Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (8-6, 3.86).
Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander (10-4, 3.38).
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES.
STATE OF THE STRIPES: The Yankees returned from the All-Streak beat by beating the Tigers last night. They trail Boston by three games in the East. They are 14-5 in their last 19 games. It should be a fun pitching matchup today as the teams will throw their respective aces.
COMEBACK KIDS: The Yankees have 12 wins when trailing after six innings. They had 12 all last season.
HOME COOKING: The Yankees have won 21 of their last 30 games at home.
TIGERS DL ZUMAYA Detroit placed righthanded pitcher Joel Zumaya on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness. The club has recalled the contract of righthanded pitcher Ryan Perry from Triple A Toledo. Perry was 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA and three saves in eight outings for the Mud Hens.
HUGHES THE MAN: You won’t see Phil Hughes today after the two innings he threw last night. But consider these numbers. He has not allowed a run in his last 12 outings, tossing 15.2 shutout innings over the stretch while striking out 19. It is the longest longest single-season scoreless stretch for a Yankees pitcher since Mariano Rivera went 16 scoreless innings in 2006. Hughes has a 0.89 ERA in 14 relief appearances this season.
MO-MENTUM: Mariano Rivera has converted his last 36 save opportunities at home since August 2007. He has saved seven of the Yankees’ last 10 wins.
Josh Thomson is covering the game today. He’ll have updates for you later on.
UPDATE, 12:40 p.m.: Hey folks, this is Josh here. A couple quick notes from the clubhouse…
Joe Girardi said Wang will play catch on Monday. The club will see how he comes out of it before setting any future plans for his rehab. Girardi did say this isn’t the type of situation where Wang will return in two weeks; it’s going to take some time.
Also, Marte is scheduled to pitch today in the GCL. As you can see here, the game was scheduled for 10 a.m. but the box hasn’t been updated yet. Expect word on Marte’s outing soon.
I’ll have more during the game.
UPDATE, 1:08 p.m.: In case you missed it, Cone did throw his ceremonial first pitch to Girardi, who caught that perfect game 10 years ago today. Girardi told us before the game he didn’t know whether or not they’d ask him, but he was eager and willing. Good job by the Yanks putting Girardi behind the plate there.
UPDATE, 1:18 p.m.: The big man escaped a two-on, one-out jam sparked by Placido Polanco’s “double” that avoided Johnny Damon’s glove in left. Not sure if Damon just misplayed the ball or if he lost it in the sun. I’ll have to find out later.
Anyway, we all expect a good pitching matchup today, but both starters have poor career numbers against the opponent. CC enters 13-10 with a 4.69 ERA in 27 career starts. Verlander is 3-1 with a 4.85 ERA in five starts vs. the Yankees, although he did beat them with seven shutout innings on Apr. 27, essentially turning his season around.
Side note: Sabathia beat the Tigers on Apr. 13, 2001 to earn his first big league victory.
UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: CC doesn’t look particularly sharp — he has already thrown 52 pitches, just 26 for strikes — but give him credit for escaping another two-on situation. He really beared down against Granderson to strand runners at second and third. … That said, CC has now allowed 33 runners in his last 21.1 innings.
UPDATE, 2:12 p.m.: CC continues to skate by. He has put on seven runners and thrown 76 (39 strikes) pitches in four innings, but two double plays have helped soften the blow.
Also, this is one of those days the Yankees look old on defense. Posada has had a tough day behind the plate, Damon misplayed a liner to left and A-Rod could’ve gotten some leather on Gerald Laird’s second-inning single.
That said, no reason to be negative. It’s 0-0. All it takes is a swing or two.
UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: Forgot to mention this before, but Jeter now has an eight-game hit streak. Including today’s 2 for 2, he is 15 for 34 (.441).
UPDATE, 2:39 p.m.: Topic for discussion — will the Red Sox really continue to pitch Brad Penny and send Clay Buchholz back to the minors? Penny has been worse than league average all season and is being hit hard today by the Blue Jays. Wouldn’t you as Yankee fans prefer the Sox just kept sending Penny out there every fifth day?
Anyway, CC just hit 100 pitches here with one out in the sixth and there is activity in the bullpen for the first time all game.
UPDATE, 2:45 p.m.: CC, David Copperfield himself, gets out of another jam with a couple popups into the outfield. The second out led to applause by the folks here at the stadium. They were pleasantly surprised the noodle-armed Damon kept Marcus Thames from tagging up with the go-ahead run. Knowing Damon, he probably got a kick out of it.
UPDATE, 2:55 p.m.: Verlander just hit 100 on that strikeout pitch to Tex. He now has six K’s and one walk through six.
CC will come back out for the seventh. Between Sabathia and Verlander, there’s been a lot of peas thrown today. CC has topped out at 98, Verlander at 100.
UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: The second clutch late-game homer by the Yanks in as many days. This one was nothing like Tex’s majestic blast last night, as evident by the sadistic smile across the face of Verlander. I’d imagine Verlander thought A-Rod’s solo shot was a cheapie, but, of course, they all count the same.
UPDATE, 3:48 p.m.: Jeter turned back the clock there, going in the hole and catching Brandon Inge at first with his patented jump-throw.
Yanks win 2-1 and will go for the sweep tomorrow. Great start to the second half.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: Here’s some quick postgame news…
— Damaso Marte threw one scoreless inning today for the GCL Yankees. He struck out two and didn’t allow a hit or a walk, needing just 10 pitches to do so.
— Alfredo Aceves told me he had trouble with a hole in the mound when he came out to pitch the eighth. He didn’t want it to distract him, and it led to the delay. As for the ball called on him that Girardi later argued, Aceves said the ump called him for going to his mouth on the rubber. He said he actually wiped sweat off his face and that the ump mistook it for something else.
— Here’s what A-Rod had to say about his homer: “He’s throwing 98. I think he supplied a lot of the power.”
Apparently, Verlander won not pleased. Here’s what Jim Leyland had to say: “I wasn’t sure Marcus’ was going to go out, but I knew that Alex’s would. He’s just so strong and gets a good spin on the ball. Once he got it in the air, especially in this ballpark, I thought that it would go.”
— Mark Teixeira said of Verlander: “You have to put him on the short list” of the game’s best pitchers. “You knew we weren’t going to get many runs off of Verlander,” he added. “For CC to pitch like he did was huge.”
— Sabathia attributed his tough first two innings to feeling too strong. It led to him speeding up his delivery. As the game wore on, he said, he got his mechanics under control.
— Johnny Damon was unavailable after the game. Girardi said Damon almost didn’t start today because he wrenched his back sliding on Friday night. Damon had to undergo treatment before the game in order to play. His back was stiff.
— Nick Swisher didn’t believe his sidestepping had much of an impact on Adam Everett’s ability to field Melky Cabrera’s grounder in the eighth. It was instinctual, and he just wanted to avoid getting struck by the ball to end the inning. “It’s very smart baseball,” Girardi said.