Pitching: RHP Sergio Mitre (2-1, 6.82).
WHITE SOX (64-65)
Pitching: RHP Jose Contreras (5-12, 5.09).
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES.
WEATHER UPDATE: The Yankees had a late report time today and will not take batting on the field. There is rain in the area and we’ll keep you posted on the state of the game. They’ll likely do all they can to play.
STATE OF THE STRIPES: The Yankees beat the White Sox 5-2 in 10 innings last night. They maintained a six-game on Boston in the AL East. They still lead the Angels by 3.5 games in the chase for home-field advantage. Los Angeles rallied to beat Oakland 11-7. They were down 6-1 after five innings.
SHADES OF THE 70s: The Yankees recorded their 12th walk-off win of the season last night. That’s their most since 1978, when they had 13.
LEADING MAN: Derek Jeter hit his third leadoff homer of the season last night, and the 22nd of his career, breaking a tie with Alfonso Soriano for sole possession of second place in franchise history. He trails only Rickey Henderson, who had 24.
BRING HIM BACK: Johnny Damon hit his 23rd home run of the season last night, leaving him one homer shy of tying his career high set in 2006. He has multiple hits in eight of his last 13 games.
HUUUUUUUUUUGHES: Phil Hughes struck out the side in the eighth inning. He has a 1.23 ERA in 29 relief appearances and has fanned 48 in 36.1 innings of relief. His 1.47 ERA since the All-Star break leads all qualifiers currently in the American League.
BRONX SHAKE DOWN: The Yankees have won nine of the last 11 games against the White Sox in the Bronx.
JORGE WAITS Girardi said he is going to give Jorge Posada one more day to rest that bruised left ring finger. He will catch in the bullpen today to test it out.
A TITAN NO MORE: Jose Contreras — once known as the Titan of Bronze in Cuba — is 1-5 with a 6.16 ERA in his last eight starts. He has lasted only 38 innings in those eight starts and out 68 runners on base via it, walk or it by pitch. When Contreras got rocked by the Red Sox on Monday, Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said he was out of the rotation. But here is is, the other options deemed unappealing.
BACK IN THE BRONX: Contreras was 15-7, 4.64 with the Yankees from 2003-04 before he was traded. He is 2-5, 4.20 in seven career starts against the Yankees since.
MITRE MATTERS: Mitre is starting for the first time since Aug. 15 when he allowed one earned run over 5.1 innings at Seattle. He pitched two innings in relief at Fenway Park on Aug. 21 and got lit up, giving up four runs on four hits.
MILESTONE WATCH: Mariano Rivera is six strikeouts away from 1,000 in his career. He also is two appearances away from tying Denton True “Cy” Young for 20th place in career appearances with 906. Can anybody explain why I failed Spanish miserably in college yet I know the full name of every Hall of Famer? I have serious issues.
PINCH HITTING: Thanks to my Journal News colleague Josh Thomson for texting in the lineup. I have some non-game duties today and he is in the Bronx. Josh will be back later to update the blog.
Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 12:10 p.m.: Josh here. A few quick items to report…
As Peter wrote, Posada will be given another day to rest his injured left ring finger. He does finally have a contraption (as Girardi called it) to protect the finger, so we should know more later on how effective it is playing catch. “He wants to play,” Girardi said. “I feel like the extra day is going to help him.”
Girardi said he wouldn’t have used Posada last night because the game was tied and theoretically could’ve been played deep into the night. “If we were down I would’ve used him,” Girardi said. Of note: Jerry Hairston, Jr. is probably the emergency catcher. He went into the bullpen last night to catch a reliever.
— Brett Gardner will take the day off from hitting after hitting off a tee the last two days. He will throw today. Gardner said the finger is still sore, and he is being somewhat cautious rather than pushing through the pain (and possible making it worse). At any rate, he will hit tomorrow off a tee and possibly try soft toss. He remains optimistic he could begin a rehab assignment at some point this coming week. “Everything feels OK, but still a little sore,” Gardner said. “No swelling. It’s getting better every day, and hopefully closer to feeling 100 percent.”
— Girardi on Kazmir: “I thought he was a fixture in Tampa’s rotation. I know he still has a couple years left, but I think he’s a good pitcher.”
More here later. For updates when I’m not at the computer, follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jthomson22/.
UPDATE, 12:20 p.m.: Also, I must say, I think this game will be played today. The tarp is off and the field looks perfectly fine.
UPDATE, 1:28 p.m.: I know you all have a reason to hate the sight of Contreras, but you saw in the first why he remains so tantalizing — and so eternally frustrating.
His results have been among the worst in baseball this year. Watching him pitch disgusts his own manager. Yet there he was, striking out Teixeira on a nasty splitter, blowing away A-Rod on a heater at 95, and forcing a lazy fly ball off the bat of Matsui with a letter-high split.
Few pitchers in the last decade have done less with more.
UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: Jeter absolutely cannot bunt there. I’m sorry. He’s batting over .330 and Contreras hasn’t come close to recording an out in the second inning. (And he had just walked the No. 9 batter with Jeter on deck.)
People at the Stadium clapped because fans clap for bunts. Damon’s two-run double will only confirm in their minds that the bunt was the right play there. Anyway, it’s now 4-0 Yanks.
UPDATE, 2:05 p.m.: Posada just warmed up Mitre while Molina put his gear on. That must be a positive sign.
UPDATE, 2:25 p.m.: Matsui in August — .300, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 16 R.
UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: Mitre may’ve lost his perfect game, but at least it wasn’t on a cheapie. Jim Thome still hits the ball like a grown man.
UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Is that Sergio Mitre out there or Brandon Webb? Of the 18 outs so far, 13 have come by way of strikeout of ground out. He has been helped by outstanding defensive plays by A-Rod and Cano, who may’ve just snared tonight’s No. 1 web gem.
UPDATE, 3:03 p.m.: Mitre was hit by a liner off the bat of A.J. Pierzynski (I believe in the right arm) and is now out of the game. Chad Gaudin is on the mound. It was definitely Mitre’s best start as a Yankee: 6 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K.
The last time Mitre pitched scoreless ball this deep into a game was May 10, 2007 against the Dodgers (8 IP, 0 R, 3 H).
UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: Also, Pete reports that if they Yanks win they will be 33 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 26, 2006.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: Mitre left the game with a right forearm contusion. Precautionary X-rays will be taken here at the Stadium.
UPDATE, 3:44 p.m.: Aside from the performance of Mitre, this has been a pretty uneventful game. But check out the scathing comments Ozzie Guillen made after last night’s game. What might he say today?
Yanks win 10-0. Nary a rain delay in sight.