Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (11-9, 4.22).
Pitching: LHP Scott Kazmir (9-8, 5.08).
TIME/TV: 3:35, YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees beat the Angels 6-5 last night, scoring a run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees clinched a playoff spot last night. They lead the Red Sox by six games in the American League East and the Angels by 5.5 games in the pursuit for home-field advantage.
END OF THE ROAD: The Yankees are 2-3 on a road trip that ends today.
HOMER HAPPY: The Yankees have 231 home runs with 10 games left. The team record is 242. That was set in 2004.
CLUTCH-ROD: Alex Rodriguez has 89 RBI this season. 33 of them have come from the seventh inning on with 14 of those either tying the score or giving the Yankees the lead.
HE’S NO ANGEL: A-Rod has 67 homers and 151 RBI on 171 career games against the Angels. He has homered in each of the first two games of the series.
MATSUI MASHES: Hideki Matsui has four home runs in his last six games and 12 RBI in his last nine.
CAPTAIN SPEED: Derek Jeter has stolen 27 bases, the most since he swiped 34 in 2006.
BURNETT TRIES AGAIN: A.J. Burnett pitched well against Seattle on Friday, allowing one run in seven innings. He he is 1-5 with a 5.60 ERA since Aug. 1.
NOT YOU AGAIN: Scott Kazmir is 6-4, 2.53 in 14 appearances against the Yankees in his career. He allowed four runs on 11 hits in 13.2 innings against the Yankees this season while with Tampa Bay. He is 1-1, 1.42 in four starts with the Angels since being traded.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Desperados Under the Eaves by Warren Zevon.
Back with more later on.
UPDATE, 1:31 p.m.: No lineup yet.
UPDATE, 2:39 p.m.: I’m sure there many questions/outright anger regarding the lineup. But there are reasons:
• A-Rod hasn’t had a day off in a while. Resting him today gives him two days off in a row as the team is off tomorrow.
• Posada fouled a ball off his right foot in the fifth inning last night and he is getting x-rays to make sure nothing is broken.
• Swisher fouled a ball off his leg last night and was limping around.
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Posada’s x-rays were negative.
UPDATE, 3:06 p.m.: It’s a scorcher here with temperatures close to 100.
UPDATE, 3:27 p.m.: We’re about to get underway here. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 3:37 p.m.: 95 degrees at first pitch.
UPDATE, 4:41 p.m: That’s a good aggressive send by Rob Thomson. It just didn’t work out. Rivera made a perfect throw.
With RISP-phobic Cano up, it made sense.
UPDATE, 4:46 p.m.: Look at that, Cano got a two-runs single with two outs and two runners in scoring position. The odds were against that. Or maybe be was due.
UPDATE, 5:01 p.m.: The Good A.J. Burnett is back from his summer vacation. His last 11 innings: 10 hits, 1 run, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts.
Just in time, too.
UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Trouble here for Burnett as the Angels put runners on second and third with nobody out and the heart of the order up. He’s do well to allow only one run here.
UPDATE, 5:25 p.m.: Good work by A.J. there, limiting the damage. Yankees lead 3-1 after five.
UPDATE, 5:46 p.m.: We’re in the sixth and A.J. has whiffed 11. The Angels have six hits and have drawn two walks but they’ve had a ton of poor swings.
UPDATE, 5:48 p.m.: The Richter Scale is shaking here in California as Shelley Duncan just flung himself onto the warning track vainly trying to catch an RBI double by Matthews. Yankees lead 3-2.
UPDATE, 5:52 p.m.: Burnett did not want to come out of the game there. But on a 95-degree day and with him over 100 pitches, Girardi is doing the smart thing. Plus Figgins was 3 for 3 against Burnett.
This is the issue with A.J. and always has been. It’s hard for him to get deep in games because he throws a lot of pitches. The strikeouts, while impressive, are not economical.
UPDATE, 6:11 p.m.: Jerry Hairston Jr. was injured after seeing one pitch but it’s not clear what is wrong with him.
UPDATE, 6:25 p.m.: After having the runs for two days, Phil Coke now trying to keep any from scoring. … Just wondering, but how quickly should the Yankees DFA guys like Albaladejo and Ramirez after the season? I’d say seven minutes tops.
UPDATE, 6:40 p.m.: Big spot for Ian Kennedy, who makes his majors season debut with a one-run lead pitching in relief. He’s a SoCal kid, too. Probably has some family and friends here.
UPDATE, 6:47 p.m.: Obviously Girardi will not use Hughes today. Boy, Dave Robertson gets more valuable every day. It also appears they’re fresh out of use for Brian Bruney.
UPDATE, 6:56 p.m.: You have to be happy for IPK there. He has come all the way back from aneurysm surgery to pitch in the majors and get three huge outs in an important game. Good for him.