Game 83: Yankees at Twins (Updates: Aceves to start Thurs., Halladay talk and Girardi pre-game audio)
Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (7-5, 3.85).
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker (6-6, 4.99).
TIME/TV: 8:10, MY9.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees are coming off a 5-2 homestand. They have won 10 of their last 12 and are a game out of first place in the AL East.
SO LONG, METRODOME: Unless the teams meet in the playoffs, this is the last time the Yankees will play inside the stuffy confines of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. They are 74-64 in the stadium but only 8-11 since 2004.
TWIN KILLING: The Yankees swept four games from the Twins from May 15-18. They outscored Minnesota only 21-16 as three of the games were decided by one run.
M AND M BOYS: Joe Mauer (5 of 16, 2 home runs, 3 RBI) and Justin Morneau (9 of 16, 3 homers, 5 RBI) destroyed the Yankees back in May. The duo scored seven runs and drew eight walks.
GODZILLA RETURNS: Joe Girardi was right, that unwelcome interleague rest did wonders for Hideki Matsui. He is 9 of 18 with six extra-base hits (three of them homers) and 10 RBI in his last six games.
THAT’S CANO AS IN NO RBI: Robbie Cano has two RBI in his last 16 games. He is 20 of 102 (.196) with runners in scoring position and 37 of 152 (.243) with men on base. He is hitting .352 (62 of 176) with nobody on base.
HEATING UP: Jorge Posada is 7 of 16 with five RBI in his last three games.
OH, WHAT A RELIEF: Mariano Rivera (11 games, 11.1 innings, 1 ER); Phil Hughes (9 games, 14.2 innings, 2 ER); Phil Coke (17 games, 15.2 innings, 1 ER) and Alfredo Aceves (11 games, 18.2 innings, 2 ER) have been among the hottest relievers in the game.
BAD BRUNEY: Brian Bruney’s last six appearances: 5 innings, 8 hits, 7 walks, 4 ER. Wonder what K-Rod has to say about that?
BULLPEN BRINGS IT: The relievers have allowed 8 ER in the last 34.2 innings in the last 13 games. They have given up 24 hits, walked 11 and struck out 39.
ONE-RUN UPDATE: The Yankees were once 9-4 in one-run games. They are 2-6 since.
A-ROD UPDATE: Alex Rodriguez is 14 of his last 26 with five homers and 1R RBI.
POWER OUTAGE: Mark Teixeira has gone 84 at-bats (back to June 12) without a home run.
Back with more later. Keep in mind the game is an hour later than usual.
UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: The Yankees released Angel Berroa today.
UPDATE, 4:52 p.m.: Alfredo Aceves just threw a bullpen and said he was told he’s starting on Thursday.
UPDATE, 6:56 p.m.: While I’m happy for the chatter on the blog, I think people are getting way ahead of themselves on the idea of Roy Halladay coming to the Yankees. A few points:
• He’s three years older than Johan Santana was when the Yankees decided against trading for him.
• Toronto is not going to want to trade him within the division unless they get knocked out by a deal. Think Cano, Chamberlain, Jackson, Hughes, Montero, etc. Players like that. Don’t waste time trying to come up with 17 players the Yankees don’t need. You’ll need to experience pain to make this deal. Real pain.
• Holliday has roughly $7 million left this season. I no longer believe what the Yankees say about budgets. But that’s a lot to add. The Yankees wanted money back from Pittsburgh to take on Eric Hinske.
• The Phillies need him a lot more. And it takes him out of the league.
• The Jays could theoretically get more in December than they could now.
• Halladay has a no-trade clause. So he will want to be compensated in some form for waiving that. That means a contract extension. Think $36 million over two more years or a total commitment of $60 million or so over 3.5 years.
Yes, it’s fun playing GM. But such a trade has a lot of hurdles to overcome.
UPDATE, 7:10 p.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pre-game:
Sad news for you Frankie Cervelli fans. The Yankees will not be keeping three catchers once Jose Molina comes back and that could well be tomorrow.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: We’re underway here at the Metrodome. Should be a good series as the Twins seek some revenge against the Yankees, who have been terrific for the last two weeks. CC knows this team and they know him. Fun game to watch. Hard not to admire how the Twins play the game.
UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Nobody hotter than Godzilla at the moment. He’s 10 of 19 with 11 RBI. Clutch as always, he has the Yankees up 1-0.
UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: It is great to watch Cervelli sprint — and I mean sprint — up the line to back-up throws to first base. It’s like he’s racing the runner. A.J. Burnett and I were talking about ‘Frisco before the game. He gets a kick out of him, too. “It’s great to be 23 and have that kind of energy,” he said.
UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Yankees already have seven hits off Baker and lead 3-0. They’ve already had eight plate appearances with runners in scoring position. Just relentless.
UPDATE, 8:55 p.m.: A-Rod lets Baker off the hook. It’s 3-0 and the Twins probably feel a little lucky. CC can pound the strike zone now.
UPDATE, 9:32 p.m.: Bases loaded, no outs, up 3-0 and a reliever in. Time to step on Minnesota’s neck.
UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: Wow, fantastic catch by Carlos Gomez as he robs A-Rod of a grand slam in dead center. Perfect leap, exactly times. Four runs becomes one. Yankees 4-1.
UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: Yanks work a couple of walks and now lead 5-1. They have nine hits and four walks in this game and only five runs in four innings. They need a soul-crunching double or home run. Alex nearly had it.
UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: Hey, Robbie Cano couldn’t get a hit with RISP. Give me a few minutes to look up whether that has happened very often.
UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: By golly, it has. Cano is 0 for his last 21 with RISP according to the estimable Mr. King of the Post.
UPDATE, 10:02 p.m.: Jose Molina was 0 for 1 for Trenton with a walk and a HBP. He caught seven innings and apparently was fine. I would think he’ll be here tomorrow or the next day.
UPDATE, 10:21 p.m.: The odds were with Cano and he delivered a broken-bat single into right field. Yankees 7-1 and CC Sabathia is in the driver’s seat. Yankees could get him go a while, too. Save that bullpen for the next two days.
UPDATE, 10:24 p.m.: Gritty! Gutty! Two-run triple and it’s 9-1. That was like watching the U.S. 200 trials. Gardner was racing around the bases.
UPDATE, 10:26 p.m.: Cisco may be going down, but he’s going down fighting. 2 for 3 with two RBI. Good for him.
It’s 10-1 and the good people of Minnesota are leaving in droves.
UPDATE, 10:51 p.m.: Every starter now has at least one hit. The bottom third of the order — Cano, GGBG and Cervelli — are 6 of 11 with five runs scored and six RBI.
UPDATE, 10:59 p.m.: CC at 99 after seven. Let him go one more? Minnesota has scored one run in its last 24 innings against him.