Joe Girardi didn’t leave much room for interpretation. Today’s lineup change, he said, is a direct reaction to Curtis Granderson’s .213/.275/.436 slash line since the All-Star break. Those numbers have even worse since he moved to the top of the order late last week, so Girardi decided to drop Granderson tonight.
“Grandy’s been struggling a little bit so we just moved him down to sixth,” Girardi said. “We’ve had some other guys swinging the bat pretty well. We’ll just change it up a little bit. … He’s hit first plenty in his career. It’s not something that was foreign to him. And the second half, he struggled. It wasn’t just when we moved him to first the last five or six days. He struggled a little bit the second half.”
The Yankees lineup has been unsettled ever since Alex Rodriguez went on the disabled list two weeks ago. Ichiro Suzuki hit leadoff for a day. Robinson Cano was the cleanup hitter for while. Granderson moved to the top of the order. Now the Yankees will try Nick Swisher in the No. 2 spot and see what happens.
“The hope is that we get Al back eventually and we can get our lineup back to where it (used to be),” Girardi said. “But as I’ve said, when you take one guy out, it kind of screws things up a little bit.”
• Here’s Girardi’s reaction to Eric Chavez’s postgame comments saying the Yankees should be concerned: “I don’t like the way we’re playing,” Girardi said. “I don’t like that we’re losing a lot of games. Is there one glaring fact? No. You look at the last two games, we tie up a game and give up the lead right away. We take a lead and give up the lead right away. Those shutdown innings are extremely important. It’s been a little bit of everything. At times, we haven’t hit as well as we’re capable in the second half. At times, we haven’t pitched as well as we’re capable in the second half. Am I concerned about the way that we’re not winning games? Sure. But I know as a manager, you’re going to go through those times. Sometimes you gotta just ride things out. You don’t jump off the ship, you just ride it out. We went through it in the month of April and then we took off for a while. This team has the ability to take off again.”
• Right now the Blue Jays are scheduled to pitch three left handers this weekend — including former Yankee Aaron Laffey — which means Chavez is about to get three full days off. Tonight, he gets a half day while Raul Ibanez gets a full day. “Casey (McGehee) has some history against (Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez), so I thought I’d get him in there, and I like the way Chavy is swinging.”
• McGehee is 3-for-8 in his career against Sanchez. He and Ibanez — 6-for-25 — are the only Yankees who have more than four at-bats against Sanchez.
• CC Sabathia had a dominant start last time out, and the Yankees could use one of those again tonight. “It’s important that we get some good distance out of him and get another good start out of him like his last start,” Girardi said. “This is a team that’s playing well, there’s no doubt about it. And they’ve got some guys in the middle of the order that can hurt you.”
• What was Sabathia doing so well last time? “It’s the best his sinker was all year long,” Girardi said. “At times, it was a dominant sinker, and that’s what we need from him tonight.”
• Russell Martin is catching Sabathia again tonight. “He has swung the bat much better the second half than he did the first half,” Girardi said. “And his hits have been meaningful. And he’s hit the ball hard the second half, so we like the direction he’s going.”
Associated Press photos