The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Pregame notes: “Wherever Benny tells us that we’re going”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Oct 02, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Right now, my Marriott account shows that I have hotel rooms booked in three different cities for this weekend (actually four because I haven’t cancelled my Chicago reservation yet). And I’m just one guy. At this point, you have to feel a little bit bad for the Yankees traveling secretary Ben Tuliebitz.

“Eventually, you have to plan it out,” Joe Girardi said. “I know for Ben it’s been a logistical nightmare, because he’s made reservations in about five different cities. I let him handle it. I don’t really worry about it. … Wherever Benny tells us that we’re going, that’s where we’ll just get on a plane and go.”

With two games to play, it’s impossible for the Yankees to look forward with any sort of certainty. But right now, they’re the top team in the American League. They’re tied with the Rangers for the best record, but the Yankees have the tiebreaker. If the Yankees win the rest of their games, they’ll be the top seed.

If tomorrow’s game means anything — whether it could decide the division or decide home field advantage — Girardi said he plans to go for it without resting any of his regulars.

“Unless I thought something was really physically wrong with someone, I would probably play our guys,” he said.

The only exception might be Hiroki Kuroda, who could be skipped to prepare him for a Game 2 start in the postseason.

“I don’t know,” Girardi said. “That’s something I would have to think about. I tell you, I take it one day at a time because it’s changing every day. For me to try to think out all these scenarios, I figure it’s a waste of energy. … It’s too much to think about. You take it a day at a time. We know that if we win the next two games, we’re going to open on the road somewhere. That’s the one thing we do know. We gotta go out and win tonight, then we’ll worry about tomorrow and the next day.”

• Against the lefty Jon Lester, Eduardo Nunez gets the start at DH ahead of Andruw Jones. “(Nunez) has been swinging the bat pretty good,” Girardi said. “The one thing it does is it’s my backup infielder and that’s something that I have to worry about, but I like the way the kid is swinging the bat.”

• Also against the lefty, Girardi moved around the top of his lineup to move Nick Swisher up to No. 2 and drop Ichiro Suzuki to No. 9. “(Ichiro)’s been really good,” Girardi said. “But Swish has been really good against left handers, too, and he’s seen Lester a lot, so we made the move.”

• Swisher in the past seven games: .385/.484/.577. Ichiro the past seven games: .323/.313/.355.

• Girardi said he expects David Phelps to throw 75-95 pitches tonight. If he needs a long man behind him, Girardi has options.

• Speaking of pitch counts, Girardi said he has no regrets about having CC Sabathia pitch through the eighth inning last night. “It’s not like I asked him to throw 120 pitches,” Girardi said. “He threw 100 pitches. CC, when he’s on a roll, he gets on a roll. It seems sometimes the more work he gets, the better he gets. You’re asking me to think about what if we tie and what if we have to play. It doesn’t make sense. I’ve got to worry about today. Yeah, am I concerned about what’s going to happen in the future and setting up our rotation? Absolutely. But I don’t think you can afford to lose a game or lose something because you’re thinking about a possibility that may or may not happen. I think you have to manage for today.”

• Girardi said he spoke to Hal Steinbrenner yesterday and today, but the conversations were nothing out of the ordinary. “We’ve talked about our club and some of the concerns and some of the things that are going well during the course of the season,” Girardi said. “That’s pretty normal, every couple of weeks we do it. He’s great to me. He’s been very fair.”

• Girardi on the news that Manny Banuelos will have Tommy John surgery. “It’s not what you want to see out of your young players that you think have a bright future for you, but a lot of guys have had setbacks and went on to have great careers. He has an opportunity to heal up, get strong and be a factor after that. I’m sure it’s frustrating for him and it’s frustrating for us, but you have to make the most of it.”

Associated Press photos

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