Derek Jeter SS
Lance Berkman 1B
Mark Teixeira DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Austin Kearns LF
Ramiro Pena 3B
LHP CC Sabathia (13-4, 3.15)
Sabathia vs. Rays
B.J. Upton CF
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Willy Aybar DH
Sean Rodriguez 1B
Jason Bartlett SS
Kelly Shoppach C
Gabe Kapler RF
Reid Brignac 2B
RHP James Shields (9-9, 4.79)
Shields vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:40 p.m. / YES Network and TBS
UMPIRES: HP Bill Welke, 1B Mike DiMuro, 2B Tim Welke, 3B Scott Barry
WEATHER: Not a cloud in the dome.
CLEANING UP: Even if Alex Rodriguez were in the lineup, Robinson Cano might be a better clean-up option for the day. He’s coming off a monster game last night, plus Cano is a career .438/.455/.969 hitter against Shields. Rodriguez has a career slash line of .217/.333/.435 against him.
TOUGH TO SIT: Girardi on the decision to sit Rodriguez against the Rays: “It’s not September 25. We have 58 games left and if I run him out there and he gets hurt today, people are going to say, ‘Why did you play him 14 games in a row?’ You just have to be smart about it. You can’t make too much of this series because you have lot of days left.”
ANOTHER FIRST: Now that Kerry Wood is in the Yankees clubhouse, the team has 10 first-round draft picks, and that’s not including supplemental first-rounder Joba Chamberlain. Of those 10, only Derek Jeter and Phil Hughes were drafted by the Yankees.
UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Not Lance Berkman’s most graceful moment on a baseball field. A blooper gets over his head for an RBI single and a 1-0 Rays lead. I feel like Teixeira would have caught it.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Four strikeouts in a row for Shields, including the side in the fourth inning. It’s a 3-0 Rays lead after a two-run third inning that included two infield singles.
UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: Jeez, what a day for Berkman. No errors, but three botched plays. The latest is a one-out single in the fourth inning. It was a slow roller to the right side and Berkman had to rush to make the play, but he fumbled the ball trying to scoop it with his glove. It was ruled that the runner would have beaten him to the bag anyway.
UPDATE, 2:58 p.m.: That play had to feel great for Berkman, who made a diving stop to save at least one run. It’s the second out of the inning, up to Sabathia to get Brignac to end the fourth with the Yankees still within 3-0.
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Sabathia gets out of it with a popup.
UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: Ramiro Pena flied out to shallow left field to end a streak of six straight strikeouts for Shields.
UPDATE, 3:20 p.m.: Maybe the arm helps explain it, but for whatever reason, Robinson Cano seems to turn the line drive, 4-3 double play more often than any second baseman on the planet. Bases loaded in the fifth, he just snagged a line drive and doubled of Willy Aybar to end the inning and take Sabathia off the hook. Still 3-0 Rays, and Shields has been dealing.
UPDATE, 3:28 p.m.: Look at that, it’s a hit for Lance Berkman. The 0-for-6 nightmare is over!
UPDATE, 3:54 p.m.: Girardi pulls out his big bat with one on and two outs in the sixth, pinch hitting Rodriguez for Kearns.
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: A-Rod goes down looking.
UPDATE, 4:01 p.m.: Rodriguez stays in at third, Gardner goes to left and will lead off next inning.
UPDATE, 4:07 p.m.: Sabathia’s day is done after two outs in the seventh. Here’s Kerry Wood making his Yankees debut.
UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: There’s the curveball, and that’s a strikeout looking for Longoria.
UPDATE, 4:19 p.m.: Berkman went from being ahead in the count 3-0 to grounding into an inning-ending double play. Not a good day.
UPDATE, 4:37 p.m.: Saw some of the good and the bad of Kerry Wood in that outing. All three outs were strikeouts, but he walked two and allowed a weak single. Give a lot of credit to Chad Gaudin, though. He stranded the bases loaded with a strikeout, giving the Yankees a shot in the ninth.