Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Jerry Hairston RF
Melky Cabrera CF
Jose Molina C
Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (0-0, 4.42 ERA in postseason)
Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Matt Stairs DH
Pedro Feliz 3B
Carlos Ruiz C
Pitching: RHP Pedro Martinez (0-0, 0.00 ERA in postseason)
TIME/TV: 7:57 p.m., FOX
WEATHER: Looking good. Maybe some clouds and there will be a chill in the air, but it’s dry and (hopefully) not too windy. Perfect October baseball weather. Check out the forecast here.
STATE OF THE STRIPES: The Yankees remain four wins away from their 27th World Series after dropping Game 1 to the Phillies, 6-1, last night at the Stadium. The Yankees are now 24-16 all-time in World Series openers, but the good news for Yankees fans is that eight of the 15 previous losses came in years when the Yankees came back to win the World Series anyway.
UNUSUAL WHIFF: Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts last night, snapping a nine-game postseason hitting streak from this year and an 11-game run that dated back to 2007. The three strikeouts were particularly unusual, since the last time A-Rod had struck out more than once in a game was over a month ago – Sept. 22 against the Angels.
BURN-ING UP: Controlling his emotions, particularly at the start of the game, will be critical for Burnett: During the first 15 pitches of his regular-season starts, opposing hitters had a .797 OPS against him – the highest OPS of any 15-pitch increment up to 75 pitches. They also hit the most home runs (eight) off him during that first increment. Burnett allowed one run in the first and two in the second to the Phillies when he faced them back on May 22.
FINALLY: When the Yankees scored an unearned run in the ninth inning last night, it snapped a 17-inning scoreless drought for them in the World Series, the third-longest stretch in franchise history. The longest was 21 innings 1921-22, followed by an 18-inning streak from Games 1-3 of the 2001 World Series.
UNPLEASANT DEJA VU: Cliff Lee’s 10 strikeouts in Game 1 were the most by a pitcher in the World Series since Josh Beckett also struck out 10 Yankees in Game 3 of the 2003 World Series vs. the Marlins. Beckett, of course, then went on to pitch the clincher for Florida in Game 6, shutting down the Yankees at the old Stadium.
CAPTAIN WONDERFUL: Derek Jeter was the only Yankee to have any success off Lee, and his three hits gave him 42 in the World Series, tying him (with Elston Howard, Babe Ruth and Eddie Collins) for 10th on the all-time list. It was Jeter’s fourth career three-hit game in the Fall Classic, and third in his last five World Series games.
WHO’S YOUR DADDY?: The Yankees vs. Pedro battle has been plenty dramatic over the years, but it’s also played out to be mostly a draw. Martinez is 11-11 with a 3.20 ERA lifetime in the regular season against the Yankees, and was 8-5 with a 3.21 ERA in 18 career starts at the old Yankee Stadium. That includes an 0-1, 5.40 ERA in two ALCS starts. Then again, Martinez also had one of career best days at the Stadium, when he allowed one hit and struck out 17 on Sept. 10, 1999.
RANDOM QUESTION OF THE DAY: Is sitting under a mango tree actually a thing people do? Like, is it similar to lounging under a palm tree when you’re on vacation? Can there be hammocks?
IF THERE WERE WALK-TO-THE-PLATE MUSIC IN REAL LIFE, TODAY’S WOULD BE: Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Heading down for Joe Girardi’s press conference. Back with much more later on.
UPDATE, 4:05 p.m.: Josh here. I just updated the Yankee lineup, which includes Jerry Hairston in right for the struggling Nick Swisher, as well as Jose Molina behind the plate.
Girardi liked Hairston’s history of success against Pedro. He has eight hits in 24 ABs and a .907 OPS. Here’s their head-to-head.
UPDATE, 4:31 p.m.: While I was not surprised – how could you be? – to see Swisher’s .114 average out of the lineup in Game 2, I was slightly surprised that Girardi elected to go with Hairston as his replacement over Eric Hinske. Hairston has 10 hits in 27 ABs against Pedro; Hinske has eight in 30. To me, that’s not nearly enough of a difference to make up for the fact that if Hinske gets a hittable pitch, he can turn it into runs right away while Hairston is a mostly singles hitter. Either way, I think we can all agree that Swisher needed a break.
UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: Yanks are out and stretching. For those coming to the game tonight and interested in the precise timing of the pregame stuff, here are the highlights (notice Derek Jeter getting the Clemente Award for commitment to community):
4:50 – 6 p.m.: Yankees hit
5 p.m.: Gates open
6 – 6:40 p.m.: Phillies hit
7:31 p.m.: Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performance
7:36 p.m.: Lineups announced
7:40 p.m.: Roberto Clemente Award presentation to Derek Jeter
7:47 p.m.: John Legend sings the national anthem
7:50 p.m.: Paul O’Neill throws out ceremonial first pitch
7:52 p.m.: Game ball delivered to mound by Boys & Girls Clubs of America
7:55 p.m.: Yankees take field
7:57 p.m.: First pitch
UPDATE, 5:01 p.m.: Standing in right field right now during batting practice? CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes … and Jerry Hairston. He’s been out there the whole time. Obviously trying to get as many looks at the perspective of the ball coming in that direction from home plate. Hairston has played 72 of his 1,010 regular-season games in right field. He last played there on Sept. 7, coming in for an inning at the end of the first game of a doubleheader against the Rays.
UPDATE, 5:09 p.m.: Chad here with some notes from Girardi’s session with the beat writers.
• This is from the press conference, but it’s worth noting. “Would I use (Hughes) in the eighth inning tonight?” Girardi said. “Yes I would.” My own opinion, I think he’ll got to Chamberlain with a lead in the eighth.
• Girardi went to Brian Bruney last night partially because he thought Bruney matched up well, and partially because sticking with Dave Robertson would have left Robertson unavailable tonight.
• On sticking with Jose Molina to catch A.J. Burnett: “It’s never easy when it involves taking Jorge out, but I felt it’s worked pretty well.”
• Girardi said he would not hesitate to pinch hit Posada for Molina, even without a third catcher. The emergency catcher is Hairston.
• There was some discussion of starting Brett Gardner in place of Swisher, but the Yankees decided to go with Hairston because of his numbers against Martinez.
• The Yankees are not likely to announce a Game 4 starter until after Game 3.
UPDATE, 6:20 p.m.: Here’s the audio from Girardi’s pre-game press conference.
UPDATE, 6:36 p.m.: Derek Jeter is receiving the Roberto Clemente award right now at a press conference downstairs. The award is for commitment to community service.
UPDATE, 6:39 p.m.: Just as a reminder that if you’re interested in getting original Tweets from me, Chad and (mostly) Josh, check us out on Twitter right here. Also, during the World Series, there’s a window on the side of the blog that will be updated in real time with Tweets from us as well as the guys from the News-Journal covering the Phillies.
UPDATE, 7:18 p.m.: They’re getting the stage ready for the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys performance. It’s quite the set-up for what is supposed to be a one-song set. Anyway, if you’re interested, check out this audio from Phil Hughes, who stopped briefly on his way off the field after BP. Hughes did not speak to the media after Game 1, so there was quite a crowd waiting for him.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: Jay-Z and Alicia Keys came walking in from center field and are taking the stage now.
UPDATE, 7:34 p.m.: Let me just say this: There were more Yankees hanging on the rail for the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys performance than there are during the average inning of a game. They were into it. I also loved how A.J. Burnett and Pedro Martinez were behind the stage, warming up on the grass during the song.
UPDATE, 7:40 p.m.: Chad here. The thing that cracked me up during the Jay-Z performance was watching Ramiro Pena video recording the whole thing. He might not be on the roster, but Pena’s taking it all in. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano ran out to the stage after the performance. They might simply have been getting loose, but it certainly looked like that they were going to say hello. Jeter had the head-bob going during the song.
UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: Jeter was just presented the Roberto Clemente award. After the presentation, Jorge Posada — who was born in Puerto Rico, where Clemente is beyond a legend — went to hug Mrs. Clemente.
UPDATE, 7:53 p.m.: Nice ovation for O’Neill throwing out the first pitch. Nice, but not nearly as loud as for Bernie. Charlie Hayes made a surprise appearance walking out to the mound to “deliver” the game ball. Umps meeting at home plate and A.J. walking in from the pen. We’re minutes away. Great night for ball in the Bronx.
UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: This seems like a bad sign to me. A.J. has changed his music from the movie “300″ (which was scary) to Marilyn Manson (which is just creepy). Not sure what to make of this.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: And we’re off. It’s 52 degrees at first pitch with clear skies in the Bronx. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Pedro just jumped over the foul line and is on his way to the mound. Good start from A.J. – curveball had nice bite and he spotted a fastball to catch Victorino looking. All good signs.
UPDATE, 8:08 p.m.: Fans here have to get on the same page. That was a very, very weak effort at the first “Who’s your daddy?” chant.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: That was what you’re going to see from Pedro tonight: he set up Jeter with a 70 mph pitch, then came back with a 88 mph fastball that Jeter swung through for strike three.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: That’s 17 pitches for Pedro through one. For a 1-2-3, that’s decent – the goal for the Yankees tonight has got to be to make Martinez work. The sooner they get into that meaty Phillies bullpen, the better off they’ll be.
UPDATE, 8:26 p.m.: Unfortunately for the Yankees, that isn’t Phil Cuzzi working the left-field line tonight. Cowboy Joe West actually made the right call there and now Burnett is in trouble.
UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: Stairs ripped one that, if you’re being fair, A-Rod should have at least knocked down (if not glove cleanly). Instead, he barely deflects it and Damon has no chance to throw out Ibanez at home. 1-0 Phillies.
UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: Even though he’s not throwing mid-90s anymore, Pedro still knows how to change speeds. That was a 72 mph curveball that A-Rod had no chance on. He just stared. Best thing you can say is that Rodriguez worked him – that was a nine-pitch AB.
UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Cano was just robbed by Ibanez on a diving play in the gap. Now Hairston is up. And this is where Martinez wants to make hay – the bottom of the Yankees order is about as weak as it comes when you’re talking about a $200 million team.