 5.86).
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m. (scheduled), YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees are officially not playing well. They are 6-7 in their last 13 games and have lost five of their last eight. This is the final game of the homestand. The Yankees start a nine-game journey tomorrow with three games each against the Marlins, Braves and Mets.
MOVING ALONG: The season is 40 percent over. How crazy is that?
QUICK, CALL HIS COUSIN: Alex Rodriguez is 8 of 51 (.157) in June with a .328 on-base percentage and a .314 slugging percentage. He is down to .219 for the season and has two home runs in his last 79 at-bats. He has had 128 at-bats over 37 games. His “spring training” is over.
GRITTY, GUTTY, EFFICIENT: Brett Gardner is 14 for 16 in stolen base attempts this season and 43 of 48 in his career.
SETTLING IN: Phil Hughes has made four appearances in relief. His line: 7.2 innings, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts. OMG, make him a reliever! This just in: Good pitchers get guys out. What applies to Joba applies to Hughes, he should be a starter. Unless you some other brilliant plan to replace Andy Pettitte next season.
CAPTAIN …: Derek Jeter has a sore left ankle and could play tomorrow. With a wet field, it makes little sense to try and play him. Girardi said he would not have played anyway.
… AND COKE: Phil Coke’s last seven appearances: 7 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts. (full disclosure, a reader suggested the Captain and Coke thing).
WANG TUESDAY: Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to start Tuesday in Atlanta.
Not sure with how much, but back with more later.
UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: Obviously the game is being delayed by rain. They intend to try and play at some point today. That’s all there is at this point. … Oh, yeah. Thanks to Ernie Palladino for calling in the lineup. He’s in the Bronx today covering the game. Or the rain delay.
The word from the team is that “every attempt” will be made to play.
UPDATE, 2:27 p.m.: Status quo. They’re waiting.
UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: So much for 4 p.m. first pitch. Back in a holding pattern. Updates as they become available.
UPDATE, 5:51 p.m.: Cleaning up the field. First pitch 6:30 or so.
Back in the day, when George Steinbrenner ran the team, anybody who stuck this one out would have received a free ticket for a future game when available or something like that. We’ll see what the Yankees do tonight. Anybody who waited 5.5 hours deserves something. Let ’em move down to a decent seat anyway. Open those Legends Seats!
UPDATE, 6:10 p.m.: According to the Yankees, once the game starts it would be the third-longest delay before the start of a game in baseball history. That is unofficial, however. The record is 7 hours and 27 minutes.
UPDATE, 6:31 p.m.: They’re playing baseball. Thanks to everybody for commenting on this game post. This could be the most commented-on post ever. I think the record is 2,200+ when Joe Torre was ousted.
UPDATE, 6:41 p.m.: Pretty cool, they let everybody move down to good seats.
Meanwhile Joba still has first-inning issues. 1-0 Nats.
UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: The Yankees finally announced the draft picks they have signed:
3B Robert Lyerly (6th round); LHP Gavin Brooks (9th); OF Neil Medchill (11th); OF Deangelo Mack (13th); RHP Shane Greene (15th); C Hector Rabago (18th); 1B Luke Murton (19th); 3B Kevin Mahoney (23rd); 2B Isaac Harrow (24th); LHP Shaeffer Hall (25th); C Jeffrey Farnham (27th); OF Justin Milo (37th); RHP Ben Watkins (40th) and OF Isaiah Brown (43rd).
UPDATE, 6:48 p.m.: Wow, Alex just swung at a pitch that practically bounced. Then he threw his bat down at the plate in disgust. 8 for 52. He’s in a bad way. You have to wonder if or when they give him a day off.
UPDATE, 6:51 p.m.: The Cisco Kid goes for the drama there with a little dramatic dive for a foul pop. He’ll get worn out about that in the clubhouse at the next Kangaroo Court.
UPDATE, 7:11 p.m.: The Yankees have scored seven runs in 21 innings against the Nationals, two in the last 12. Travesty? Disgrace? Embarrassment? Whatever word you like. Any player who whines about about never seeing the immortal Craig Stammen before should get a tour of the giant video room next to the dugout.
UPDATE, 8:05 p.m.: Two runs against the Nationals in 14 innings. Brlliant.
Meanwhile, while I remain a believer in Joba Chamberlain being a starter, he needs to earn that distinction by showing some consistency. At least this game dismisses the ridiculous idea that it was somehow Jorge Posada’s fault.
UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: The Nats have not won a series since taking two of three from Arizona May 9-11. This would be a disaster if the Yankees don’t find a way to win this game.
UPDATE, 8:21 p.m.: Wow, A-Rod can’t buy one. Lines a ball to left and gets no love as Harris somehow catches it. All of the sudden the Nationals do everything right.
UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: If Posada gets on, who hits? Pena with the bases loaded? Or Jeter? Or Melky?
UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: it’ll be the Captain against crazy Julian Tavarez with the bases loaded and two outs. Yankees down 3-0. Be a good time for one of those cheapie home runs to right field.
UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Alas no drama, just a fielder’s choice. Seven runs in 24 innings against the Nats. Amazing.
UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.: Free tickets for those who had them today. Good job, Yanks.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: Brett Gardner just slammed into the unpadded wall in left center making a nice catch. Somehow he held onto the ball but he’s being taken out of the game. He might have a minor concussion as he appears dazed. Great effort by Brett.
UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: You knew the Yankees would come back to earth a little bit at some point. But they will be 3-6 in their last nine games if they lose tonight and if not for Luis Castillo, it would be 2-7. Now they have nine games on the road against solid opponents.
This could well be a very critical part of the season. Girardi needs to get ahold of this team right now. This “well, we never saw the pitcher before” stuff and other excuses have to end.
UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: And the Yankees have lost two of three to the Nationals. If this is not the low point of the season, I’m not sure what could be.
The Yankees just scored seven runs in 26 innings against the worst pitching staff in baseball — two in the last 18. It’s an embarrassment. The Nationals came to New York planning to fire their manager and took two of three. Brutal.
The Nationals were 16-45 when they showed up. They had lost 25 of 30. The Yankees mailed it in for three days and that falls on the manager. Even the game they won was a no-show job for six innings.