Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames RF
Lance Berkman DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
RHP Javier Vazquez (10-9, 4.86)
Vazquez vs. Blue Jays
BLUE JAYS (69-65)
Dewayne Wise RF
Aaron Hill 2B
Jose Bautista 3B
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
John Buck C
Adam Lind DH
John McDonald SS
Travis Snider LF
LHP Marc Rzepczynski (1-3, 6.03)
Rzepczynski vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m. / YES Network
UMPIRES: HP Ed Hickox, 1B Fieldin Culbreth, 2B Jim Wolf, 3B Gary Cederstrom
WEATHER: Beautiful day. Not too hot. A lot of sunshine. The flags up top are showing a hard wind blowing out. It’s supposed to be pretty windy today, so it could get interesting.
FAMILIAR SPOT: For the second year in a row, the Yankees are the major’s first team to reach 85 wins.
WELCOME BACK: Javier Vazquez is returning to the rotation, having pitched his way back after a demotion to the bullpen. “I’m sure he’s thought about it, and he’s doing what he’s accustomed to doing, which is starting ball games,” Joe Girardi said. “I wouldn’t put too much pressure on this one start. It’s not something I want him to do. We want him to be a starter for us and we just thought we’d have him take a little break and work on those things he did out of the bullpen, and it seemed to really help him. I’m not going to make too much of today’s start.”
MINOR SUCCESS: High-A Tampa locked up a playoff spot last night, meaning the Yankees top three affiliates will advance to the postseason.
HARD TO BEAT THAT: This is part of an email I received from Russell late last night:
Has there ever been more (Scrabble) value in two opposing pitchers? They BOTH have two Z’s in their last names and Javy has a Q to boot. Rzepczynski has 40 points to his last name. Vazquez has 37 points. I have no idea how to search for higher scrabble point totals by last name — baseball-reference does not yet have that feature. But I find it hard to imagine you could find another matchup in MLB history worth more than 77 points.
So, you know, there’s that.
UPDATE, 1:31 p.m.: Not a lot of boos but a few when the Blue Jays first hit of the day left the park for a solo homer to right. It’s 1-0 on the Overbay solo shot.
UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Few more boos now that McDonald got a ball off the foul pole for a two-run shot that has given the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.
UPDATE, 1:44 p.m.: Dustin Moseley getting loose after a lead-off walk in the third inning.
UPDATE, 2:03 p.m.: RBI double by Jeter. Two-run single by Cano. It’s a 3-3 game in the bottom of the third.
UPDATE, 2:34 p.m.: RBI ground out by Gardner. Run-scoring wild pitch. Just like that, it’s a 5-3 Yankees lead. A couple of doubles by Francisco Cervelli have made a huge difference today.
UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: For the second day in a row, Girardi goes to the bullpen with two outs in the fifth inning. Vazquez was clearly not happy to see Girardi come out of the dugout. Here’s Moseley to try to strand runners at the corners.
UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: A curious move for Girardi, and it doesn’t work out at all. Moseley allowed a two-run double that has tied the game at 5.
UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: Bautista seemed to have a legit gripe there. He’s ejected after arguing a called strike three that was clearly outside, and that could be a break for the Yankees. Not facing him in a tied game seems to be a good thing.
UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: Chopper up the middle and off Joba Chamberlain’s glove for an inning-ending double play. Another good break for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: Marcus Thames. Again. A two-out, two-run home run for a 7-5 Yankees lead in the seventh. Even the most optimistic Thames supporter could not have predicted he’d have this kind of impact.
UPDATE, 3:48 p.m.: Ramiro Pena to third. Greg Golson to right.