Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (8-6, 4.67).
WHITE SOX (51-51)
Pitching: RHP Gavin Floyd (8-6, 4.24).
TIME/TV: 8:11 p.m., YES, MLB Network.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees took two of three from Tampa and have won 11 of their last 13. They lead Boston by 3.2 games in the American League East. The Yankees have won 24 of their last 31. They have matched the Dodgers for the best record in baseball.
DARN THOSE SOX: The Men of Oz are in third place in the Central, trailing Detroit by three games. They have lost three straight and six of their last seven. They return home after a brutal 1-6 road trip. The White Sox are 12-13 this month.
ANDY CANDY: Pettitte is 11-9, 4.48 in 22 careeer starts against the White Sox.
IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME: The Yankees have not played Chicago since last Sept. 18. They last played at U.S. Cellular Field April 22-24 of 2008. That’s 15 months ago. They were 5-2 against Chicago last season.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: The Yankees are 11-2 in their last 13 games despite outscoring the opposition by only 24 runs.
ALL HAIL MARIANO: The Sandman’s last 17 games: 16.2 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts.
PITCHING POWER: The Yankees have a 3.03 ERA in the 13 games since the All-Star break.
GOOD TIMING: Melky Cabrera is 6 of 15 with five runs scored since Brett Gardner went on the disabled list and he became the everyday center fielder. The Melkman is 9 of 19 overall with seven runs scored and three extra-base hits. The surge has taken him from .274 to .290.
THEY’RE HOT: Jorge Posada has seven RBI, seven extra-base hits and six runs scored in his last 12 games. … Mark Teixeira has an eight-game hitting streak. He is 18 of 52 (.346) since the break with five homers, 11 RBI and seven runs scored. … Nick Swisher is 6 of 18 with three runs scored, three RBI, four extra-base hits and two walks.
OBLIGATORY REMINDER OF HOW GREAT PHIL HUGHES IS: He has allowed two runs in 25.2 innings of relief. His last 16 appearances: 21 innings, 11 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 25 strikeouts. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment came yesterday when George Steinbrenner failed to notice how long his hair is.
Back with more later.
UPDATE, 6:58 p.m.: Joe Girardi essentially said they will add a right-handed bat from the minors tomorrow. My money is on Shelley Duncan. … Phil Coke has been dealing with a sinus infection, which explains his recent absence. … It could be a year before Chien-Ming Wang is ready to pitch in the majors again.
A-Rod passed on answering questions about David Ortiz, saying only that the Boston slugger was his friend. … Johnny Damon said he was disappointed to hear the news and maintained his own innocence.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: Bad news, they’re putting the tarp down. Or at least they’re starting to.
UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Yep, tarp is going down. We will not be starting on time.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Here’s the deal. Rain is expected in the next 10 minutes. That rain will last 30 minutes. Then there will be baseball. So we’re talking 9, 9:15, something like that.
UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: Tarp is coming up.
UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: 9:15 (ET) first pitch.
UPDATE, 9:15 p.m..: We’re underway in Chicago.
UPDATE, 9:48 p.m.: Melky stays hot with a double. He is 10 of his last 20 with four extra-base hits. Yankees have a chance to score the first run.
UPDATE, 10:26 p.m.: Maybe it’s because I’m sleep, but this has been a snoozer of a game. 1-0 White Sox in the fifth and there have been four hits in the game. Floyd has set down nine Yankees in a row since Melky’s double.
UPDATE, 10:40 p.m.: Yankees tie it as Molina doubles and scores on a Damon single. But Johnny was stranded when Tex and A-Rod whiffed. They are 0 for 6 with four strikeouts against Floyd.
UPDATE, 10:52 p.m.: Swisher is swinging from his heels trying to smack out out against his old team.
Pettitte had a 6.83 ERA at this park in his previous 11 starts here, by the way. He has been brilliant so far tonight: 6 4 1 1 0 7.
UPDATE, 11:02 p.m.: Good call by Girardi pulling Pettitte. Last time he went with him too long.
The scorer, clearly under pressure from the White Sox, changed that A-Rod error to a hit. What a joke. Not that it matters, but that’s a routine play.
Tough spot here for Hughes. He needs a strikeout.
UPDATE, 11:06 p.m.: Brutal. Hughes keeps throwing strikes and gets a DP grounder and Cano throws it away. 2-1 White Sox. Awful inning for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 11:12 p.m.: That would be a heck of a way to lose, on what amounts to three errors.
UPDATE, 11:34 p.m.: Swishalicious! He is loving that, given that he hates Ozzie Guillen. Brand new game 2-2 in the ninth. Coke warming up.