Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (8-5, 4.62).
Pitching: LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 9.33).
TIME/TV: 1:05, YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have won eight straight and 21 of their last 26. Only the Dodgers (61-35) have a better record and that gap is closing. The Yankees are also tied with Boston for the second-best run differential in the game at +77. The Dodgers lead at +111. Tampa Bay is fourth at +76.
STREAKS: The Yankees are looking to match their season-long streak of nine wins in a row from May 13-21.
NICE BREAK: The Yankees are undefeated since the All-Star break, outscoring the opposition 37-20.
IT’S ALL ABOUT PITCHING: The Yankees have a 2.25 ERA since the All-Star break and their starters are 6-0 with a 2.35 ERA.
ANOTHER LOST SEASON: The Athletics have lost 17 of their last 25 games and 24 of the last 39. Hollywood is said to be making a movie about Billy Beane based on the book Moneyball. Maybe they already did. It was called Titanic.
PUNCHING BAGS: The Yankees are 4-0 against Oakland this season and 9-1 going back to last year. They have won eight straight in the series.
SLUGGING SHELLEY: Shelley Duncan was 4 for 7 with two homers and three RBI in a doubleheader last night for Tripe-A Scranton. He is hitting 25 homers and 75 RBI in 84 games this season. His OPS is .943.
THE GREATEST HUGHES SINCE HOWARD: Phil Hughes has thrown 19.2 scoreless innings in his last 15 appearance, striking out 22. He has a microscopic 0.74 ERA as a reliever.
THE MELKMAN DELIVERS: Melky Cabrera broke out of a slump with three hits last night. He has three three-hit games, all coming at Yankee Stadium.
COKE IS IT: The Yankees are 13-1 in the last 14 games Phil Coke has appeared in. Lefties are hitting .188 against him. But they do have five home runs.
MOVING UP: Today will be Jeter’s 2,076 game, matching Bernie Williams for fifth on the franchise’s all-time list.
PETTITTE POWER: Andy Pettitte is 11-5 with a 3.24 ERA against Oakland in his career.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Your Hand In Mine by Explosions In The Sky. Instrumental stuff from the band that does the Friday Night Lights soundtrack. Good and soothing on a Saturday morning. Now it’s time to grab a Red Bull and go to the clubhouse.
Back with more later. It’s a beautiful day, stop reading the internet and go outside.
UPDATE, 11:48 a.m.: I’m sure there is the usual irrational panic about the lineup. But it’s a game after a night game and the Yankees don’t have a day off coming until Aug. 3. The Yankees are in the middle of a stretch that will see them play 17 straight days and 33 out of 34 days. Would you rather give guys a rest against Oakland at home or in Tampa? Or against Boston?
Meanwhile, Girardi said that A-Rod would get a day off tomorrow or at best be the DH.
UPDATE, 1:24 p.m.: We’re in the first inning at the Stadium on a beautiful day with a big crowd. Even the Legends seats are mostly full for once. Enjoy the game wherever you are.
UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: Nine up and nine down for Andy. Three strikeouts, four groundouts and a pop-up. Only Mark Ellis (line drive to short) hit the ball well. He’s working that cutter again.
UPDATE, 1:47 p.m.: Gio Gonzalez is a walk away from perfection. Nice tidy game so far. Three innings in 38 minutes.
UPDATE, 2:17 p.m.: Meky breaks up the Gonzalez no-hitter in the fifth inning (yes, the fifth inning) with a bunt single. Gonzalez twisted his left foot trying to make a play but he will stay in the game. Something to keep an eye on.
UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.: Five innings in 68 minutes. How about that?
UPDATE, 2:25 p.m.: Andy Pettitte’s last 13.1 innings: 8 hits, 1 run, 15 K’s.
UPDATE, 2:34 p.m.: Gritty! Gutty! Brett Gardner with an RBI triple to right. Yankees lead 1-0.
Watching him run the bases is fun. He had that standing up easy.
UPDATE, 2:39 p.m.: Bad job by Tex and A-Rod, leaving Gardner stranded at third. 2-0 would look huge in this game. But Pettitte will take the lead. One more inning than Hughes and Mo?
Alex looks like he needs a day off. He’s 1 for 9 with five strikeouts in the last three games.
UPDATE, 2:52 p.m. Tampa Bay has pulled primo SS prospect Reid Brignac out of his AAA game. A trade could be close.
Meanwhile, Girardi just visited the mound here in the seventh inning and left Pettitte in the game to have Rajai Davis with runners on first and second and one out.
UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: Mistake. Davis rifles a single up the middle to tie it. With three right-handed hitters in a row, why not bring in Aceves?
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Now Oakland leads 3-1. Instead of facing three righties in a row, Aceves got to switch hitter Landon Powell and he went oppo to left field for a two-run RBI single.
Girardi should not have let Pettitte talk him out of it.
UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: The game has gotten out of hand as Aceves got ripped. Some people actually booed when Oakland went up 6-1. Never mind that the Yankees have won eight straight, 21 of 26 and 44 of 64. They booed. Classy. What great fans in New York, right?
UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: Turns out Reid Brignac was pulled for not hustling according to Rays scribes. Everybody is working on mysteries without any clues as the trade deadline gets closer, I guess.
Yankees trail 6-1 and have three innings to catch up. Let’s see if they can do it.
UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: That inning right there is why Gardner should be playing CF every day. He covers acres more ground than Melky.
UPDATE, 3:27 p.m.: Jeter with a Pony League home run over the aux scoreboard in right field. That doesn’t even get to the warning track across the street. But the Captain knows where to hit them here.
What a joke right field is. That’s 159 homers this season, one fewer than all of last season. And it’s July 25.
UPDATE, 3:41 p.m.: That’s didn’t take long. Tex with a legit bomb to right. Yankees back in it, down 6-4.
UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: Jeter has 11 homers, nine at Yankee Stadium and eight to right field.
Swishalicious with a bloop double and the Yankees will bring the tying run to the plate. Cano against All-Star Andrew Bailey.
UPDATE, 3:51 p.m.: Cano with a runner in scoring position? No chance. Pop to right, inning over. Yanks need two in the ninth to tie.
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: Bruney does his job. We go to the ninth with the Yankees down 6-4. Back later with clubhouse reaction.
UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: Is A.J. baking a pie? Melky and Johnny walk, Posada to the plate with a chance to win it.