Pitching: RHP Sergio Mitre (3-1, 5.65).
BLUE JAYS (60-75)
Pitching: LHP Brian Tallet (5-9, 5.17).
TIME/TV: 1:07, YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees are 5-1 on a road trip that ends today. They have outscored the Orioles and Blue Jays 40-22 on the trip. They have won eight of nine overall. They start the day with an 8.5-game lead on Boston in the American League East. They lead the Angels by six games for the best record in the league and home field advantage in the playoffs.
THE JETER METER: Derek Jeter starts the day with 2,715 hits. He needs six to tie Lou Gehrig for the most in franchise history.
POSADA POWER: Jorge Posada is 28 of 86 (.326) in his last 22 games with 15 extra-base hits, 14 runs scored, 24 RBI and 10 walks.
OH, WHAT A RELIEF: Yankee relievers are 11-0 with nine saves since Aug. 5. They have a 3.27 ERA during that stretch.
BAD NEWS FOR BRIAN TALLET: The Yankees are 31-14 against left-handed starters this season including wins in 10 of their last 11 games.
MORE MITRE: Sergio Mitre will be making his first start since Aug. 29 when he threw 6.1 shutout innings against Chicago, allowing one hit. He was hit by a line drive in the arm and had his start pushed back. Mitre is 0-0 with a 4.12 ERA in seven career appearances in September.
DELIVERING AGAIN: Melky Cabrera is 13 of 32 (.406) in his last eight games with five RBI. His batting average has climbed from .266 to .277.
HOMER HAPPY: The Yankees have connected in 106 of their 136 games this season. They have 212 on the season and are on a pace to hit a team-record 253 after hitting 180 a year ago. While playing at Yankee Stadium is part of the reason, the Yankees also lead the majors with 95 homers on the road.
THE RETURN OF THE SANDMAN: Mariano Rivera could be ready to close today if needed. He has converted 38 of 39 save chances this season including 34 in a row. He has allowed one run in his last 29 innings.
CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED: Phil Hughes in three save opportunities this season: 4.2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts.
THANKS FOR THE BREAK: The Yankees are 36-12 since the All-Star Game.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Gorilla, You’re A Desperado by Warren Zevon.
Back with much more later on. But I do need to hustle up afterward to make a flight home.
UPDATE, 11:35 a.m.: Mariano Rivera says he is available today. Girardi sort of agrees. But it’s obvious they would prefer not to use him. … Reports on Brett Gardner are positive. He will DH a game for Scranton today then join the team tomorrow. Look for him to start one of the games in center field.
UPDATE, 12:35 p.m.: Girardi has been toying with lineups for the doubleheader for a few days now. Obviously some guys will have to play both games. Mark down Robbie Cano for that duty, probably Melky Cabrera, too. With Hideki Matsui limited to one game, you could see Jeter or A-Rod play one game in the field and DH the other. Jeter has said he wants to play both games.
UPDATE, 12:55 p.m.: The Yankees hand out press notes every day and one of the categories is “This Day in Yankees History.”
Here is todays entry:
“Fran Healy is born in Holyoke, Ma. Healy played with the Yankees from 1976-78 then joined the Yankees broadcast team for four seasons from 1978-81.”
With all due respect to Fran, who is a prince of a guy, is this really the best thing that happened on Sept. 6 in Yankees history?
UPDATE, 1:07 p.m.: We are underway at the Rogers Centre. Another beautiful day. We were 7 for 7 on this trip in terms of weather. Can’t beat it.
Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 1:13 p.m.: That’s 2,716 hits for Jeter, five away from the Iron Horse. Meanwhile, he stole career base No. 299.
UPDATE, 1:20 p.m.: Look who’s back everybody, it’s Sergio Mitre. … Memo to Jerry Hairston Jr.: Try not to get Tex killed. Meanwhile Damon chased down the ball in the left field corner like an old pensioner looking for his dog in Central Park. Not an auspicious start for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 1:51 p.m.: Jeter gets another hit. That’s 2,717, four away from Gehrig. Tickets tomorrow are probably be snapped up fast on line right now.
UPDATE, 2:03 p.m.: Wow, horrible umpiring by Balkin’ Bob Davidson. Toronto catcher Rod Barajas lost the ball and he called Matsui out at the plate. Then when everybody in a Yankees uniform pointed out that the ball was in the glove of the pitcher backing up the play, he called him safe.
Matsui, running from first on a 3-2 pitch, looked like he was about ready to collapse as he reached the plate.
At any rate, we’re all tied up. Let’s see how much longer Mitre can go.
UPDATE, 2:12 p.m.: Jays 4-3 but don’t blame Mitre. Swisher lost a pop-up in the sun and then Teixeirs sort of side-saddled a grounder that was called a single. Not a day of good defense for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: Scoring change here in Toronto. Teixeira was just given an error on that Encarnacion play in the last inning. So that’s three errors on the Yankees.
UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: Yankees 1 for 5 with RISP today, 6 for 24 the last two days.
UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: Another road home run for Swisher and the Yankees lead 5-4.
UPDATE, 3:03 p.m.: Not the luckiest day for Sergio Mitre as a strikeout and wild pitch puts a runner on base. Then back-to-back RBI singles give Toronto a 6-5 lead. Swisher’s throw to Cano bounced. Yes, bounced.
Poor, poor defense today.
UPDATE, 3:06 p.m.: And so it continues as Hairston botches another play. Have to get an out there. Sloppy game. Jays lead 7-5.
UPDATE, 3:09 p.m.: Mitre is certainly getting no help from his teammates. But he also has given up 10 hits in 4.1 innings. He’s at fault, too.
UPDATE, 3:22 p.m.: My belief that Mark Melancon will one day help the Yankees is being shaken in recent days. Throw strikes, young man.
Anyway, it’s 11-5 as Toronto has scored six runs in this inning. I’m going to get cracking on my newspaper stories so I can catch (hopefully) my flight home. If anything comes up of importance, I will be sure to keep you informed.
UPDATE, 3:55 p.m.: If baseball rules allowed you to forfeit, I’m fairly sure the Yankees would at this point. They have committed four errors and Johnny and Melky just ran into each other. They have had some stinkers this year but this one might be the worst.