The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Pregame notes: “You’ve got to win this one”10.06.11

Jim Leyland had a story to tell, and so he sat at the podium before today’s decisive Game 5 and began speaking before anyone asked a question.

“I have an announcement to make,” he said. “This will explain why you think I’m so old and grumpy and messed up. I got a telegram today from a professor from a prominent university. These are my instructions for tonight… I am supposed to pitch Valverde the first five innings tonight, then I’m supposed to pitch Verlander the last three, quote, ‘the seventh and eighth.’ So that’s where we’re at.”

Everyone, you see, has an approach to Game 5.

What interesting is that Leyland and Joe Girardi are approaching this Game 5 very differently. Leyland has shuffled his lineup again, going with the hot hand in Don Kelly at the top. Girardi has stuck with his regulars, whether they’re struggling or not. Leyland has talked about wanting to get through this game with a select group of rested relievers. Girardi has entertained the notion of every key reliever pitching more than an inning.

Mostly, Leyland and Girardi have differed in the way they plan to use their aces.

Leyland says Justin Verlander won’t pitch at all. In fact, Verlander already threw a bullpen this afternoon so that he’s prepared for a possible ALCS Game 1.

“I’m not going to use Verlander,” Leyland said. “I am not under any circumstances… You can argue till the cows come home, I’m not going to do it. I don’t think it’s a wise decision.”

Girardi has told CC Sabathia to be ready. Girardi’s thinks he could throw a “couple” of innings, and he brought up the idea of going to Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning, saving Sabathia to get the final few outs if Rivera runs out of gas before the end of the ninth.

“You can’t tell when you’re going to go to that move,” Girardi said. “There’s not an exact scenario.”

But would he be hesitant to use Sabathia, wanting to save his ace for Game 1 of the next round?

“You’ve got to win this one,” Girardi said. “(Otherwise) there is no Game 1.”

Here’s Girardi’s pregame press conference.

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• What’s the limit or Rivera tonight? “It’s more pitches than anything,” Girardi said. “You start to get around 35, 40 pitches you start to get into a gray area and you start to worry… That might be a situation where you have CC behind him. It could be something like that.”

• Girardi said it’s “very possible” that he’ll use Dave Robertson and Rivera to pitch the final three innings.

• A.J. Burnett is available if this game gets extremely crazy, but right now the plan is to have him in the rotation should the Yankees advance. “I imagine I would start him,” Girardi said. “I haven’t thought that far along, but yeah.”

• Girardi did not give any sort of pregame speech, and he didn’t ask a player or a member of the coaching staff to do so either. “I kind of watch what our guys are doing, and if they need something, they need something,” Girardi said. “I told you, I thought they were very loose the other day going into Game 4. I’ve seen some of the guys now, and they seem loose to me. I didn’t say anything magical to them in Game 4.”

• Today would have been a bullpen day for Sabathia, but he hasn’t thrown one yet. If this game becomes a blowout, and Sabathia starts to get loose, Girardi said that could be nothing more than a bullpen to prepare for the ALCS.

• Leyland explaining his Verlander decision: “One thing you have to remember, he went a little longer than CC the other night. He also was throwing 100 miles an hour in the eighth inning. He’s also thrown a lot of pitches under stressful circumstances. And I also remind you that Scherzer did a pretty good — he has more rest and he did a pretty good job against the Yankees. So Scherzer would be my first guy tonight if I needed a long guy.”

• Despite Leyland’s vow not to use Verlander, Girardi is approaching this game as if Verlander is available. “I know what Jim said,” Girardi said, laughing. “Sometimes circumstances change. You get into a crazy game and he might be the last guy. I’m not saying he’s going to put him in there, but I’m just saying, you get into an 18-inning game, you’re not putting Wilson Betemit out there, you know what I’m saying?”

Associated Press photos

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Offday notes: “Is it a break? I don’t know.”10.05.11

While Joe Girardi left no doubt that he expect CC Sabathia to be available out of the bullpen tomorrow, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the exact opposite about his ace Justin Verlander. Leyland said Verlander will not be an available reliever for Game 5.

“That’s just the way it played out,” Leyland said. “I don’t think it’s disappointing. I’m thankful everybody got to see him. To be honest with you, our fans got to see that game that Verlander pitched. So it worked out pretty good. No problem.”

Of course, that’s easy for Leyland to say now. Hard not to wonder whether his opinion might change if he gets in a big spot tomorrow night. Regardless, it’s clear that Verlander’s impact on this series has been minimized.

“The one thing that you can’t predict is what would have happened in Game 1 if it was Verlander against CC,” Girardi said. “Who knows where we would have stood. So it is what it is. Is it a break? I don’t know, I really don’t, because we can’t go back in time and say what would have happened. ”

It’s interesting that the Yankees, at this point, are not changing plans. As mentioned earlier today, they’re sticking with the Game 5 starter that they planned to use all along. Yes, he’s a rookie, but Ivan Nova won 16 games this season and showed considerable postseason poise in Game 1.

“When I say he’s laid back, I don’t mean there’s not fire inside of him,” Girardi said. “His personality is just not loud. It’s not boisterous. It’s not real emotional. He’ll show a little emotion on the mound, but not a whole lot. I love this kid’s determination. His determination to get better. His determination to be a part of this staff. To never go down again. To win. That’s what I see. He’s a very hard worker, and it’s paid off.”

• Nova on whether he feels pressure for tomorrow’s game: “I don’t see the reason to feel pressure. It’s another game. Of course, it’s the most important game of the season now, but that’s the game that right now a lot of people are waiting for. Everybody, like my family, everybody wants to see that game. Everybody want to see me do a really good job. Like I always say, if you get nervous, you’re going to be in trouble, because you can’t control yourself. You can’t control what you got to do. I don’t see the reason why.”

• Girardi said everyone is available out of the bullpen tomorrow, even A.J. Burnett if things get really crazy. “A.J. would probably be the one guy you would have to be careful,” Girardi said. “But I would say in case of emergency he’s available, too.”

• Jorge Posada leads the Yankees in batting average, on-base percentage and walks through these first four games. “Jorge has been through this so many times in his career,” Girardi said. “And (he) understands the magnitude of each at-bat and how to approach each at-bat. That’s why we went with him.”

• Also making a big impact at the bottom of the Yankees order is Brett Gardner, who’s hitting .385 with some big hits in big spots. “I talked about that with my pitching coach this morning before we left,” Leyland said. “He’s done a great job. He’s been real pesky. I think sometimes you get through that big part of the order and all those big guys, and maybe you lose your concentration a little bit. He’s a bear-down guy. He’s a real hard-nosed player and everything. A real determined guy. We’re going to have to do a better job.”

• The middle of the Yankees order finally showed some signs of life last night when Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher all got hits during that big eighth inning. “When it’s the postseason, you’re supposed to get a hit every time,” Girardi said. “The superstars are supposed to do no wrong, and you’re supposed to be able to ride on their backs. But that’s not the way the game works… What happens is if you continue to have good at-bats, you’re going to get your hits.”

• Leyland said he has Max Scherzer available tomorrow night, but ultimately his bullpen will be a little thin. “I would like to get through this game tomorrow with Fister, Coke, if necessary, Benoit and Valverde,” Leyland said. “There’s no secret to that. That’s what we would like to get through the game with.”

• Leyland announced that Don Kelly will be the Tigers starter at third base tomorrow night. Kelly will be the Tigers third different starting third baseman this series. Leyland said he would like to to shift Kelly to right field for late-inning defense, with Brandon Inge taking over at third.

• Give the final word to Girardi about tomorrow’s must-win situation: “This is what we fought so hard for during the course of the season. You have two very good teams playing tomorrow night. Unfortunately, one of us is going to go home. And that’s the hard part about this game, because your season is going to end so abruptly, in a sense. But we’ve worked hard to get to this point. We feel good about our starter. They probably feel good about their starter. And time is going to tell.”

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 175 Comments →

Sabathia and Verlander, take two10.03.11

Justin Verlander had no luck convincing Jim Leyland to let him pitch on Sunday.

“It went along the lines of, ‘Hey, Skip, I can go on Sunday,’” Verlander said. “‘No, you’re going on Monday.’ ‘Okay.’”

CC Sabathia had no more success convincing Joe Girardi.

“There was no conversation,” Sabathia said. “He told me I was pitching today. I think everybody knows, of course, if he would have asked me, I would have tried to persuade him to have me pitch today. But he just said flat out, ‘You are pitching on Monday.’ That’s what it is.”

So the rematch will happen tonight in Detroit, a Game 1 scenario pushed to Game 3 because of rain.

When this division series started, it was the matchup of Sabathia and Verlander that stood out. With two of the top five pitchers in the American League going head-to-head, it seemed entirely possible that this series could hinge on which ace pitched the best. Now their impact is limited to one game, and it’s a big one.

“They’re all big games at this point in the season,” Sabathia said. “So I’ll try to go out and get off to a good start, pound the strike zone and hopefully pitch well… I felt like my fastball command was a lot better (on Friday). That’s something I had been struggling with the last month of the season. It was only two innings, but it was definitely a lot better than it had been.”

Neither Sabathia nor Verlander can seal the series, but they can put one team on the verge of clinching. Whoever wins tonight needs just one more victory to advance, and each team is pitching its very best.

“I think it’s going to be a big game no matter what, whether it’s Game 1 at Yankee Stadium or Game 3 in Detroit,” Verlander said. “Obviously there will probably be a little bit more publicity now for Game 3 because of what occurred and all the news that encompassed it with me and CC facing off again. Either way you look at it, it’s going to be a swing game.”

Said Sabathia: “I know the game plan. We went over it a couple of days ago. I’ll just try to go out and execute.”

Here’s Sabathia.

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Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Podcastwith 558 Comments →

Game 26: Yankees at Tigers (Hughes update)05.02.11

YANKEES (16-9)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez 2B

RHP Bartolo Colon (2-1, 2.77)
Colon vs. Tigers

TIGERS (12-16)
Austin Jackson CF
Ramon Santiago 2B
Magglio Ordonez DH
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Brennan Boesch RF
Ryan Raburn LF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Brandon Inge 3B

RHP Justin Verlander (2-3, 3.64)
Verlander vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

WEATHER: It’s cloudy, with temperatures dipping into the low 50s. Not much wind to speak of — seriously, the flags are almost perfectly still — but what little is blowing seems to be moving from right to left.

UMPIRES: HP Jeff Nelson, 1B Marty Foster, 2B Bill Welke, 3B Tom Tschida

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: It’s the second of May, and this is only the Yankees eighth road game of the season. They’ve played the fewest road games in the majors, going 4-3 away from Yankee Stadium. This is the first game of a seven-game road trip.

SPREAD THE WEALTH: Ten different Yankee pitchers have recorded a win this season. That’s tied for the most in the big leagues. Cleveland, Kansas City and the Mets also have 10 pitchers with a win.

MARTINEZ WORKING HIS WAY BACK: The Tigers are without catcher/designated hitter Victor Martinez, but he is starting a Triple-A rehab assignment tonight and Martinez could be back in the Tigers lineup by Wednesday.

UPDATE, 7:22 p.m.: Big two-out, two-run double by Jorge Posada to cap a pretty good at-bat against Justin Verlander. The Detroit ace is already hitting 99 mph with his fastball, but the Yankees have a 2-0 here in the first.

UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: By the way, warm and positive response for Granderson’s first at-bat, but nothing overwhelming.

UPDATE, 7:40 p.m.: Look at that, Eduardo Nunez with an RBI double. Also, Brett Gardner might really be breaking out of this offensive slump. He has a hit in his past six starts, and he’s been taking a ton of walks lately. It’s 3-0 Yankees in the second.

UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Solo homer by Avila has the Tigers on the board. It’s a 3-1 Yankees lead heading into the third.

UPDATE, 8:07 p.m.:

***PHIL HUGHES UPDATE***

Tests on Phil Hughes were negative for all circulatory and vascular issues.

UPDATE, 8:50 p.m.: Bartolo Colon just keeps getting it done. I know it’s hard to be surprised by it at this point, but every time I see him pitch I think back to the first day I saw him in spring training and felt like he had no chance to make this team.

UPDATE, 8:52 p.m.: Phil Hughes is apparently going back to New York instead of meeting the Yankees in Detroit. Word is that there’s nothing specific planned for him when he gets there. I assume the Yankees will figure out what to do with him once he gets there.

UPDATE, 9:30 p.m.: This is the second two-homer game of Avila’s career. His second home run tonight has pulled the Tigers into a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the seventh.

UPDATE, 10:15 p.m.: Nick Swisher’s RBI single put the Yankees in the lead, and a passed ball sent the Detroit fans scrambling for the exits. It’s now 5-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 785 Comments →

Game 1: Yankees vs. Tigers03.31.11

YANKEES (0-0)
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Russell Martin C

LHP CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18 in ’10)
Sabathia vs. Tigers

TIGERS (0-0)
Austin Jackson CF
Will Rhymes 2B
Magglio Ordonez RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Ryan Raburn LF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Brandon Inge 3B
Alex Avila C

RHP Justin Verlander (18-9, 3.37)
Verlander vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN

WEATHER: We’re not in Florida any more. It’s cold and the wind is blowing in from center field. Temperatures in the 40s with a chance of rain at some point.

UMPIRES: HP Dale Scott, 1B Jerry Meals, 2B CB Bucknor, 3B Dan Iassogna

THREE OF A KIND: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada will become the first trio of teammates in MLB, NHL, NFL or NBA history to play together in 17 straight seasons, according to Elias Sport Bureau.

THIRD YEAR: Since the new Yankee Stadium opened, the Yankees have the best home record in the major leagues, going 109-53 in the past two years. The 109 wins are the most by a major league team in its first two seasons in a particular venue.

THIRD STRAIGHT: CC Sabathia is the first Yankees starter to start three consecutive Opening Days since Roger Clemens started three straight from 2001 through 2003. Sabathia is one of 12 players in franchise history with three or more Opening Day starts.

THIRD PAIR: Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have started six Opening Days together. That’s tied for the most by a SS/3B duo in franchise history. Bucky Dent and Graig Nettles also started six together, so did Frankie Crosetti and Red Rolfe. According to Elias, the last SS/3B duo to start seven Opening Days together was Ozzie Guillen and Robin Ventura with the White Sox from 1990 through 1996.

UPDATE, 12:45 p.m.: Check it out, Austin Jackson got introduced on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium after all!

UPDATE, 1:01 p.m.: Posada behind the plate! He caught Mussina’s first pitch.

UPDATE, 1:11 p.m.: Nick Swisher has added a little shout out to the bleacher creatures in his pregame introduction (you know, the “right-field, number 33, Nick Swisher” thing).

UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Unable to take advantage of a pair of two-out walks, Cano struck out to end the first. Still scoreless after one.

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: Bases loaded with no outs, Sabathia got out of the inning with only one run scoring. It’s a 1-0 Tigers lead through an inning and a half.

UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: Russell Martin’s first Yankees at-bat is the team’s first hit of the day, a sharp single to left.

UPDATE, 2:09 p.m.: After Jeter walked and Martin stole third, Teixeira’s first homer has given the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the third.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Sabathia allowed another run in the top of the fourth, but ultimately got a strikeout to strand runners at the corners. This looks like one of those Sabathia starts where he’s not overwhelming, but keeps finding a way to get through innings and get huge outs when he needs them.

UPDATE, 2:45 p.m.: Strange error by Robinson Cano opened the door for an unearned run and a tied game in the fifth.

UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: Must admit, I was with Alex on that one. It looked like a no-doubt home run off the bat. I thought it was way out of here. By the way, Rodriguez has a hit in eight straight Opening Day games (that he’s played in, obviously).

UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: Looks like he got back just in time. Granderson takes Phil Coke deep, now Soriano is getting loose in the bullpen.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,017 Comments →

Spring Training Game 3: Yankees at Tigers02.28.11

YANKEES
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Andruw Jones RF
Russell Martin DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Justin Maxwell LF
Melky Mesa CF

LHP CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18 in 2010)
Sabathia vs. Tigers

TIGERS
Austin Jackson CF
Ryan Raburn LF
Magglio Ordonez RF
Miguel Cabrera DH
Victor Martinez 1B
Jhonny Peralta SS
Brandon Inge 3B
Scott Sizemore 2B
Alex Avila C

RHP Justin Verlander (18-9, 3.37)
Verlander vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., not televised as far as I know

WEATHER: A few clouds in the sky, but very nice out. Wind blowing pretty hard to center field.

UMPIRES: HP Greg Gibson, 1B Jerry Layne, 2B Mark Wegner, 3B Ed Hickox

ON THE LINE: Not much on the line for CC Sabathia, but Russell Martin will finally test his knee a little bit at game speed, and Mark Prior will make his first appearance as a complete wild card in Yankees camp.

OLD FRIENDS: A steady line of Yankees said hello to Phil Coke just outside the Tigers clubhouse during batting practice. Austin Jackson is also here, though I haven’t seen him. Despite the fact he was a huge prospect, Jackson was still one of the most popular and likable players in the Scranton clubhouse during my last year covering Triple-A.

ALSO PITCHING TODAY: Prior, Pedro Feliciano and Manny Banuelos are the biggest names available in the bullpen. Rule 5 picks Daniel Turpen and Robert Fish also made the trip.

ALSO PITCHING FOR DETROIT: Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth and Charlie Furbush. Schlereth was part of the Yankees trade for Curtis Granderson, going from Arizona to Detroit in the deal.

TOMORROW’S TRAVELERS TODAY: The Yankees are playing in Bradenton tomorrow. They’re bringing the regular outfielders, while the regular infielders will stay home. Players who will be making the trip: Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena, Doug Bernier, Eric Chavez, Brandon Laird, Kevin Russo, Brad Suttle, Jorge Vazquez, Dan Brewer, Greg Golson, Austin Krum, Justin Maxwell, Melky Mesa, Jordan Parraz, Jose Gil, Kyle Higashioka, Gustavo Molina, Jesus Montero, and Austin Romine.

Pitchers scheduled to make tomorrow’s trip: Brian Anderson, Buddy Carlyle, Steve Garrison, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Ryan Pope, Dave Robertson, Andy Sisco and Eric Wordekemper. Hughes has the start.

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: Scoreless top of the first for the Yankees. Cano drew a walk and Teixeira slapped a clean single to right, but Cano was picked off at second base and Rodriguez flied to center. Here’s Sabathia for his debut.

UPDATE, 1:23 p.m.: Solid first inning for Sabathia. He struck out Jackson looking and got Raburn to pop up along the first-base line. Ordonez singled up the middle before Cabrera grounded to third, where Rodriguez made a little backhanded stop before the throw to first. The stadium radar gun isn’t one — it’s not being displayed anyway — so I’m not sure how hard Sabathia was throwing. I doubt it really matters much at this point.

UPDATE, 1:29 p.m.: Martin’s first plate appearance in a Yankees uniform is a one-out walk in the second inning.

UPDATE, 1:38 p.m.: Martin’s walk and a Cervelli single put two on with one out, but Maxwell went down looking at a nasty breaking ball before Mesa flied to right to end the inning. Still scoreless heading into the bottom of the second.

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: That should be it for Sabathia. He allowed a hard-hit, one-out double by Jhonny Peralta before getting a ground out and strikeout to end the inning and strand the runner.

UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: Here’s Rick Porcello for the Tigers. He’s entering a scoreless game in the top of the third.

UPDATE, 1:55 p.m.: Pedro Feliciano is in for Sabathia. He’ll open against the lefty Alex Avila, then face two right-handers.

UPDATE, 2:05 p.m.: Scoreless inning for Feliciano. He got his one lefty to ground out, and after back-to-back singles, he got Ordonez and Cabrera to end the inning. Still scoreless after three.

UPDATE, 2:09 p.m.: Rodriguez doubles to left-center. He’s trying to fight off Jorge Vazquez for that starting third base job.

UPDATE, 2:20 p.m.: Bases loaded with one out, Maxwell went down looking at a fastball on the outer half, then Mesa flied to left to end it. Still scoreless after three and a half. Here’s Manny Banuelos coming in for the Yankees. Starters are still in the field.

UPDATE, 2:28 p.m.: Good inning for Banuelos, who faced nothing but big leaguers in a 1-2-3 fourth. Looked like a changeup that Victor Martinez rolled to short, Jhonny Peralta swung through a fastball and Brandon Inge looked at a big curveball. Impressive. *By the way, based on Twitter, most seem to think the Peralta strikeout pitch was offspeed. I was typing, looked up at the end of the pitch, thought fastball and was told fastball. I was probably wrong, though. If you’re scoring at home, call it an offspeed pitch.

UPDATE, 2:36 p.m.: Jeter grounded a single through the left side. After a deep fly out by Cano, Teixeira’s doubled to score Jeter and give the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

UPDATE, 2:39 p.m.: Sharp single up the middle by Andruw Jones has given the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Teixeira scored just ahead of a close play at the plate.

UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Prior is in the game, and the clubhouse is opening now. Be back with some notes later.

UPDATE, 2:52 p.m.: Sabathia said the knee felt great today. He was never worried. “After the first bullpen I knew it would be fine,” he said.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 613 Comments →

Game 34: Yankees at Tigers05.13.10

YANKEES (22-11)
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner CF
Mark Teixeira DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Juan Miranda 1B
Randy Winn LF
Greg Golson RF

CC Sabathia LHP (4-1, 3.04)
Career vs. Tigers

TIGERS (19-15)
Austin Jackson CF
Johnny Damon DH
Magglio Ordonez RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Brennan Boesch LF
Brandon Inge 3B
Gerald Laird C
Scott Sizemore 2B
Adam Everett SS

RHP Justin Verlander (3-2, 4.50)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m./YES Network and MLB Network

UMPIRES: HP Mike Estabrook, 1B Mike Winters, 2B Hunter Wendelstedt, 3B Brian Runge

WEATHER: Right now it doesn’t look too bad. The tarp is off the field and the sky looks promising, but the radar looks kind of ugly.

GOOD DAY TO MISS: None of the current Yankees has more at-bats against Verlander than Nick Swisher, who’s hit just .184 with 13 strikeouts in 38 at-bats against the hard-throwing Tigers starter. Swisher does have three home runs off him. Derek Jeter, on the other hand, has no home runs but he does have a .400 average against Verlander.

DOUBLE DIP: Yesterday was the first time since September 24, 1976 that the Yankees played a doubleheader in which both games were shutouts. The previous double shutout was also in Detroit.

A GOOD SIGN: Phil Hughes is 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA. According to Elias, the last time a Yankees pitcher had at least five wins and a sub-1.50 ERA through six starts was 1958, when Bob Turley went 6-0 with a 0.83 ERA and went on to win the Cy Young.

UPDATE, 1:41 p.m.: Pretty much the entire Yankees beat is sick right now, so we’ve all been coughing and sneezing through the first inning and a half here in Detroit. The Yankees have put some runners on but haven’t been able to break through against Verlander. Sabathia is out for his second inning or work, still a scoreless game.

UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: Bad luck there for Sabathia. Gerald Laird checked his swing, but still made just enough contact to send the ball just over the infield and into right for an RBI single.

UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: The Yankees have not looked good against Verlander. They look like they want to get out of here as quickly as possible.

UPDATE, 2:17 p.m.: Miguel Cabrera’s eighth homer of the season has given the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Sabathia hasn’t looked bad, but Verlander’s been good enough that a two-run lead seems pretty significant.

UPDATE, 2:18 p.m.: Sabathia looks like he can’t believe it. Boesch just made it back-to-back homers and a 3-0 lead. Boesch has been pretty impressive.

UPDATE, 2:26 p.m.: It takes a lot to knock Jeter out of a game, but I thought that might have done it. Taking a pitch from Justin Verlander to either the hand or wrist can’t be a good thing, but Jeter stayed in there.

UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Posada doubled to center, but that two-out hit went nowhere when Miranda popped up to strand the runner. Verlander is cruising.

UPDATE, 2:49 p.m.: Two-run double by Cabrera, a 5-0 lead for the Tigers and still no outs in the sixth. Yankees might have to hope the seventh inning is the last for Verlander, then try to score some runs off this hard-throwing bullpen.

UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Long and rough inning for Sabathia has extended the Tigers lead to 6-0. Verlander is still on the mound, and Tigers have already decided to take Boesch’s bat out of the lineup in favor of Don Kelly’s defense in left.

UPDATE, 3:10 p.m.: Verlander is out with two on and two out in the seventh, and in comes another hard-throwing right-hander, Joel Zumaya. These Tigers are able to just keep rolling out upper-90s pitchers.

UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.: Zumaya’s five pitches to close out the seventh: 101 mph, 100 mph, 101, mph, 101 mph, 102 mph

UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: Might be a case of saving bullets. Sabathia is out after 79 pitches — 55 strikes — and Ivan Nova is in to make his major league debut in the bottom of the seventh.

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m.: Pretty nice play by Don Kelly to end the eighth, but the bigger issue is that the Yankees haven’t done much of anything offensively this series. Take away that ninth inning yesterday and they’ve been pretty awful.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 755 Comments →

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