The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Yankees postgame: Rotation drama/Posada delivers

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Misc on Aug 13, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

So all this time spent speculating about the rotation cut and there’s no decision because Freddy Garcia cuts a pitching finger. Joe Girardi revealed it after the game.

“I think it was a kitchen accident,” Girardi said. “Players shouldn’t use knives.”

Girardi said he has known about this for four or five days, which is about when it happened. Garcia got through a bullpen session without throwing his splitter. But he tried to throw splitters on flat ground today and couldn’t. Girardi said the ball was rubbing against the cut on the side of the finger, so he was scratched from Sunday’s scheduled start. A.J. Burnett is down to start instead.

So the decision is on hold. Girardi would only go as far to name his rotation for the three-game Kansas City series, Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia. But is predicting a 70 percent chance of rain for Sunday, so that might impact things again.

Girardi is hopeful Garcia will only miss this one start.

“But obviously we have to make sure it’s healed before we have him even try,” Girardi said. “And he’s going to have throw a bullpen before he tries to pitch in a game. I don’t really see it as being a deep, deep cut. But it’s enough where it effects his split.”

*Girardi said Phil Hughes “mixed his pitches today as well as I’ve seen him.”

Hughes fanned six and walked one, while allowing the two runs and four hits over six. And he was able to block out the swirl about his place in the rotation.

“There are always circumstances with everything,” Hughes said. “It’s hard enough to pitch a big-league game with a clear conscience.”

Jorge Posada, meanwhile, was back in a big way after being benched last Sunday. After five games of sitting, he had a grand slam, two singles and six RBI. Girardi told him afterward he would get another DH start tomorrow. Girardi said Posada is going to play, that he will still get some DH work and maybe some backup work at first if Mark Teixeira is the DH.

“Georgie is very professional,” Girardi said. “That’s the way he’s always been. I knew he was dying to get back in there. I knew that. It’s tough not putting him in the lineup. Georgie and I have a long history together. We were teammates and won together. I think he’s a great player. I think he’s a great man. So it’s difficult because I know how much he wants to play.

“And I want him to have success. That’s the bottom line. We want him to drive runs and do all that. At times it’s been a struggle this year. Sometimes I have to make tough decisions. But I know he was itching to get back in there. Georgie will be 60 years old and he’ll be itching to get back in there. That’s the type of guy he is.”     

Posada passed Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra for sole possession of sixth on the Yankees’ all-time grand-slam list. This was No. 10. It was a very satisfying day for him.

“It’s special,” Posada said. “I got an opportunity to play. It’s tough to sit around. It’s not easy sitting here and everybody’s playing. It’s tough.

“I just have to be prepared for that opportunity. From now on, I have to look at the lineup card and be ready. I haven’t given up.”   

The fans asked for a curtain call after the slam and he popped out of the dugout after Russell Martin’s ensuing single. They have been great to him throughout, and he appreciates it.

“I play for them,” Posada said.

*Curtis Granderson has hit five homers over his last five games. His 33 homers not only tie him for the MLB lead with Jose Bautista, but they are the most by a Yankees center fielder since Bobby Murcer launched 33 in 1972.

*Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 3 as the DH in his second rehab game for Single-A Tampa at Dunedin.

*Out of the gifts Derek Jeter received at the pregame ceremony to honor him for reaching 3,000 hits, the one that stood out the most to him was the 225-pound stainless-steel sculpture of himself that Posada and CC Sabathia commissioned on behalf of the players.

“I really appreciate that,” Jeter said.

“He said, ‘Where am I going to put this at?’ ” Posada said. “I said, ‘You’ve got plenty of room in that house in Tampa.’ “




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