Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Jorge Posada 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez RF
Brett Gardner LF
RHP Hector Noesi (2-1, 4.14)
Noesi vs. Rays
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 2B
Johnny Damon DH
Matt Joyce RF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Kelly Shoppach C
Reid Brignac SS
RHP James Shields (15-12, 2.84)
Shields vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:10., YES Network
WEATHER: It’s storming outside, with thunder shaking the doom and rain peppering the roof. The sound is incredible. This is the one and only thing to love about domes (except Seattle, that stadium is pretty awesome).
UMPIRES: HP Paul Schrieber, 1B Chad Fairchild, 2B Joe West, 3B Sam Holbrook
IN THE BEGINNING: The Yankees are 28-25 in series openers in 2011. They have a 35-16 record in the second game of a series.
AT THE END: Six of the Yankees’ past nine losses have come in their opponent’s last at-bat. Four of their past six road losses have been walk-offs.
SECOND AT SECOND: Second baseman Robinson Cano ranks second in the Majors with 80 extra-base hits. It’s the most such hits by a Yankees left-handed hitter since Don Mattingly had 86 in 1986. Cano has an extra-base hit in nine of his past 13 games.
UPDATE, 7:27 p.m.: Nice play by Jorge Posada — and a good-enough throw to the plate — gets Noesi out of the first inning with a 1-0 lead. I was in the dining room for Cano’s first-inning home run, but seeing it on television was more than enough to know he crushed it to center.
UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: Noesi through two scoreless. Could have enough pitches to throw two more innings at this rate, maybe more if he has a quick inning in there.
UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Another RBI by Cano and it’s 2-0 Yankees in the middle of the third. Just now noticing just how many empty seats are in this place. Shame.
UPDATE, 8:12 p.m.: At this point, Noesi is not really used to pitching more than two innings or so at a time, and the Rays have really gotten to him quickly here in the third. A single, walk and two-run double have tie the game, still with no outs.
UPDATE, 8:14 p.m.: Playing Hey Joe when Girardi comes to the mound in Tampa never gets old for me. Noesi couldn’t get an out in the third inning and now Raul Valdes — who may be pitching for a postseason role — is in to face Ben Zobrist with two on and the game tied in the third.
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Valdes strikes out Zobrist, gives up an RBI single to Damon, and gets out of the inning thanks to a caught stealing and an out at the plate. Posada hasn’t always made it look pretty, but twice today he’s gotten the job done with double plays ending with throws to the plate.
UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: Solo shot by Shoppach and it’s a 4-2 Rays lead.
UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: One of the better catches we’ve seen all season, no doubt. Desmond Jennings just tracked a sure double into the left-center gap and absolutely robbed Derek Jeter of extra bases. It was one of those moments when I never thought he had a chance to catch it until it was in his glove.
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: Here’s comes Phil Hughes to pitch the fifth.
UPDATE, 8:58 p.m.: Well that was odd. Obviously Martin was having some word with Schrieber, but it’s hard to believe the ump would step in front of Martin to continue the fight, then toss Martin for snapping back. Martin might have been upset, but he wasn’t showing up Schrieber.
UPDATE, 9:12 p.m.: Hughes has faced seven batters. He’s walked two, induced two harmless popups, and seen three balls hit pretty hard (two outs and a double).
UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: A 3-2 curveball from Hughes strikes out Shappach, and that’s Hughes’ last pitch of the day. Here’s Kontos with two outs and a runner at second in the sixth. Hughes threw 36 pitches, 1.2 innings.
UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: Kontos strikes out Brignac at roughly the exact same time that the Orioles took a 3-2 lead against the Red Sox.
UPDATE, 9:40 p.m.: Back-to-back walks chase Kontos and Luis Ayala is the Yankees fifth pitcher of the night. He’s in with two on in the seventh.