Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Marcus Thames DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Brett Gardner LF
LHP CC Sabathia (11-3, 3.19)
Sabathia vs. Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 3B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Justin Smoak DH
Josh Bard C
Jack Wilson SS
Michael Saunders LF
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-8, 5.74)
Rowland-Smith vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 4:10 p.m. ET / YES Network
UMPIRES: HP Ed Rapuano, 1B Tom Hallion, 2B Ron Kulpa, 3B Lance Barksdale
WEATHER: Another nice day in Seattle. There are a few clouds but not much chance of rain. Temperatures in the 70s and getting warmer.
HEADING FOR A BREAK: At 55-32, the Yankees have the best record in baseball and a two-game lead in the AL East. It’s the team’s best record at this point since 2004 when they were 56-31. They are guaranteed to reach the all-star break with the division lead for the first time since that ’04 season. The past eight times that the Yankees led at the break, they went on to win the division.
SPEAKING OF 2004: After last night, Felix Hernandez has faced the Yankees twice this year and gotten a complete-game win each time. The last time an opponent had back-to-back complete game wins against the Yankees in a single season was 2004 when — of all people — Sidney Ponson did it with Baltimore.
SABATHIA’S STREAK: CC Sabathia has won seven straight starts, which matches the longest streak of his career (he also won seven straight in 2005). If he wins today, Sabathia will be the first Yankee to win eight straight starts since Roger Clemens in 2001. He would become the first Yankee since Mike Mussina in 2002 to win 12 games before the break.
UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: The Yankees caught a break when Chone Figgins was ruled off the bag at second base. He was clearly off, but I’m not sure a lot of umpires would have made the call. Robinson Cano followed with a sac fly, Jorge Posado had an RBI single and the Yankees are in front 2-0.
UPDATE, 4:51 p.m.: Not saying I understand why he was bunting there, but I did have a baseball official tell me once that Alex Rodriguez is the best bunter he’s ever seen, you just never see it in a game because he’s such a good hitter.
UPDATE, 5:12 p.m.: Derek Jeter nearly doubled into that gap two innings ago but Gutierrez got to the ball. This time, Jeter finds a hole for a two-run double and a 5-0 Yankees lead.
UPDATE, 5:14 p.m.: Make that 6-0 on Teixeira’s RBI double.
UPDATE, 6:00 p.m.: As you can imagine, there’s a ton of newspaper stuff to write today. The Yankees got a two-run home run from Marcus Thames, and the Mariners got an RBI single from Chone Figgins. The score is 8-1 in the top of the seventh. Meanwhile, MLB has announced replacements for the all-star team.
Jered Weaver, Justin Verlander and Andrew Bailey have been named to the team as replacements for Sabathia and Trevor Cahill, who are pitching today. Weaver was named as a replacement, but since he’s also pitching today, he also had to be replaced. That’s why there are three names replacing two spots.
UPDATE, 6:38 p.m.: After a scoreless eighth from Chad Guadin, the Yankees have Dustin Moseley and Chan Ho Park getting warm in the bullpen. So far, it’s look like win No. 12 for Sabathia.