Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Lance Berkman DH
Brett Gardner LF
Francisco Cervelli C
RHP Ivan Nova (1-0, 4.30)
Nova vs. Rays
John Jaso C
Ben Zobrist 2B
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Dan Johnson DH
Matt Joyce RF
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Jason Bartlett SS
RHP Matt Garza (14-8, 3.88)
Garza vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m. / YES Network and TBS
UMPIRES: HP Tim McClelland, 1B Mike Everitt, 2B Adrian Johnson, 3B Andy Fletcher
WEATHER: Summer is obviously coming to an end here at Yankee Stadium. It’s a little chilly at the park, but there’s a perfect moon in the sky and it’s ultimately a nice night for a game.
CATCH IT AND THROW IT: The Yankees have committed one error in the past nine games and have made just four errors in the month of September. Since Joe Girardi took over at manager, the team has a Major League-best .987 fielding percentage, committing the fewest errors in baseball.
PATIENCE AT THE PLATE: Brett Gardner leads the Majors with 4.62 pitches per plate appearance and 68.8 percent of pitches taken. He has reached base on a 3-2 count in 117 of his 527 plate appearances.
FOUR IN A ROW: One good thing about playing the Rays in a four-game set: The Yankees are 9-0-2 in four-game series at the new Yankee Stadium. They’ve swept a four-game series here four times.
PLACE IN HISTORY: Derek Jeter is two runs away from tying Mickey Mantle for the third-most runs ever scored by a Yankee with 1,677… Alex Rodriguez is one home run from tying Sammy Sosa for sixth place all-time with 609 career homers.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: As you can imagine, there’s a ton to write tonight, but Ivan Nova looks sharp through three innings. He’s struck out four, walked one and allowed a single. Still scoreless.
UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: Curtis Granderson’s 20th home run of the season has given the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Nova is really showing the Yankees something tonight. That’s five scoreless innings from the rookie, and he’s retired eight in a row. He’s allowed only two fly ball outs, plus one soft and loopy line drive to Jeter.
UPDATE, 8:58 p.m.: Intentionally walk Cano to load the bases for Swisher, then walk Swisher. I’m thinking that didn’t go as planned. The walked-in run and a sac fly have pushed the Yankees lead to 4-0 after five full innings.
UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: Single, walk, single to start the top of the sixth. Boone Logan is getting loose in the Yankees pen. Last time out, Nova dominated for four innings, then fell apart in the fifth. This time he was great through five, now it’s falling apart in the sixth.
UPDATE, 9:09 p.m.: One run scores on an obvious catcher’s interference call. Now it’s 4-1 Yankees, and Nova seems to be almost certainly facing his last hitter in Evan Longoria. Three straight lefties due up after this.
UPDATE, 9:26 p.m.: And Chad Guadin walks in the tying run, one batter after Boone Logan couldn’t retire three straight lefties. This game just got strange. By the way, when Girardi was asked pregame which relievers were available, he said he know his rules, we can figure it out ourselves. Then again, he’s broken his own rules in the past, so I have no idea who’s available and who’s not.
Joba Chamberlain has pitched two in a row, so I assume he’s out. Dave Robertson, though, didn’t pitch Saturday and hasn’t pitched three out of the past four. He should be good to go. Kerry Wood has pitched one of the past five days.
UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Robertson is now getting loose for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: The Yankees have picked up their bullpen, with three straight hits to start the sixth inning. Jeter drove in the go-ahead run, and Matt Garza has been chased from the game. It’s a 5-4 Yankees lead.
UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: Granderson’s second home run of the night clangs off the foul pole for an 8-4 Yankees lead in the sixth.
UPDATE, 10:25 p.m.: It’s beginning to feel a lot like April. Francisco Cervelli has his third hit of the game.