Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (8-3, 4.25).
BLUE JAYS (42-41)
Pitching: LHP Ricky Romero (6-3, 2.85).
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won 10 of 11 and sit a game behind Boston. The Yankees have the third-best record in baseball. … Boston starts a four-game series with Oakland tonight. … The Yanks fly to Minnesota after the game.
WELCOME ABOARD: This game will be the debut of Eric Hinske, who was obtained on June 30, activated on July 1 and sat idle for five games.
MR. CONSISTENCY: This from the Yankees’ notes: Derek Jeter hit his 10th home run of the season in Sunday’s win vs. Toronto, marking his 14th consecutive season with 10-or-more homer. He is now one of six players to accomplish the feat solely as a Yankee and is one of five active Major League players with such a streak through 2008 or 2009.
The other Yankees to have done that: Mantle (1951-68), Berra (1947-62), Ruth (1920-34), Gehrig (1925-38) and Bernie (1993-06).
OLD FRIENDS: On Sunday, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada each went 4 for 5, marking the first time in the 14-year history the two have been teammates that they both collected four hits in the same game. Aaccording to Elias, it marked the first time two Yankees – each past his 35th birthday – had at least four hits in the same game since July 21, 1950 when Johnny Mize and Joe DiMaggio accomplished the feat in a 14-5 win vs. the Tigers.
BLUE JAY BEATING: The Yankees are 5-1 against the Jays this season.
OLD FOES: Pettitte is 18-11 with a 3.92 ERA in 36 career starts (37 appearances) against Toronto.
Thanks to Jake Thomases for calling in the lineup. He’s covering the game today as I pack for the road trip and All-Star break. But I’m planning to watch the game and will chip in some updates from time to time.
UPDATE, 12:12 p.m.: Joe Girardi says the Thursday starter will not be Phil Hughes. That would seem to narrow it down to Alfredo Aceves or Sergio Mitre.
How about Kei Igawa? Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Tip your waitresses. Try the veal.
UPDATE, 1:10 p.m.: We’re underway in the Bronx as Pettitte faces the Jays. Hey, Eric Hinske caught a fly ball. He’s in the books as a Yankee.
Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 1:20 p.m.: Jeter looked safe, but the throw beat him and it’s a silly play to try and steal third there unless you know for sure you’re going to be safe. It’s equally pointless for Girardi to get tossed out.
UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: That Jeter play got Romero off the hook in the first inning and he cruised through the second. Meanwhile Michael Kay just asked David Cone if he was ever in Boy Scouts.
Full disclosure: I was in Troop 24 and made it all the way to Life Scout (one rank below Eagle) before I bailed out at the age of 15. Learned life-saving skills, how to make a square knot and how to make a fire without matches. All fairly useless skills.
Anyway, the 1-2 pitch.
UPDATE, 1:58 p.m.: The blown call at second base cost the Yankees three runs. Of course, Pettitte shouldn’t be walking Marco Scutaro to lead the inning off.
Pettitte: 11 home runs in 58.1 innings at home, 2 home runs in 42 innings on the road.
UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.: A couple of blown calls. … Jose Bautista making like Willie Mays in the outfield … Doesn’t look much like a sweep in the making, does it?
UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: Eric Hinske finds out quickly how accommodating right field can be at Yankee Stadium. 4-1 Jays. Yankees need to get into the tired Toronto bullpen.
UPDATE, 2:39 p.m.: 82 ABs since Tex last hit a home run. It was on June 12. We had a much larger population of celebrities back then.
UPDATE, 2:52 p.m.: Andy’s line so far: 6 4 4 4 4 3. Or as Joba Chamberlain would term it: just tremendous.
Speaking of which, somebody needs to talk to young Mr. Chamberlain about accountability. Part of being a big leaguer is owning up to bad games. This “well they hit good pitches” stuff is getting old.
UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: Yankees fans won’t want to hear this, but good for John McDonald. “Johnny Mac” grew up in East Lyme, Conn., a big Yankees fan. He played junior college ball then went to Providence College and was an All-Big East player before the school dropped baseball. John and his family will be thrilled that he homered in the Bronx. His dad, Jack, was a great high school football official and umpire.
Back in another life, I selected John for an American Legion All-Star Game that my former paper, The Norwich Bulletin, sponsored for years. He’s a good guy and has been in the big leagues for a decade. Not bad for a kid that UConn didn’t want out of high school because he was too small.
UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: Brian Bruney showing again why they’re keeping Phil Hughes in the bullpen. He’s either still hurt or just terribly rusty.
UPDATE, 3:28 p.m.: It’ll be interesting to see whether the Yankees try and paint this game as they got screwed by the umpires. Because, frankly, they didn’t. It was bad pitching by Pettitte and Bruney.
UPDATE, 4:02 p.m.: All this mess and they bring the tying run to the plate. Jeter will want to take a shot at right field.
UPDATE, 4:05 p.m.: Big spot for Swisher. Does he work the count?
UPDATE, 4:06 p.m.: I don’t get it, I just don’t. Swisher is supposed to be Mr. Patience. Frasor walks in a run and he hacks at the first pitch and pops it up. And it was low. Pin that on the umpires, too? 10 LOB.
UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: Jon Albaladejo holds the Twins at seven. Yankees need runners.
UPDATE, 4:32 p.m.: Yanks were 1 for 10 with RISP before Godzilla struck.
UPDATE, 4:32 p.m.: Eric Hinske can become a True Yankee with one swing.
UPDATE, 4:34 p.m.: Yankees have had eight walk-offs. Another one in the works?
Frasor has had to throw a lot of pitches.
UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: Swung at ball four there.
UPDATE, 4:36 p.m.: And that is that. Yankees 2 for 12 with RISP and left 11 men on base. Hinske swung at ball four twice. Plenty of chances to win this one.
UPDATE, 4:50 p.m.: There were three bad calls by the umpires and some fans will point to that. Maybe some players, too. But only weak teams do that. Over the course of the season, it pretty much evens out. They left 11 men on base five in scoring position and Pettitte and Bruney pitched poorly. That’s why they loss.
The Yankees are — or at least should be — above pinning it on the umpires.