Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (3-2, 3.89).
Pitching: RHP Kenshin Kawakami (4-6, 4.42)
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES, ESPN2.
FREE-FALLING: The Yankees have lost five of their last six games and nine of their last 13.
RANSOM RETURNS: Welcome back from the 60-day disabled list, Cody Ransom. He hit .180 with six RBI in 15 games filling in for A-Rod in April before going down with a torn left quad. He hit .250 with two homers and eight RBI in a 14-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton.
SECOND BEST: The Yankees start the tie in a virtual tie for second place with Toronto. Tampa Bay is two games behind the Yankees in fourth.
SLUMPING: The Yankees have scored 13 runs in their current 1-5 stretch, matching their lowest output over a six-game period since May 13-20, 2008 when they also scored 13 runs and went 1-5.
BRAVE NEW WORLD: Atlanta pitchers have thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings.
ONE-RUN REVERSAL: The Yankees were once 9-4 in one-run games. They are now 10-9.
JOBAMANIA: Joba is 3-0, 2.72 on the road this season. He is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in his last eight starts. The Yankees have scored either one runs or no runs while he was in the game during four of those starts.
REMEMBER HIM: Mariano Rivera hasn’t pitched since June 16.
GRITTY, GUTTY: Brett Gardner is 16 of his last 46 (.348). He is up to .285 and has a .361 on-base percentage.
ALMOST FAMOUS: Rumor has it that A-Rod is in a slump. It appears so. He is 1 of his last 20, 5 of his last 47 and 9 of 62 in June. His batting average has gone fro, .256 to .207. He is 12 of 52 (.231) with runners in scoring position with 11 strikeouts.
ONE YEAR AGO: The Yankees were 38-33 after 71 games last season and 5.5 games out of first.
INTERLEAGUE WOES: The Yankees are 5-8 against the Senior Circuit, 15-16 over the last two seasons.
SHOUT-OUT: Interested in the other team? Check out Dave O’Brien’s Braves Blog at the AJC site. He does a great job and makes much cooler music references than I do.
RIGHT NOW ON THE iPOD: Bodhisattva by Steely Dan. The live version off their Gold album. Tremendously underrated band. I have lots of Donald Fagan’s solo stuff, too.
DON’T FORGET: Our live video chat will be tomorrow at 1 p.m. from Atlanta.Go to our Pro Talk Live page and get your questions answered.
YES, I’M ON TWITTER: All the baseball 411 is here. But I will make an occasional wise-ass comment on twitter.com/PeteAbe. I’m up to 1,686 followers. Is that good? I have no idea.
Back with more later. If Angel Berroa doesn’t get DFA’d today, we’ll know for sure he has photos of somebody high up in the organization.
UPDATE, 3:47 p.m.: Brian Cashman in the house.
UPDATE, 3:58 p.m.: Lineup taken diwn. Swisher just met with Girardi and Cashman behind closed doors. Machinations?
UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: Melky out, Swisher in.
UPDATE, 4:15 p.m.: Watching CC throw. Seems to have velocity and command.
UPDATE, 4:23 p.m.: He threw 30 pitches.
UPDATE, 4:29 p.m.: CC says he felt great and will start Friday.
UPDATE, 5:01 p.m.: The hitters all just went into a meeting. I bet it’s about getting more hits.
UPDATE, 5:48 p.m.: Girardi on his job security: “I know the drill here. Win or go home.”
No roster move yet. Waiting until after BP.
Girardi claimed the lineup originally posted was simply incorrect. That doesn’t explain the meeting with Swisher. With Nady close, he may be headed back to the bench.
UPDATE, 6:25 p.m.: Cashman said he came here because the team is struggling. “We’re all looking for answers,” he said. Asked about a trade, he shook his team. “All the answers are here,” he said.
He also said Joe Girardi is doing “an exceptional job.” In other words, it’s stay-the-course time.
No word on the roster move. You would think they were releasing Joe DiMaggio or something.
UPDATE, 7:05 p.m.: As expected, Berroa was designated for assignment.
UPDATE, 7:12 p.m.: We’re underway at 7:11 and it’s 91 degrees here in Atlanta. Jeter gets the Yankees started by flying to right field. Enjoy the game, everybody.
UPDATE, 7:22 p.m.: Nice clean inning for Joba thanks to a good play by Tex at first base. Take that, Keith Hernandez.
UPDATE, 7:26 p.m.: Alex nearly had a hit there but no dice. He’s now hitting .206.
UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.: That 20-minute pre-game meeting Girardi and Kevin Long held with the hitters is really paying off. Kenshin Kawakami is perfect through three innings. Sadly one of the hardest-hit balls was by Joba as he drilled it off Kawakami.
UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.: Braves getting somebody warmed up. Kawakami got it in the neck looked like. That has to hurt.
UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: Tough break for Kawakami, who was pitching a perfect game through three innings. Kris Medlen warming up for the Braves.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: Joba doing his part. No score after three.
UPDATE, 8:05 p.m.: That’s 22 straight scoreless innings for Atlanta pitchers. The Yankees have scored six runs in their last 37 innings.
UPDATE, 8:08 p.m.: It has to be tough for Joba knowing that giving up one or two runs could lose the game.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Joba is pitching a heck of a game. Be nice if the Yankees scored at least one run to give him a shot.
UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: Holy cow, they’re getting perfect gamed through five innings by Kenshin Kawakami and Peter Medlen. But the Braves haven’t scored, either.
UPDATE, 8:26 p.m.: Joba left that halfway up and middle-in. Francoeur knew what to do with that. 1-0 Braves. Is that it for the Yankees?
UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: THE PERFECT GAME HAS BEEN BROKEN UP! Ooops, didn’t mean to get so excited. It’s just unusual to see somebody on base.
Now if Gardner steals second, third and home, they can tie. But at least Joba is coming up, he is their best hitters.
UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: Gardner picked off. Girardi has to get tossed here. Has to.
UPDATE, 8:37 p.m.: Yep, saw that coming. Now they’ll win. Gardner was safe, too. Bad call by Bill Welke.
UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Like I said … Yankees will win this game like 5-2. You can see this coming like the Queen Mary down a one-way street.
UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.: If Teixeira gets on, A-Rod will hit a grand slam. No question.
UPDATE, 8:49 p.m.: Here is comes, pay attention. Its about to be 5-1 Yankees.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: Two-run single. I was sort of close. You knew something would happen. Nice job on an 0-2 pitch. What is Bennett thinking, throwing a pitch down the middle like that?
UPDATE, 9:01 p.m.: Joba doing work there. Somebody better make sure Mariano is at the game.
UPDATE, 9:21 p.m.: Joba hurt himself there with that wild throw. This is a big batter for Coke as the Yankees cling to a 4-2 edge.
Nice job otherwise by Joba.
UPDATE, 9:23 p.m.: How in the world did Swisher catch that? He took more turns than Danica Patrick. … Don’t let Chipper up.
UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Interesting move by Cox, walking A-Rod to load the bases with no outs. The Yankees can make this game a whole lot easier with a hit or two.
UPDATE, 9:36 p.m.: Tex is not the fastest guy around, but he pays attention out there. Yankees now lead 6-3. I predicted 5-2 back at 8:40. Gotta give me props.
Three-run lead with six outs to get. We’ve officially entered the “this would be an inexcusably disastrous loss” zone.
UPDATE, 9:53 p.m.: If this is not a four-out save situation for Mo, what is? Mo has not pitched since June 16. They’re letting Bruney face the tying run? Chancy.
UPDATE, 9:56 p.m.: Mo warming.
UPDATE, 9:57 p.m.: They were lucky that was it all it was. 6-4 Yankees and Mo on to face Kelly Johnson with two runners on.
UPDATE, 10:01 p.m.: The man sits for eight days and strikes out the first batter he faces with runners on. Nobody better.
UPDATE, 10:02 p.m.: I love those commenting on how Pena is running the game. You do know that Girardi didn’t go back to the hotel, right? He’s probably standing about 15 feet away in the runway or relaying messages from his office.
Anyway, 6-4 to the ninth.
UPDATE, 10:20 p.m. Hey, Mo is up. Cool.
UPDATE, 10:19 p.m.: Awesome, he lined out to center. What a great athlete.
UPDATE, 10:24 p.m.: That was Mo’s second career at-bat. He struck out swinging at Philadelphia on June 20, 2006.
UPDATE, 10:26 p.m.: Mo strikes out all four guys he faces for save No. 498.
Back with clubhouse reaction in a bit.