Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (10-7, 4.08).
Pitching: RHP Dustin Nippert (4-2, 3.95).
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankee have won five of their last seven. They start the day with a six-game lead in the American League East.
SERIES STREAK: A victory today would give the Yankees victories in 11 of the last 12 series they have played.
THE BURNETT BLUES: A.J. Burnett is 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA in his last five starts. He has allowed 36 hits and 14 walks in his last 31.1 innings.
THE JETER METER: Derek Jeter is 39 of 102 (.382) this month with 16 RBI and 20 runs over 23 games. He is 30 of 61 (.492) in his last 15 games with 12 RBI and 15 runs.
BRING BACK BRETT: Melky Cabrera is hitting .209 with a .258 on-base percentage since Brett Gardner went on the disabled list.
LONG GONE: There have been 191 home runs hit in 61 games at Yankee Stadium this season. There were 160 hit in 81 games last season.
FREE PHIL HUGHES: He has thrown a grand total of eight innings this month.
MATSUI MASHING: Hideki Matsui is 14 of his last 40 with 18 RBI over nine games. That includes going 8 of 23 with 12 RBI in the last five.
GET OUT IN FRONT: The Yankees are 51-15 when they score first.
HOME COOKING: The Yankees are a Major League best 42-19 at home.
CANO CONNECTS: Robinson Cano is 8 of his last 17 with four RBI and four extra-base hits.
STOP SIGN: Cano is 16 of 36 in his career in stolen base attempts.
SWISHER SWATS: Nick Swisher is 12 of 46 with eight extra-base hits and seven RBI. Oddly enough, he has gone 49 plate appearances since his last walk.
TEXAS TROUBLE: Michael Young has a 13-game hit streak, the longest current streak in the majors. He is 23 of 54 (.436) with 14 RBI and six extra-base hits in the streak.
ON THE iPOD THIS MORNING: Uptight (Everything’s Alright) by Stevie Wonder.
Back with more later.
UPDATE, 10:22 a.m.: Late report for the fellas today. In the house so far: CC, A.J., Joba, Hinske, Coke and Molina.
UPDATE, 11:07 a.m: Brett Gardner will hit off a tee today for the time since he fractured his thumb. He’s hopeful of starting a rehab Monday.
UPDATE, 11:55 a.m.: Here is Joe Girardi’s pregame interview session:
He talked about Jorge Posada’s injury, what A.J. Burnett has to do today, Brett Gardner and other topics.
UPDATE, 12:05 p.m.: The Yankees ruin more careers than fast women and hard liquor. The Rangers DFA’d Jason Jennings after his performance last night (1 3 3 2 0 1) and called up RHP Pedro Strop.
UPDATE, 12:50 p.m.: Via Howard Rubenstein, here is a statement said to be from George Steinbrenner:
“Ted Kennedy and I were friendly for many years and I was honored to have him as a guest on my farm in Florida. Of course we talked baseball. He was a die-hard Red Sox fan. That never stood in the way of our friendship. It was a good natured rivalry. He understood competition and winning but he also he had a great sense of humor and sportsmanship. Our relationship was probably stronger because we were on opposing sides in sports, but still respected and admired each other.
“What impressed me most about Ted Kennedy was his commitment and never-quit attitude. He was focused on using his position to help those who needed it the most even against great odds. He was a warrior in that. And you had to admire the courage and strength he displayed throughout his life right up until the end. He’ll really be missed.”
UPDATE, 1:10 p.m.: We are underway at the Stadium on a perfect day for baseball. 73 degrees and just a few white clouds floating around. Stay tuned for plenty of updates. A.J. Burnett is even throwing strikes.
UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: Three up, three down. Three first-pitch strikes. 12 pitches/10 strikes. Who’s the guy wearing No. 34?
UPDATE, 1:16 p.m.: Every time Jeter comes up, I enjoy the dichotomy of hearing the recorded voice of 97-year-old Bob Sheppard announce him while 50 Cent is rapping Get Up in the background.
What’s really funny is Jeet, Shep and Fitty hang out all the time downtown.
UPDATE, 1:19 p.m.: What’s even funnier is that Mark Teixeira, the only player in the history of baseball who shaves every day, comes to the plate to Twisted Sister.
UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: Cano lines one the other way and still can’t get a knock with RISP. He’s 30 of 146 (.205).
Yankees made Nippert throw a bunch of pitches but all that produced only one run.
Still, they are 51-15 when they score first.
UPDATE, 1:43 p.m: Six up and six down for A.J. 27 pitches / 18 strikes. Obviously Jose Molina is a genius. It has nothing whatsoever to do with fastball command.
UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: Nine up and nine down for A.J. Five strikeouts. First-pitch strikes to seven batters.
UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Yankees have put seven runners on base in three innings and scored one run. They’re 1 for 6 with RISP and have left six on base. Nippert has been let off the hook so far. They’re a walk and a big fly away from trailing and with A.J. that is never more than five pitches away.
UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.: So much for perfection. Burnett walks Hamilton with two outs in the fourth inning, curveball that got away.
UPDATE, 2:25 p.m.: Bad A.J. has arrived here in the fourth inning as he walks Hamilton and Cruz and gives uop a rocket to Kinsler on the first pitch.
A.J. is inexplicable at times. There are two outs and he threw over to first several times to keep Josh Hamilton (8 for 11 on SBs) close. Who cares if he runs? Deal with Cruz. Then he walks Cruz after losing focus, then serves up a meatball to Kinsler.
People who think the catcher has anything to do with how this guy pitches aren’t paying attention. He makes the same mistakes regardless.
UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: Ron Washington must want to strangle Dustin Nippert. They get to Burnett, take the lead and he walks a non-hitter like Melky Cabrera to start the bottom of the inning.
UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: No problem, Molina GIDP. But they’d be much better off with him catching every day, right?
UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: Nippert has walked six in four innings at Yankee Stadium and leads 3-1. How long can that last?
UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Not long. Tex’s second RBI single of the day makes it 3-2. Nippert is out after a dreadful effort.
Somehow, I don’t think it’s ending up 3-2.
UPDATE, 2:47 p.m.: Jason Grilli? There’s a good chance A-Rod is going to hit something hard somewhere.
UPDATE, 2:49 p.m.: Or tap it back weakly to the mound as the crowd boos.
Yankees down 3-2 after four.
UPDATE, 2:59 p.m.: Burnett’s inning-by-inning pitch count: 12-15-16-31-9.
Good A.J., Good A.J., Good A.J., Bad A.J., Good A.J.
UPDATE, 3:02 p.m.: It would be sort of fitting given his career for A.J. to throw a one-hitter, strike out 17 and lose 3-2, wouldn’t it?
UPDATE, 3:10 p.m.: Burnett closing in on 100 pitches.
UPDATE, 3:12 p.m.: Putting two guys on base for Ian Kinsler again. That didn’t work so well the last time.
UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.: Here is how this goes: Kinsler walks to load the bases, Marte comes in for the lefty and Murphy gets a two-run single. Or Burnett K’s Kinsler and walks off shaking his head wondering why he didn’t do that last time.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: Second scenario it is. Yankees down 3-2. Burnett has fanned 12.
UPDATE, 3;17 p.m.: Burnett is at 105 pitches. He has thrown only 36 of his last 62 pitches for strikes, You run him back out there for the seventh inning?
UPDATE, 3:23 p.m.: Burnett is done and Coke is it. … Meanwhile, Jason Grilli managed to retire seven straight. Big spot for the Seton Hall product.
UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: Burnett’s line:
3 earned runs
3 walks (two of them scored)
He fanned every Ranger at least once except for No. 9 hitter Elvis Andrus, who grounded out twice.
A loss today would leave Burnett 0-4 in his last six starts.
UPDATE, 3:27 p.m.: Phil Coke isn’t exactly a rocket scientist. A-Rod is right there with the bunt in front of him. But Coke picks it up and throws high and off-balance, allowing the runner to be safe. Yankees in trouble as Texas has runners at first and third.
UPDATE, 3:28 p.m.: Big trouble as Davis dumps a cheapie into the right field stands. Yankees down 6-2.
UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: Coke has a 5.12 ERA. He is at best a one-batter lefty specialist and I’m not even convinced he is that moving forward. He is very hittable. He has allowed nine homers in 51.2 innings.
Coke gets booed off the field as Robertson comes in. Ill-tempered crowd today.
UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Damon’s single and an error by Andrus gives the Yankees runners on first and second with no outs for A-Rod. Down 6-2, they can get back in it in a hurry here.
UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: Huh, no error. Just a fielder’s choice. Nevertheless, same situation.
UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: Alex swings and misses at a 2-2 pitch low and inside, right where he can’t reach it given how close he stands to the plate. Great pitch by Wilson. Yankees 2-9 with RISP.
UPDATE, 3:46 p.m.: Matsui K’s on three pitches. Up to Swisher to salvage the rally.
UPDATE, 3:48 p.m.: Swisher K’s looking. Yankees 2 for 11 with RISP. Bad day today. But they have two innings left to try and come back.
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: Kinsler again, again to left and this time off Robertson. Rangers lead 7-2 and the people are fleeing the Stadium. I’ve never understood leaving a game early. You never know what you might see or what will happen. What’s the hurry? It’s New York, there’s going to be traffic regardless. Watch the game.
UPDATE, 4:13 p.m.: The LoHud Yankees Blog Pitcher of the Game is Alfredo Aceves. Congrats to Alfredo.