Nick Swisher is back from that nagging biceps injury. Curtis Granderson is back from his strained groin. Jorge Posada is back from his broken foot.
And the Yankees best hitter is still Robinson Cano.
“I think we’re all just trying to keep pace with him,” Swisher said. “It’s been special to watch. Guys are looking at each other in the dugout saying, ‘Let’s see how hard he hits this one.’”
Cano hit another home run tonight. He had another three-hit game and extended his AL-best hitting streak to 16 games.
“Robby has outstanding hitting mechanics and has unbelievable hand-eye coordination,” Joe Girardi said. “When he swings at strikes, he hits the ball hard. And when you hit the ball hard, good things happen… I just think it’s a nature process that takes place when you have a lot of talent.”
Of course, Cano seemed happiest about the players who are back in the lineup. Granderson has been terrific since coming back, including three hits tonight. Posada drew a walk, had a base hit and scored from first on a Granderson double.
“There are some guys we don’t want to replace,” Cano said. “We have them right now and we need to win some games.”
We’ll go with Girardi’s postgame tonight. Cano didn’t speak for very long and I was pretty far in the back of the pack for Hughes.
• Technical goof from earlier tonight: I updated the pregame post from my phone to say Juan Miranda had been optioned to Triple-A, but when I updated with the Baltimore lineup from my computer, the Miranda update went away. That’s a long way of saying, Miranda has been sent down, and I’m sorry if anyone missed that because of my mistake.
• After Miguel Tejada’s third-inning double, Phil Hughes realized his cutter wasn’t very good tonight. It didn’t have much movement. “When I saw it was hurting me early, I decided to stay away from it as much as I could,” he said. Working mostly four-seam and curveball, Hughes was able to spot his fastball enough to make up for the cutter, and he said that pitch became key against lefties. “For the most part they weren’t able to square it up when I went down and away,” he said.
• Asked about Hughes as an all-star, Girardi gave kind of the same answer he gave the other day about Andy Pettitte. “If it was today…” Meanwhile, the game will be played in Anaheim, just a few miles from Hughes’ home. “I’ve thought about it,” he said. “It would be nice but it’s not something I’m worried about yet.”
• Dave Robertson hasn’t pitched since that lower back issue, but he’s gotten loose in the bullpen each of the past two games. He said he feels 100 percent ready to go.
• The Yankees starters over the past four games: 4-0, 1.24 ERA, 29 IP, 19 H, 2 BB, 27 K, .183 opponents batting average.
• The Yankees are 13 games over .500, tying their highest mark of the season.
• Swisher has multiple hits in six of his past eight games.
• By now I’m sure everyone knows about the blown call in the Detroit game, which cost a perfect game. Girardi said he would be in favor of the league overturning the call. “I know it would be the first time that it’s ever happened, but you’re talking about a very unusual circumstance here,” Girardi said.
• Talked to two different Yankees about the call, both had nothing but great things to say about umpire Jim Joyce.
• On Ken Griffey Jr. retiring: “The game’s going to miss him,” Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate that in this game, we get old.” Posada called Griffey a “class act” and said he’s a no-doubt Hall of Famer. “It’s tough to see good people, good players, retire,” Posada said.
Associated Press photos of Posada and Hughes.