For better and for worse, tonight was more of the same for the Yankees. More great starting pitching, more production from the bottom of the order and more players hobbling through the clubhouse or heading for the disabled list.
Tonight it was Robinson Cano and Nick Johnson who left the game with injuries, joining the list of six Yankees who have been hurt in the past seven games. Curtis Granderson is on the disabled list with a strained groin, Andy Pettitte is skipping his next start because of elbow tightness, Jorge Posada hasn’t played since Monday because of a sore calf and Mariano Rivera missed the previous three games with a sore left side.
Now Johnson is heading to the DL with a sore right wrist, the same wrist that was injured in 2008 and cost him nearly the entire season. He said he felt it on a swing during his first at-bat. “I just didn’t get my strength back for the next pitch,” he said.
Joe Girardi said Johnson will go for tests in New York tomorrow. The Yankees will make a move to call-up an infielder — almost certainly either Eduardo Nunez or Kevin Russo — to help them get through a day or two without Cano, who was hit by a pitch on inside of his left knee. Girardi said he doesn’t expect Cano to play tomorrow.
“I can’t tell you anything right now,” Cano said. “I wish I would wake up and feel better and I could play tomorrow.”
Here’s Girardi talking after the game.
I understand the impulse to jump all over Josh Beckett for his command issues in the sixth inning. He hit Cano, nearly hit Francisco Cervelli and hit Derek Jeter. After the Jeter at-bat, CC Sabathia was standing at the top of the dugout screaming. But after the game, you couldn’t find anyone in the Yankees clubhouse who said those pitches were intentional. Jeter didn’t. Cano didn’t. Girardi didn’t. Even Sabathia said “it was just frustrating” and that tonight won’t affect how he pitches tomorrow.
“You want to protect your guys,” Hughes said. “But it’s one of those situations where I don’t necessarily think he’s throwing at anyone. Bases loaded and the lead keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
• Another big start for Hughes, who hung with Beckett early and finished with his fourth win in five starts. Is there any doubt he was the right choice for the fifth spot in the rotation? “Beckett struck out five of the first six hitters and it’s not looking like you’re going to get a lot of runs,” Girardi said. “And (Hughes) just matched him.”
• Look for Marcus Thames to takeover as the Yankees primary designated hitter while Johnson is out of the lineup. “There’s a good possibility he’ll DH tomorrow,” Girardi said.
• Five hits, four runs and two RBI from the Yankees 7, 8 and 9 hitters. That includes two hits and two runs from Randy Winn, who’s started hitting a little bit now that he’s seeing some regular at-bats.
• Jesus Montero was pulled from tonight’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees game after he apparently pulled up lame running the bases.
• By the end of the sixth inning, the only bench player left on Girardi’s lineup card was Jorge Posada. “I looked at Javy Vazquez and said, ‘You’ve played infield, right?’” Girardi said.
• Johnson said there’s no additional concern because of his past problems with his right wrist, but Girardi acknowledged it could be problematic. “Hopefully the MRI just says he has some inflammation in there and you can knock it out,” Girardi said.
• Cano tried to stay in the game after he was hit in the knee in the sixth inning. He went to first base and lasted two pitches before taking himself out. “He said I want to try,” Girardi said. “I said, OK. Let’s try.” There are no tests planned for Cano.