Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (10-6, 4.25).
Pitching: LHP Derek Holland (7-7, 4.72).
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m. YES/ESPN2.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees have hit a little lull. They are 4-4 in their last eight games after falling 10-9 last night. They lead Boston by six games in the East.
HOMER HAPPY: Robinson Cano joined the 20-home run club last night, giving the Yankees six members. That makes the 1961 and 2004 teams. The Yankees could end up with seven or maybe even eight if Derek Jeter (16) and Jorge Posada (15) get there.
WALK AWAY: Jeter snapped a streak of 113 plate appearances without a walk when he walked to lead off the game last night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the streak was the longest active such streak in the American League and the fourth longest in the Majors behind NL pitchers Jason Schmidt (167), Doug Davis (165) and Kip Wells (149).
Jeter has multiple-hit games in 11 of the last 13 games he has started.
GODZILLA AT WORK: Hideki Matsui has 17 RBI over his last eight games. Eight of his last 13 hits have been for extra-bases. Seven of them are homers.
DANDY ANDY: Andy Pettitte should be the No. 3 starter in the playoffs. He is 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA since the All-Star break. Over 44.2 innings, he has allowed only 38 hits and struck out 47 thanks to rediscovering his cutter.
That’s it for now. Thanks to Josh Thomson for calling in the lineup. I’ll be driving back to New York during the game and blogging while driving is generally frowned on by the paper.
Josh will take you through the rest of the day.
Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 6:10 p.m.: Josh here. Not much to report from the clubhouse. Here’s what I can tell you…
Johnny Damon said his knee is fine. He attributed the day off to his struggles against Holland on May 27. He went 0 for 3 and struck out twice against Holland despite the Yankees roughing up the young lefty. Damon’s only other career AB against Holland was a strikeout. “Hairston would probably do a better job than me,” Damon said.
A.J. Burnett didn’t really want to rehash his last start but he is eager to return to the mound tomorrow. He was frustrated with himself in the wake of allowing nine runs in five innings against the Red Sox, not Posada. “That’s not him. That’s my preparation,” Burnett said.
Joe Girardi told us it’ll be good for Burnett and Posada to put a good start together, if for no other reason than to end all the chatter. A couple minutes later, however, he revealed his intention to catch Jose Molina tomorrow. It’s a day game after a night game, the manager said. “It’s just kind of the way the schedule fell,” Girardi said.
If you want instant news updates after the game, follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jthomson22.
I’ll have much more here tonight. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: Jack Nicholson is in the house — ever so conspicuous — wearing a purple shirt and sitting directly behind home plate.
UPDATE, 7:43 p.m.: Wow, a lot of star power for a Wednesday night in August. Paul McCartney is seated behind the plate tonight as well.
The former Beatle was treated to the three-run homer by Posada, who staked the Yankees to a 3-0 lead. Remember: Anytime you question his game-calling skills, don’t forget the stick. Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez are the only catchers with more than Posada’s 17 homers. And he has done it in 308 ABs.
UPDATE, 7:53 p.m.: That was A-Rod’s ninth steal of the year. He needs one more to avoid tying his career low. He had nine steals in 2002.
Of course, Rodriguez was promptly thrown out at home on a terrific play by Elvis Andrus. A-Rod saw Andrus field the ball on the slide. Why not turn around and go back to third?
UPDATE, 8:28 p.m.: Maybe the hair and beard of his idiot days weren’t just for show. Damon decrees Hairston will do better, and so it is.
Seriously though, Hairston has been a terrific pickup. He is 11 for 34 with two HRs, five walks, seven runs scored and seven RBI.
UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: The home run by David Murphy snapped the longest homerless streak of Andy Pettitte’s career: 49.2 innings.
UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: I’ll have an update on Posada as soon as possible. With the Yanks up 9-2 in the eighth, it could just be for precaution.