Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF
RHP A.J. Burnett
Career vs. Rangers
Julio Borbon CF
Michael Young 3B
Josh Hamilton LF
Vlad Guerrero DH
Nelson Cruz RF
Chris Davis 1B
Joaquin Arias 2B
Taylor Teagarden C
Elvis Andrus SS
RHP Scott Feldman (1-0, 2.57)
Career vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m./YES Network
UMPIRES: HP D.J. Reyburn, 1B Mike DiMuro, 2B Tim Welke, 3B Tim Timmons
WEATHER: Yesterday’s game was washed out after six innings. The Weather Channel says there’s a 10 percent chance of rain at the time of today’s first pitch, and that chance never gets higher than 20 percent all afternoon.
REACHING 200: Joe Girardi has 199 wins as the Yankees manager. One more gives him an even 200.
REACHING FIRST: Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano have a hit in each of the Yankees first 10 games, making them baseball’s first shortstop/second baseman combo of the modern era to get a hit in their team’s first nine or more games.
REMEMBERING THE VOICE: It was 59 years ago today that Bob Sheppard called his first game at Yankee Stadium. It was also Mickey Mantle’s first big league game.
UPDATE, 12:17: This is Brian Heyman pinch hitting for Chad today. Joe Girardi had his usual pregame meeting with the media and there wasn’t much in the way of news. He thinks Mark Teixeira is a little off mechanically at the plate, as his .083 average would indicate. But a slow start obviously isn’t a new thing for him. Girardi said Boone Logan can be used for situational matchups or an inning, and that he’s confident in the lefty reliever against lefties and righties. The manager is happy with A-Rod’s at-bats even though he has yet to hit a homer in his first 10 games, the first time that’s happened since 2001. And he has no plans to turn Francisco Cervelli into CC Sabathia’s personal catcher.
UPDATE, 2:00: Finally, a contribution from Teixeira. He began the season 0 for 17 and he just ended another 0-for-17 slide in the second with his bases-loaded, broken-bat RBI single that second baseman Joaquin Arias stopped on the outfield grass, wide of first. A-Rod popped to center to leave them loaded. So the Yankees are up 2-0 after two but have stranded five, three in scoring position.
UPDATE, 2:17: Quick hook by Ron Washington, hoping not to let this game out of hand. He pulled Scott Feldman with one out here in the third and runners on second and third, and the Yankees up 2-0.
UPDATE, 2:26: Well, that didn’t work out too well for Texas — 6-0 Yankees, heading for the fourth. Derek Jeter capped it with a two-run homer. The captain now has hit three long balls already. By the way, Jorge Posada’s single that ignited the four-run rally was his 1,500th hit, making him the 19th Yankee to reach that mark and only the fourth whose primary position is catcher (Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey and Thurman Munson are the others).
UPDATE, 2:39: There goes another milestone. A-Rod just hit No. 584, passing Mark McGwire for sole possession of eighth place on the all-time homer list. It snapped his 41 at-bat homerless streak to start the season, his longest since he went the first 48 at-bats of 1995 without one. 7-0 Yankees after four. A.J. Burnett has allowed just one infield hit.
UPDATE, 4:11: Yankees win, 7-3. Joba finished with a 1-2-3 ninth. The Yankees are now 4 for 4 in taking series with one to go in this one. Burnett allowed no runs, six hits and two walks while fanning seven over seven to move to 2-0. The only negative for the Yankees was Alfredo Aceves serving up a three-run homer. The team is 8-3 with three straight victories.
UPDATE, 7:56: Can you guess when the Yankees last won their first four series in a season? We’ll get back to that.
Joe Girardi couldn’t be happier with how his team is playing. The only one who really hasn’t joined in yet is Mark Teixeira, but he will. His broken-bat RBI single was his only hit in four at-bats, so his average is now up to .100, at 4 for 40. There really isn’t much to complain about otherwise. This team is able to win with home runs and small ball. The Yankees have put up 10 infield hits the last two days. This is their best 11-game start since they were 9-2 in 2003.
“I don’t necessarily always remember how you start,” Girardi said at his postgame press conference. “You remember how you finish, and that’s the important thing. But it’s nice to win four series, and we have a chance to sweep the series tomorrow.”
There was much postgame talk about Brett Gardner beating out three infield hits. A-Rod said he’d never seen that before. Texas manager Ron Washington said the Yankees now have their own version of Ichiro. A little hyperbole. But Gardner did have a major impact on the first two rallies with his speed. “I’d like to be hitting line drives, but definitely for me, it’s more positive when I put it on the ground,” Gardner said.
Rodriguez said he had been getting teased by teammates over his wait for homer No. 1. “It’s good to get the first one out of the way for him,” Girardi said. A-Rod’s average is up to .279 after a 2-for-4 day.
The answer to when was the last time the Yankees won their first four series: That would be 1926 when they took their first five.