Greetings, Brian Heyman here at Yankee Stadium for Chad today. It started raining at 6:10, so the tarp was on the field. Now it’s off and the game is scheduled to begin on time.
The Tigers are in, so Johnny Damon is back here for the first time since Game 6 last November. Ironically, this comes on the same day that Joe Girardi announced that Nick Johnson has had a setback. He’s been taking batting practice, trying to come back from the wrist surgery. But the wrist is sore again. Girardi doesn’t know what it means for a comeback this season, but the Yankees obviously can’t count on that. They could have counted on Damon as the DH, but decided to let him walk and bring in the seemingly always injured Johnson, who has missed most of the season. Damon is batting .278 with 30 doubles, although he has just just seven homers and 39 RBI.
Damon wouldn’t say he feels vindicated: “I’m not that type of person.”
The Curtis Granderson trade with the Tigers hasn’t worked out well, either. Granderson is hitting .249 with 10 homers and 20 RBI. Austin Jackson is batting .303 with a homer and 25 RBI. But it’s still early to judge it, and it’s hard to say the moves were a total disaster since the Yankees still have the best record in baseball and the Tigers have backed out of the Central race in the second half, sitting now at three under .500 and 10 1/2 out.
There were questions to Damon about how he will be received by the fans. “I hope they cheer,” Damon said. The surprise will be if they don’t give him a warm ovation.
“Johnny was always very good to the fans here, and the fans were very good to Johnny,” Girardi said. “There’s a lot of fondness there between the two sides.” …
Granderson said that his new stance, with his hands starting back more, at least feels comfortable, but it’s a work in progress after just three games. …
Lance Berkman isn’t in the lineup after rolling his ankle in Kansas City yesterday. Girardi said he’s day to day. …
A-Rod was seen not hustling to first on a grounder yesterday. Girardi was asked about it and said, “It’s not a big deal.”
Here’s the Detroit lineup:
1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Johnny Damon DH
3. Brennan Boesch RF
4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
5. Carlos Guillen 2B
6. Ryan Raburn LF
7. Brandon Inge 3B
8. Jhonny Peralta SS
9. Alex Avila C
Max Scherzer P