Ichiro Suzuki CF
Jayson Nix 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Travis Hafner DH
Ben Francisco RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Stewart C
RHP David Phelps (1-1, 529)
Phelps vs. Astros
Robbie Grossman CF
Jose Altuve 2B
Jason Castro C
Carlos Pena 1B
Chris Carter DH
Fernando Martinez RF
Brandon Barnes LF
Matt Dominguez 3B
Marwin Gonzalez SS
LHP Erik Bedard (0-2, 7.98)
Bedard vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: Gorgeous outside. Temperatures in the 60s and 50s. Some wind blowing out to left field.
UMPIRES: HP Cory Blaser, 1B Jim Joyce, 2B Ed Hickox, 3B Jim Wolf
HARD TO EXPLAIN: The Yankees are 7-3 against left-handed starters this season, including wins in their last four such games. They have won five of seven home games this season when opposed by a left-handed starter, with the only opposing southpaw starter to earn a win at Yankee Stadium coming on Opening Day against Jon Lester.
SPEAKING OF LEFTIES: Yesterday, each of the Yankees first five batters in the starting lineup hit left-handed. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time the Yankees used left-handed batters in each of the top five lineup slots since July 28, 1995, a span of 2,839 games. On that night, Buck Showalter batted Luis Polonia, Wade Boggs, Dion James, Paul O’Neill and Don Mattingly one-through-five in a 5-3 loss at Minnesota.
IN THE END: The Yankees are 5-3 in series finales this season and 3-1 in finales at home. They are 1-1 in the third game of a three-game series when the teams split the first two games (win vs. Baltimore on April 14 and loss on April 24 at Tampa Bay).
UPDATE, 7:20 p.m.: Leadoff triples have a way of turning into runs. Ichiro started the first inning with a triple to right center, and Jayson Nix turned it into a 1-0 lead with an RBI single.
UPDATE, 7:47 p.m.: Bases loaded on a bunch of walks and one unthinkably bad play, but the Yankees get just one run out of it. And it’s now 2-0 Yankees.
UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: Solo homer by Cano (of course), but also a solo home run by Ben Francisco (!!!!). It’s now 4-0 Yankees as Nunez oddly slides feet-first into first base on a close play.
UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Well that was a pretty awful inning for Phelps. Hit two batters, one of them with the bases loaded. Gave up six base runners, four of which came around to score. Mostly, he just gave up a four-run lead to the Astros, who batted around. Ugly. It’s now 4-4.
UPDATE, 9:20 p.m.: Veteran move by Overbay. Avoid the easy double play, force the force out and let the run score. The Yankees are up 5-4 heading into the seventh.