The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pregame notes: “Everyone’s on the top step now”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Apr 24, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

No surprise, the pregame topic today was the same as the postgame topic yesterday. The clubhouse television was tuned to SportsCenter, and it showed Russell Martin being plunked more than once this morning. Including in the footage was a shot of Joe Girardi emphatically pumping his fist after Brett Gardner’s home run.

“I’m aware of what I did,” Girardi said. “I feel fine today. I didn’t hurt anything.”

It was a rare show of emotion for the Yankees manager. He said he was happy that Martin showed restraint and didn’t charge the mound, he also said he doesn’t believe Josh Rupe was trying to hit Martin in the head, but a pitcher ultimately has to be responsible for a where a pitch ends up. And Rupe’s pitch ended up too high for Girardi’s taste.

Should we expect any sort of retaliation or carry over? Probably not.

“You go out and play the game,” Girardi said. “What happened last night, it’s ugly. It’s unfortunate. Russell gets hit close to his head, which is obviously very dangerous. Alex made a good point about it talking about, it brings teams closer together. The resolve. The energy. Everyone’s on the top step now.”

• Girardi checked with Martin to make sure he was OK to play today. Obviously Girardi doesn’t like to play his catcher in a day game after a night game, but the Yankees have been off so many times he felt Martin could play today. “Physically he’s strong,” Girardi said. “At some point next week he’ll get a day off. He could possibly get two.”

• Speaking of which, Francisco Cervelli will take today off and catch back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday. Girardi said he’ll probably stay with Tampa until the Yankees are ready to give him a start a game. They won’t call him up and then have him sit on the bench for three or four days. “If they’re not going to play here you might as well give him at-bats and try to get him sharper,” Girardi said.

• Phil Hughes will throw another bullpen on Monday and Girardi said his first rehab start “could be” on Thursday. The Yankees still don’t know where he’ll be assigned.

• Because Freddy Garcia is a veteran, Girardi said he doesn’t worry too much about the time between starts. “He’s not complaining that he’s not making starts,” Girardi said. “He’s just trying to stay prepared.”

• Derek Jeter is hitting .235 in his past eight games, but Girardi said the Yankees have bee encouraged by his at-bats. “I think he’s swinging the bat better,” Girardi said. “He looks more comfortable to me, too.”

Associated Press photos

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