Pregame notes: Playing and waiting • 10.03.10
Joe Girardi will be scoreboard watching this afternoon. On the big scoreboard in left field, the first game listed is TAM vs. KC. That game means just as much as this one, and Girardi will be paying attention.
“If Tampa is blowing a team out, then you might think about (resting) guys who played a lot yesterday,” he said.
If that Tampa Bay score goes the other way, the Yankees will have a shot at the division and home-field advantage. As you can imagine, everything beyond this afternoon hinges on what happens today, so the notes were pretty limited pregame.
Even postgame, Girardi said, the Yankees won’t be able to answer a lot of questions. He said the team literally has nothing set. They haven’t decided on a roster or a rotation. There are nothing more than ideas at this point.
“Obviously we know Derek Jeter is going to be on the roster,” Girardi said. “But we have a meeting tomorrow and we’re going to talk about everything.”
• How much power does a starting pitcher have on game day? Joba Chamberlain’s locker in Boston is between Mariano Rivera and Dustin Moseley. When Joba got to his locker this morning, Rivera’s suitcase and Moseley’s suitcase had both spilled over into his spot. Joba had to move at least one of them, and he moved the closer’s. “(Moseley) can do what he wants today,” he said.
• Girardi said Dave Robertson is the only reliever from yesterday’s first game who he’ll have to check with before using him today.
• Are there relievers he needs to see to make roster decisions? “We’re going to try to win the game, that’s the bottom line, so not necessarily,” Girardi said.
• Moseley probably won’t go much over 75 pitches.
• Despite his struggles, count on Austin Kearns making the playoff roster. “At this point (leaving him off) is not something we’ve talked about,” Girardi said. “My guess is he’s going to be there.”
• Jorge Posada took a foul ball off the mask yesterday. “He’s OK,” Girardi said. “I specifically asked him last night after the game.”
• CC Sabathia has a bullpen today. It’s his last bit of pitching before Wednesday’s playoff opener.
• The Yankees will meet about the playoff roster tomorrow, but Girardi said not to expect an announcement until Tuesday.
UPDATE, 1:05 p.m.: Boston lineup.
Eric Patterson CF
Jed Lowrie SS
J.D. Drew RF
David Ortiz DH
Bill Hall 2B
Ryan Kalish CF
Jason Varitek C
Daniel Nava LF
Lars Anderson 1B
Associated Press photo of Rivera
Late last season, A.J. Burnett got on a bit of a roll with Jose Molina as his personal catcher, and so Joe Girardi kept the pair together in the playoffs. This season, Girardi has kept Burnett paired with Francisco Cervelli, but those two have not found the same sort of sustained consistency.
This afternoon, Girardi said he’s considering using Jorge Posada to catch Burnett in the playoffs. It’s under such heavy consideration, Girardi planned to have Posada catch tonight’s game before last night became such a grind.
“In the back of my mind, before we went through last night, I was probably going to start him tonight,” Girardi said. “But with the long game, getting in at 3:30 in the morning or 4 o’clock, I just felt that it was probably in our best interest not to. Originally I had plans to start him.”
Posada said he actually expected to start tonight. He had talked to the coaching staff about the possibility and was hoping to be in the lineup. He wants to catch Burnett in the postseason, but he also seemed to respect the idea of sticking with a hot hand.
“If he has a good game today with Cervelli, you have to respect that move,” Posada said.
Girardi more-or-less said Burnett will have one more start this weekend in Boston. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that Posada will catch that game. Girardi said he would want Posada to catch Burnett in the regular season before pairing them in the playoffs.
“I think that would be important for us to do that,” he said. “That’s something I was looking forward to doing, but the way we played last night, it didn’t make a lot of sense.”
• Mariano Rivera and Dave Eiland went to work this afternoon to correct a slight mechanical problem that the Yankees believe is causing some command problems. “He’s on the side of the ball a little bit, so it’s not a huge deal,” Girardi said. “They’ll get it figured out quick.”
• Girardi said Eiland noticed the mechanical issue while studying film. Rivera said he’s physically fine, just hasn’t gotten the results lately.
• Right now, CC Sabathia is still scheduled to start tomorrow. Will that change if the Yankees clinch tonight? “That’s something we’ll have to discuss,” Girardi said. “I hope we have to make that decision.”
• Girardi wouldn’t say whether Phil Hughes will pitch again in the regular season. “We’ll evaluate that again when we need to,” he said.
• Brett Gardner has been sitting quite a bit against lefties lately, and Girardi said that’s all to do with Curtis Granderson being hot. He wants to start Austin Kearns, and Granderson has been to hot to take out of the lineup, so Gardner has been the odd man out.
• Interesting note about Mark Teixeira, who’s started to hit a little bit in the past week or so. “I think he’s got that whip back (in his wrist),” Girardi said. He had talked about that he didn’t have quite that snap that he needed.” That’s obviously because of the bone bruise in his hand. As that’s healed a little bit, Teixeira has bounced back.
• Celebration if the Yankees clinch a playoff spot but not the division? “The division is very important to us and home-field advantage is very important to us,” Girardi said. “I left it up to the players, and if they want to celebrate, I respect that. However they want to do it, they worked very hard this year, and they should do what they want.”
UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.:Well, there were no more panic emails waiting for me today, instead only a series of “You screwed up the rotation!” emails. Hard to argue with any of those.
Obviously I goofed and typed A.J. Burnett when I meant Andy Pettitte for Wednesday’s series finale here in Toronto. I obviously haven’t had much of a chance to change it until now, but I’ll make the fix. Sorry for any confusion. If the Yankees were going with Burnett on one-day’s rest, I assure you I would at least give that news it’s own headline.
Anyway, here’s the Blue Jays lineup.
Travis Snider LF
Yunel Escobar SS
A.J. Burnett RF
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Andy Pettitte C
Adam Lind DH
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
John McDonald 2B
Associated Press photos of Posada and Rivera
Pregame notes: Guest in the clubhouse • 09.25.10
The Yankees clubhouse was closed to the media for an extra hour this afternoon while former NFL coach Tony Dungy spoke to the team. Manager Joe Girardi tried to get Dungy to speak to the team in spring training, but the schedules never aligned until today when Dungy was in New York for some television work.
“In important games, it’s not necessary who has the most talent, but what team sticks together and executes their fundamentals the best,” Dungy said afterward, explaining his message. “Probably nothing they haven’t heard from Joe, but I know I have a son who doesn’t listen to anything I say, but if he hears the same thing from someone else, sometimes it has a little more impact.”
Girardi is a big Dungy fan, and he likes bringing speakers to talk to the team. This spring, he brought former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson to be a guest speaker.
“I admire (Dungy) tremendously for his faith, his beliefs, the kind of man he is, the kind of family man, the kind of coach,” Girardi said. “I’ve read his books. I subscribe to his website. A ton of respect.”
The players and Girardi said Dungy’s message didn’t have a lot to do with sports, but was more about the life experiences of an athlete. It was a brief speech — Dungy guessed it lasted about five minutes — and there were some follow-up discussion. My most accounts, it was Nick Swisher who asked the most questions.
“Winning at any level in any other sport, seems so much harder because you’re not doing it,” Curtis Granderson said. “When you listen to it, you’re like man that’s pretty cool and that’s pretty neat just because it’s related in a different aspect. It’s still winning. The philosophies are very similar.”
• Other than the Dungy appearance, this seemed to be a pretty slow afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The players had optional batting practice and were filtering in and out of the clubhouse the whole time the media was in there.
• Austin Kearns is back in the Yankees lineup for the first time since being hit in the elbow by a pitch in Baltimore. “The last couple of days it’s gotten better,” he said. “It was just a matter of the swelling and stiffness getting better.”
• Phil Hughes said he wasn’t caught to off guard by having his start changed to Wednesday. He joked that he’s not thinking of this as being skipped, just pushed back three days.
• Hughes seemed to have the same attitude as Dave Eiland, saying he doesn’t know what made the difference the last time he had a start pushed back. Maybe the inning of relief helped. Maybe the change in some of his side work helped. Or maybe he simply had better stuff that day. Either way, he’s not putting too much thought into the extra rest this time around, or leading into the playoffs.
• As he’s said before, Girardi once again said his management style would not have been any different had their spot in the standings been different. “I haven’t managed any different the whole year,” he said.
• Funniest father-son combination in the clubhouse has to be Kerry Wood and his little boy. That kid will follow Wood everywhere, and the two seem to be always having some sort of playful conversation. It’s really funny to watch.
Marco Scutaro SS
J.D. Drew RF
Victor Martinez C
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jed Lowrie SS
Ryan Kalish CF
Daniel Nava LF
Lars Anderson 1B
Dungy picture from his website
No one at the ballpark is used to this. The Yankees are about to play their fifth day game in a row, and every morning has felt just a little bit odd. I’ve seriously had three conversations about what day it is. When the writers walked into the press conference room to meet with Joe Girardi, someone joked about the whole room needing coffee and Girardi suddenly walked out of the room.
He returned with a coffee maker. Seriously. The Yankees manager brought coffee to the writers this morning. We’ve reached that point.
There really wasn’t much to discuss when the actual press conference started. At the time, Girardi was waiting to talk to Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez before posting his lineup. At this point, though, it seems both Swisher and Rodriguez came through their pregame workouts without any problems.
So far, they’re both still in the lineup.
Rodriguez said he felt good as he walked out of the clubhouse to the field earlier this morning, and Swisher said the same when he came back into the clubhouse after running. Something could change between now and first pitch, but right now there’s no indication that a lineup change is coming.
• Andy Pettitte threw only a very light bullpen this morning. Roughly 20 pitches, not at 100 percent intensity, with the catcher setup in front of home plate. Pretty standard stuff for a light bullpen day. He felt fine afterward.
• The plan is 65 pitches or four innings for Pettitte on Wednesday. “We’ll see how it goes,” Girardi said. “I kind of anticipate that it would probably be two rehab starts, but if it’s one, it’s one.”
• Why would Pettitte need two rehab appearances when Girardi previously said he would be OK with Pettitte throwing only 75 pitches in his first game back? “If he gets to 65 (in the rehab start), then the area of concern the next time is 65 to 80,” Girardi said. “So if he’s at 75, then you know he should be fine all the way up to 75, and then you start to get a little bit worried if he gets fatigued (beyond 75 pitches).”
• Girardi on Colin Curtis: “With some of the injuries we have, we just thought we could use another outfielder. It just gives us flexibility.”
• Swisher said the knee injury feels like tightness, like his knee doesn’t want to go when he tells it to go. That’s why he was worried and didn’t want to push it, but now that he knows there’s no structural damage, he feels ready to play. “If we can deal with the pain, we can deal with playing,” he said.
• Rotation questions have become pretty standard recently: “Right now we’re on turn,” Girardi said. “Everyone is going to get an extra day here because of the off day on Thursday.”
• Austin Kearns said his injury is really just wear and tear. There wasn’t one incident that caused it, and he seems to think it’s not a big deal. He has it pretty lightly wrapped.
• With Curtis called up, Justin Christian has been promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Taylor Grote has been promoted to Trenton.
Associated Press picture from yesterday of Derek Jeter with Reggie Jackson
Yankees injury updates • 09.05.10
Tested on an infield single, Rodriguez said he was running at 80 to 85 percent, but felt pain-free throughout. “You always have a little hesitation,” he said. “You really don’t want to bust it 100 percent until you get some games under you, but I felt pretty good out there.”
Both Rodriguez and Joe Girardi said they’ll have to wait until the morning to say for sure whether A-Rod will play in tomorrow’s game. Girardi stressed that there were no setbacks, but they want to make certain. “I have to wake up, see how I feel and hopefully get in there again,” Rodriguez said.
Not injured. Girardi wanted to give him a full day off, and stuck with that even through a string of late-inning pinch hitters. “I was giving him a day off,” Girardi said. “I had him to pinch hit in the ninth if we needed him there.”
Had an MRI this morning. The test came back clean — no breaks, no torn tissue — but it did show some deep inflammation. “My knee’s not that big, so I don’t know how deep it could be,” Swisher said.
It’s that inflammation that’s causing problems when Swisher runs. It doesn’t hurt when he hits or side steps, and obviously he was considered healthy enough to pinch hit this afternoon. Swisher said the MRI made him feel much more comfortable because now he knows there’s no structural damage that might become worse. “It’s time to fight through some pain,” he said.
Apparently the injury is not actually in his thumb, it’s more in the pointer finger of his right hand. Whatever it is, it wasn’t enough to keep him from playing right field today, but it might have been enough to keep him from hitting had his turn ever come to the plate. “It would have been difficult for him to hit,” Girardi said. “I just would have had to check with him before he went up there.”
Any official plans for a rehab assignment will have to wait until tomorrow. Girardi said he’s talked to the training staff and Brian Cashman, but that was a brief conversation and he wants things set in stone before making an announcement.
Pettitte indicated pregame that he’s “holding pretty firm” to the idea of making a rehab start on Wednesday. It’s worth noting that Double-A Trenton clinched the division last night and will be playing at home on Wednesday. Just a guess, but that seems like a pretty good fit.
Familiar questions resurfaced this afternoon, but the Yankees seem to have moved on to bigger and better things. The questions are the same — Will there there be even more changes to the rotation? Should there be? — but the questions seem less pressing when the team has won eight in a row.
The lineup is producing, and that’s obviously crucial, but the Yankees bullpen has been just as important, making up for many of the rotation’s inconsistencies.
“The guys are fired up,” Mariano Rivera said. “There are ready to go. It doesn’t matter the situation. They’re just happy to be there.”
Since July 27, the Yankees bullpen has a 1.57 ERA with 98 strikeouts and a .183 opponents batting average. That’s more than a month of dominance, during a span when the rotation was in flux. Rivera has been his old self, Boone Logan has been a revelation and both David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain have clearly picked up their games since shaky beginnings to the season.
But it seems little coincidence that this run of success coincides almost perfectly with Kerry Wood’s arrival. He gave the Yankees another hitless inning this afternoon and has allowed just one earned run in 16 innings since coming over from Cleveland.
“Our scouts had filled us in,” Joe Girardi said. “We had seen him a little bit this year. I was somewhat familiar. I watched tapes of him. I think until you actually see him on a daily basis you’re not going to know exactly what he has… He seems to be getting better and better for us.”
Here’s Girardi’s postgame.
Speaking of Girardi’s postgame: He spoke quite a bit about today’s fifth-inning bullpen decision.
On his decision to turn to Dustin Moseley over Javier Vazquez with the lead on the line, when just three days ago he had decided he’d rather have Vazquez as his starter: “I was going with the fresh arm. That’s why I made the decision.”
On his decision to use Moseley instead of Boone Logan to face left-handed hitter Lyle Overbay: “Nope (never considered Logan). There’s a guy also behind Overbay that crushes left-handers.”
That guy behind Overbay was John Buck, who ultimately made the final out of the inning. Also of note about the Overbay decision: Overbay was 1-for-4 in his career against Logan, 0-for-7 against Moseley. His left-right splits are minimal this season.
• Turns out Austin Kearns is out with a thumb injury, which helps explain how Marcus Thames wound up playing the field. “(Kearns) took some extra BP and bruised it a little bit,” Girardi said. “He’s day-to-day. I asked him after yesterday, are you feeling OK. He said it’s a little sore so I decided to give him a day off. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
• Thames knew what to expect when he went to the plate in the seventh. “Slider,” he said. “They threw me all sliders all day. The first one (of the at-bat) I got out in front of it a little bit. I knew he was going to throw me one so I sat slider on the next pitch and didn’t miss that one.”
• Speaking of home run sliders, both Blue Jays home runs were on mistake sliders from Vazquez.
• And speaking of Thames, the Yankees should have Alex Rodriguez back tomorrow, and Lance Berkman is hitting pretty well lately, but Girardi said he’ll find ways to keep Thames and his hot bat in the lineup. “Oh, we’ll find at-bats for Marcus,” he said, and it was definitive.
• Jose Bautista took great exception and was ejected for arguing a called strike three against Joba Chamberlain in the seventh. “I thought it was a good pitch,” Chamberlain said, with a smile. “That’s what we were going for.”
• The Yankees are now 19-6 in their past 25 games against left-handed starters. They’ve won eight of their past nine against lefties.
• After his two-run double in the third inning, Robinson Cano is hitting .600 with three doubles, two home runs and 23 RBI in 15 bases-loaded at-bats.
• Francisco Cervelli is hitting .600 in his past three games. Today was the first two-double game of his career.
• Brett Gardner has walked in his past nine games in which he’s had a plate appearance. According to Elias, that’s the longest such streak by a Yankee since Jason Giambi in 2006 (also nine games). Elias also made a note that Gardner has now tied five others for the longest such streak in the majors this season.
• Since making those mechanical changes in Texas, Curtis Granderson is hitting .414 with three doubles and two home runs against lefties.
• Chamberlain got his second win of the year, and his first since May 14 in Minnesota.
Associated Press photos of Cervelli, Vazquez and Thames
Heading back to Canada • 08.23.10
After taking five of seven at home, the Yankees are back on the road this week, making their first trip to Canada since the first weekend of June.
That was back when Toronto was still one of the surprisingly good teams in baseball. Alex Rodriguez was hurt on that trip, Chad Gaudin allowed a walk-off single and the Yankees lost two of three.
At this point, the Blue Jays have fallen off, but their pitching can still cause problems. The Yankees have to face Brett Cecil and Brandon Morrow on this trip. Those two combined for 15 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB and 13 K the last time the Yankees were in Toronto.
Some things to keep in mind.
• The Yankees beat up on Morrow the past two times they faced him in New York, but they got only one win out of it.
• Cecil has pitched very well against the Yankees twice this year, but this team has gotten much better against lefties. Austin Kearns is making a big difference, and when Cecil last pitched at Yankee Stadium, it was while Marcus Thames was on the disabled list.
• Ivan Nova could give the Yankees some rotation options for the final month of the season, and he might give them something to think about for next year. When I’ve seen him, Nova’s been at his best when he’s keeping the ball on the ground. That would certainly be true against a home run hitting team like the Blue Jays.
• Just a guess, but there’s a chance you’ll see both Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez in the same lineup this series. Might be good to give Derek Jeter at least a DH day on that turf.
Associated Press photo of Nick Swisher
Javier Vazquez has not thrown the ball hard all season. His fastball velocity has been steadily dropping the past four years, and on his best days Vazquez now throws his fastball at 89-90 mph. He might — might — touch 91.
“I think it’s back to where it was when he was winning a lot of games,” Joe Girardi said. “This has only become an issue because he stopped winning games. He won like eight out of ten starts (actually eight of 11 decisions) and his velocity was 88 to 89. At times it was 85 to 86. Then when he lost a couple, people started talking about his velocity. You can make something out of nothing, but his velocity had not been 91 to 93 all year long. To me, to get caught up in that is kind of silly. The bottom line is you have to make your pitches. You have to locate. If you do that at 82 (mph) you’re going to get people out.”
Yesterday, Vazquez was saying the same thing. He’s had some games when his velocity dipped into the mid-80s — his start in Texas for example — and those numbers bothered him, but he was back up to 88-90 in his most recent start. Vazquez has learned to work with the diminished velocity. What’s bothered him lately has been command.
“I was pitching well,” he said. “I was locating well. That’s why I say that the important thing is to locate. Obviously it would be great to be throwing harder, but the bottom line is I was locating well back then. That’s what I was doing… Those couple of games I was really low, that was my main concern was it not going lower, but it came back. I was 88 to 90 last time out, and the arm felt good. If I’m locating, I’ve got the other pitches to work with.”
• Girardi said every indication was that Alex Rodriguez would be ready to play yesterday. “His batting practice sessions, he went at it pretty hard those two days in the cage and said he felt tremendous,” Girardi said. “He felt explosion and everything. It’s just hard to say (what caused the setback), and it’s something we’re going to have to monitor and continue to go day-by-day.”
• Girard said it’s possible Rodriguez will not play in the upcoming series against Toronto, but he didn’t rule it out completely. “The turf is hard on him anyway,” Girardi said. “Maybe we get him as a DH one day or something.”
• Hard not to notice that the Yankees suddenly seem better equipped to handle left-handed starters. Austin Kearns and Marcus Thames loom large in these games. “I think our lineup is a little bit different with the people we’ve added,” Girardi said. “Getting a healthy Marcus back has helped as well. We were without him for about four weeks. He was a guy that we brought here to play against lefties. It definitely has increased our options.”
• Brett Gardner just has a regular day off. No injury or anything like that.
• Eduardo Nunez opened some eyes in spring training and will make his first major league start this afternoon. We saw a kid that was very talented,” Girardi said. “Liked his hands. Loved his arm, his range. He can run. He finds a way to put the bat on the ball. We believe that he can be an exciting player.”
• I’m not the only one who had a hard time getting here today. A lot of players were talking about the construction around the stadium that made getting to the park tough this morning. It was optional batting practice today, so guys were just kind of filtering in and out.
UPDATE, 12:31 p.m.: Mariners lineup
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins 2B
Russell Branyan DH
Jose Lopez 3B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Josh Bard C
Michael Saunders LF
Josh Wilson SS
Associated Press photo of Vazquez
The news was a little bit buried in the middle of last night’s game: The Yankees announced that Zach McAllister had been traded to the Indians as the player to be named later in the Austin Kearns deal.
My first reaction was absolute surprise. That’s a big name to be a PTBNL. McAllister is still just 22 years old and already has a full season of Triple-A under his belt. He had outstanding numbers in Double-A last year, and Baseball America ranked him the Yankees No. 5 prospect this winter. It’s not often a guy like that is traded away as a player to be named.
Twelve hours later, it’s less stunning.
Outside of spring training, I only saw McAllister pitch first-hand once. He came up for the Triple-A playoffs last year and more than held his own. He was never a guy who seemed to wow anyone with his stuff, but the results spoke for themselves. It wasn’t a fluke that he wound up so high on Baseball America’s list. He’s a better pitcher than this year’s 5.09 ERA in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre suggests.
That said, Ivan Nova clearly moved ahead of McAllister in the Yankees rotation the pecking order. David Phelps, Hector Noesi and Andrew Brackman — probably Adam Warren and maybe Lance Pendleton too — seemed to have passed him among the Yankees upper-level pitching prospects. Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Graham Stoneburner had clearly done the same in the lower levels.
The Yankees needed to protect McAllister from the Rule 5 draft this winter, and given such pitching depth, it might have been tough to find a spot for him on the 40-man. Don’t be surprised if he develops into a legit major league starter, but there’s enough pitching in the Yankees system that they could afford to lose him.
Alex Rodriguez said the tightness he felt tonight was roughly the same as the tightness he felt on Monday when he first injured his left calf. This was the first time he’d been back in the lineup — though he had taken batting practice for three straight days — and he felt that familiar discomfort when he swung in his first at-bat.
“Just felt something on my swing,” he said. “Might have been my swing. Probably my first step out of the box… I wouldn’t say it’s any worse. I think it’s probably the same. I didn’t run fast enough or do any violent move to make it worse.”
Joe Girardi has been notoriously protective of his players. Even given the setbacks to Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte, it’s hard for me to accuse him of rushing his players back from injuries.
“I talked to Alex. I talked to our trainers. I talked to our doctors,” he said. ” “Everyone felt that he was ready to go. We thought today was the day, and obviously it wasn’t.”
Girardi said he did not know of any additional tests planned for Rodriguez and said he doesn’t expect Rodriguez to go on the disabled list.
“I’ve never had a calf situation before so it’s hard to gauge what you can play through or what you can endure,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know (about the disabled list). I’m just trying to play and do the best I can. It’s obviously not my decision.”
The Rodriguez audio is pretty much limited to the quotes I’ve already posted. Here’s Girardi’s postgame instead.
• Obviously A.J. Burnett’s outing wasn’t good — “I gave up six runs. They have every right to boo,” he said — but it was surprisingly how many balls he kept on the ground and how many of the Mariners hits were singles. Of the 12 Mariners hits, only the Russell Branyan homers went for extra bases. Only four of Burnett’s outs got the outfield.
• Pitchers rarely sweat singles no matter how many there are, and Burnett was no different. “I gave up two hard-hit balls,” he said. “If those balls don’t leave the park it’s a 2-0 game. Those are the only two pitches I’m worried about.”
• Those two pitches: A bad curveball over the middle of the plate and a fastball that was supposed to be inside.
• Felix Heranandez is the fourth Mariners pitcher to beat the Yankees three times in a season. The others are Bill Kreuger (1991), Jeff Nelson (1995) and Jeff Fassero (1997). That’s according to Elias. I did not know that off the top of my head.
• “Nothing’s really straight,” Curtis Granderson said. “Today in all three of my at-bats I had two balls that I could have done something with. I didn’t get an opportunity to do anything with them, and so you start eliminating the opportunity to get good pitches to drive.”
• Austin Kearns extended his hitting streak to nine games, his longest of the season.
• Burnett threw a season-high 122 pitches. He also matched a career high of 12 hits allowed, which he’s done five times.
• The Yankees were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
• Girardi said he pinch hit Marcus Thames in the ninth inning because he wanted to give Thames an at-bat against lefty Garrett Olson. The Yankees have a bunch of left-handers coming up.
• One last thing to keep in mind about Rodriguez’s injury: The Yankees next series is on that turf in Toronto. “Our listen to our medical people,” Girardi said. “That’s all I can do.”
Associated Press photos of Derek Jeter and Burnett. Didn’t see an A-Rod pictures after tonight’s game.